B Corp certification measures a company’s social and environmental impact, from supply chain efficiency to employee benefits and charitable giving. Sam Dennigan, founder of plant-based frozen food producer, Strong Roots, gives his perspective on B Corps and their responsibility to people and the planet.
A few short years ago, the consumer really had to go looking if they wanted to find products that wouldn’t cost the planet. We’re lucky these days that so many businesses globally have upped their game and committed to doing business better.
We know more now. Sustainability and planet-friendly practices are at the heart of many of our daily decisions, from the cars we drive to the shoes on our feet.
How we measure those choices can vary. Read the packaging? Trust the brand? Listen to Elon Musk?
B Corp certification gives companies a way to prove their commitment to modern consumer values and challenges them to improve on commitments to protect people and the planet.
Today, some of the most successful businesses in their respective industries are B Corps – think Warby Parker, Toms and Patagonia. Together, we all take on the challenge to live up to the highest standards of social and environmental impact.
Innocent Drinks changed the game when they launched their fruit and veg smoothies and juices, serving up the best of what nature has to offer, straight from farm to bottle. Innocent answered a consumer call for a more exciting, healthy, and sustainable juice product, without additives that you could grab on the go. In 2018, they undertook the B Corp process, setting the standard for other food producers.
Over 4,000 of us B Corps (and counting) are given impact scores out of 200 that reflect holistic achievements, from environmental impact to community engagement, to overall governance to uphold ethical and transparent values.
Tony’s Chocolonely is known for its top-quality chocolate and fun customisable packaging. But they’re also a leader in making chocolate production 100% slave free, not just within their own company but among chocolate producers worldwide. They pay their farmers better prices and donate a portion of their net revenue to projects eradicating slavery in the industry, proving there’s no reason it should be dominated by unethical labour.
Ben & Jerry’s is world-famous for its eclectic collection of ice cream flavours and sweet treats, making the best ice cream possible in the best way possible. They actively engage in efforts for economic and community justice on local and international levels, believing in equitable and sustainable prosperity. They also support nonviolence initiatives, aiming for an ideal world of peace, love and ice cream.
This community of businesses is what makes being a B Corp so great.
Now, more than ever, consumers are demanding sustainable practices that result in benefits for people and the planet rather than just turning profits.
Within this community, B Corps do have a bit of friendly competition among one another, (they are ranked after all) but no matter the outcome, each company wants both people and the planet to reap the benefits of striving to be socially and environmentally responsible.
B Corp certification is not easy to achieve or maintain. It takes months of preparation, meeting legal requirements, completing a comprehensive 200-question assessment and undergoing a re-evaluation every three years.
Truthfully, it’s a task to have every aspect of your business analysed under a microscope. A B Corp certification begins at a score of 80, and the median score for most businesses is 50.9. It’s a humbling and inspiring experience to realise the work that needs to be done.
B Corps have the responsibility and the privilege to use our products people already know and love to educate and challenge the way people think.
A scoop of ice cream after a long work week or a handful of vegetable fries at a party are no longer just simple foods; they can represent a commitment to a re-imagined world focused on the highest standards for people, products and planet.
A B Corp certification is an achievement, signifying that businesses can do better for our world while simultaneously making a profit, a true balance of capital and consciousness. It goes beyond checking boxes and improving scores: it’s a dedicated mission to prove that business can be done differently.
Billions of people consume food every day, so why not commit to using the resources that we have to ensure that we are manufacturing food products that will have the best impact on the planet?
Business can be better. Food can be better. And we will be.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023