What is a B Corp?
All businesses now have the responsibility to put impact at their core. And this isn’t just good business practice. Consumers are becoming ever more conscious of how their products and services are being brought to them, and the consumers of the future are having these lessons etched into their DNA. If companies don’t start to do business better, they risk being boycott; a relic of the times before ethical consumerism became mainstream.
So, what is a B Corp? B Corps are for-profit businesses boasting that it does business better, and building a society for good while they’re at it. Put through a rigorous assessment B Corps are measured on impact on their workers, community, environment and customers. Once certified, companies are held accountable to more than just its bottom line by the board. The company must continue to strive for excellence across all these things that make businesses tick. Businesses can no longer accept making profit at the expense of purpose.
B Corp is a global movement ensuring a company’s social and environmental impact are at the heart of business.
Since being established in the United States in 2006, over 3,600 B Corps have gained a foothold in 75 countries around the world. The UK boasts 430 B Corp accredited organisations in 48 industries.
What is B Corp month?
B Corp month celebrates the work and achievements of the community of businesses driving the B Corp movement around the globe; and to inspire others to join the force.
Why become a B Corp?
B Corp certification is not easy to come by. After passing the selective and rigorous impact assessment, companies must document their positive impact and undertake verification every three years to maintain this status.
Being able to display the B Corp logo allows businesses to signal that they are working to higher standards and are willing to push for better. It also brings with it transparency for your customers, trust from your staff, and a commitment to the environment that no longer has the luxury of being a secondary thought in strategy.
And while this is the positive face businesses can show to the outside world, internally B Corps have access to a community of like-minded businesses, media exposure, the ability to attract the best talent who want to work with a company with shared values, and the ability to stay ahead of the curve when it comes protecting our planet.
Here is a pick of our favourite B Corps:
Xampla is the world’s first university spin out to be awarded the prestigious B Corp accreditation. Based on the ground breaking scientific research of Professor Toumas Knowles at the University of Cambridge Xampla are on a mission to be the world leader in alternatives to plastic. Xampla has created a material that looks and acts like plastic but is made from plant proteins and will break down 100 percent in the natural environment without causing any damage.
Higginson is proud to work with and support Xampla on its journey.
Established in Scotland in 2007, BrewDog is one of the world’s leading craft beer business.
It’s also the world’s first carbon negative brewery. They believe carbon is their problem, so they remove all of their emissions at The BrewDog Forest, near their home in the Scottish Highlands.
The workers are the heart of the business and so they give 10 percent of its profits every year to their staff.
Triodos Bank connects savers and investors who want to change the world for better with entrepreneurs and sustainable companies doing just that. Through a European branch network in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany it offers its customers a credible set of services including savings accounts, payments, lending and investments.
Pip & Nut
Pip & Nut are nut butter specialists creating delicious products whilst protecting the planet and helping local communities.
A B Corp since 2019, Pip & Nut promises to never use palm oil in their products. The company estimates this has saved 125 metric tonnes of palm oil.
They have won an award for their commitment to recycling alongside 80 percent of their office waste being recycled or composted, and all staff volunteer in their local communities – that’s 360 hours of volunteering with local charities.
Veja have been making eco-friendly shoes and accessories since 2005, perfectly blending sustainability with style.
Certified since 2018, its fairtrade trainers are made using organic, agroecological and fairtrade cotton to make the canvas, wild rubber from the Amazonian Forest for its soles and innovative materials such as recycled plastic bottles to create a new mesh. Veja are also completely transparent about all aspects of its supply chain from where it sources its cotton to how much it pays workers in the factory in Brazil. This is better business.