Be the change: Everything you need to know about B Corps

Doing
5 minute guide

Heard people muttering about B Corps over the last year or so? We look into what being a B Corp stands for and who the B Corp companies are that you can support for a better way of doing business.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 11 February 2019

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First things first. Many people either haven't heard about B Corps or aren't sure what they are. So this is what being a B Corp means:

B Corp stands for:

  • A new kind of business acting in a sustainable and transparent way. 
  • Meeting the highest environmental and social standards.
  • A legal accountability to balance profit and purpose through verifying their social and environmental performance
  • Looking after the people who work for you no matter where they are in your supply chain

B Corps are profit making businesses but ones that have legally pledged to ensure that their business growth and decision making looks after people and planet equally to profit. They don't have to be social enterprises or charities and there's nothing wrong with the business making money - that's encouraged. What is different is that stakeholder's profit is not the overriding bottom line.

The CEOs and industry pioneers recognise that business has a huge role to play in changing the world, we cannot rely on governments and non profits alone. As a movement B Corps are gathering pace because they help form positive communities, both within businesses and between businesses - using their companies as a force for good. 

This is how B Corp explain themselves:

"The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment."

Just common sense right? Sadly, we all know that while we want every business to behave like this, many of them don't.

Innocent also sum the ethos of being a B Corp really nicely: 

"To bring B Corp to life for our business, we are encouraging everyone in every project, workstream, decision-making meeting to imagine another 2 seats at the table – one representing the environment, one representing broader society – what would they be saying, what would they be inputting from their seats at the table?" says Sustainability Manager, Katie Leggett.

B Corp Month 5

How many B Corps can you support this month in your daily routine?

What is B Corp Month?

Globally there are more than 2,700 B Corps all over the world.

Pretty much whatever you want to buy, you can buy it from a B Corp. To share awareness of how many awesome B Corps there are out there, every February is B Corp Month. It shines a spotlight on how you can support B Corp businesses because when you buy from a B Corp it’s a small step towards a better world for all.

This is why being a B Corp is so important to Pukka's co-founder, Tim Westwell: 

"When we each make small changes in our daily lives, our efforts add up to a much larger cumulative action. By buying from, working for and doing business with B Corps, you vote for what you believe in. As Gandhi famously said: 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

The more that we citizens can vote with our wallets or the way we run our businesses, the more opportunity we have to address climate change for the sake of humanity.

Our B Corp score acknowledges the pioneering ways we are making a genuine contribution to addressing global inequality, poverty and climate change – from donating over 1% of our turnover to environmental charities each year to getting our climate goal – to be carbon zero – validated through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi)."

Find out more about what Pukka is doing to change the world here.

Abel & Cole also embody the B Corp broad view of what doing good means: "We’ve championed the environmental and ethical benefits of organic food for over 30 years now and have always prioritised sustainability. 

For us, sustainability is more than just the environment – it’s about the community we can build. That’s why we’ve helped independent farmers achieve their organic certification through the years. We’ve stayed true to these values over the years, but with the B Corp assessment leaving no stone unturned we now know which can be filled to make us the best we can be."

Which of your favourite eco-friendly brands are B Corps?

Having launched in the UK in 2015 with just over 60 brands, the British B Corp army has been steadily increasing its ranks - and there are now over 200 UK based brands that are registered as B Corps - and plenty more on their way (like us!).

Scrumbles Ethical Pet Food 3

It's not just clothes and food - B Corps range from pet food like Scrumbles to banking and services

25 British B Corps to support

  • Toast Ale - our good friends make award winning beer from surplus bread
  • Finisterre - one of our favourite outdoor wear brands have been B Corp for years
  • Innocent Drinks - the smoothie brand has embraced B Corp values
  • Waitrose - Shop the B Corp store in Waitrose here
  • Pukka Herbs - Pukka are actively involved in the B Corp scene in the UK
  • Lily’s Kitchen - because pets also want a better planet
  • Propercorn - tasty delicious popcorn that helps the planet
  • Doisy & Dam - anyone who reads pebble regularly will know these guys make amazing chocolate
  • Qbic Hotels - these guys rock at affordable, stylish stays
  • Bulb - check out our renewable energy guide here
  • Rebel Kitchen - for plant powered milk goodness
  • The Big Issue - one of the only print titles that has made it as a B Corp
  • Scrumbles - read our interview with the excellent ethical pet food start up here
  • Abel & Cole - organic veg box and recipe box deliciousness
  • Abundance - ethical investing is one of this year’s biggest trends
  • Jojo Maman Bebe - this kids’ clothing company takes its people-first ethos seriously
  • Divine Chocolate - the only chocolate company owned by its plantation partners
  • Ella’s Kitchen - organic baby food that fuels the next generation of earthkeepers
  • Allplants - vegan food delivery service - convenience doesn’t always go hand in hand climate change
  • Elvis & Kresse - for award-winning upcycled fire hose products
  • Charity Bank - banking for a better world
  • Cafe Direct - one of the UK’s longest running Fairtrade coffee brands
  • DAME - a reusable take on tampons. Read our planet friendly period round up here
  • Stroud Brewery - cheers to changing the world
  • Carbon Analytics - these guys help you work out your businesses’ carbon footprint - for free.
B Corp Month 6

Discover Abel & Cole down at pebblefest on Sat 27 April at Flat Iron Square

And while the UK contingent grows so does the number of companies signing up all over Europe, the US and beyond. Here are some of our favourite global brands that are B Corps:

Scroll down to learn how you can become a B Corp.

How do I become a B Corp?

Good question! We are also in the process of becoming a BCorp - and trust us, it’s a gruelling - although very worthwhile process.

Businesses of all sizes go through the same rigorous process, no matter where you are in the world. Businesses with less than one year’s turnover can apply for a Pending B membership.

Head here to get started on your B Corp application - you’ll need to answer a series of questions and score more than 80 points to be considered for an application. You’ll then go through an interview and be asked to demonstrate your company’s commitment to purpose, people and the environment. 

Good luck!

Join the community for sustainable living, ethical fashion and eco travel


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