By Jeanne Lofgren
B Corporations are companies that have made a public commitment to a material positive impact on society and the environment and to undertake a comprehensive third–party examination of their business operations. That comprehensive third–party examination is called the B Impact Assessment or BIA for short. It’s a list of best practices in the areas of governance, workers, community, the environment and suppliers. It helps B Corps do the hard work of internalizing the real costs of producing goods and services and removing exploitation from their supply chains.
Certified B Corps (which can include any for-profit entity, not just corporations) must achieve at least 80 of the possible 200 points available on the BIA. It may sound easy, but the industry average is around 50 points. Good work benefits and conservation alone will not qualify a company for the certification. There has to be some active connection with the community and environmental stewardship as well.
Where can you find B Corps? Luckily for East End Food Co-op shoppers, you’ll find them in almost every aisle! King Arthur Flour, Stonyfield Organic, Ripple Foods, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Tofurky, Garden of Life, Yogi Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Emmy’s Organics, BARE Snacks, Plum Organics, Ella’s Kitchen, Numi Organic Tea, Diva International, Dr. Bronner’s, Seventh Generation, Erbaviva, Klean Kanteen, and W.S. Badger Co. are just some of B Corps at the Co-op. To find a comprehensive listing of all B Corps go to www.bcorporation.net.
Not every socially and environmentally responsible enterprise is a certified B Corp, but every certified B Corp is a socially and environmentally responsible enterprise. Seeing the certification allows consumers to spend with confidence, knowing that their buying decisions are supporting the earth and driving positive human relations.
Look for this logo. It’s the mark of a certified B Corporation!