When you shop for products and services, do you look for companies who go the extra mile to support people and planet, perhaps by sourcing sustainably, having products Non-GMO Project Verified, or supporting philanthropic causes? Many consumers want to know if a business really gets it and looks out for Mother Earth, not just the bottom line. There’s one easy way to tell, which is to look for a company’s B Corp certification. More and more companies are making their positive missions official by becoming certified B Corporations. What does being a B Corp mean exactly? Let’s go B-hind the scenes and check out why this different kind of corporation exists, and why supporting B Corps is so important.
What is a Certified B Corporation?
Certified B Corporations are a new, 21 st century kind of company, where the “B” stands for “benefit.” B Corps have publicly and legally committed to using the power of business to address social and environmental problems. They aim to inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. B Corps are certified by B Lab , a nonprofit network founded in 2006 with the goal of shifting the global economy from benefiting a few to benefiting all.
To become certified, a business must meet and maintain high standards in a number of areas. As of 2022, there are over 4,500 B Corps around the world. B Corps comprise 154 industries—from household goods to surf camps, from tour guides to supplement companies, from consulting firms to tea farms. Their one unifying goal? To make business a force for good.
Why Do Companies Certify as B Corps?
Becoming a Certified B Corporation proves a company’s commitment to creating positive change in the world. There are multiple reasons to be a B Corp!
When a company makes the effort to become a B Corp, that’s a clear message they’re doing much more than “business as usual.” People appreciate when brands take this step! Looking for the Certified B Corporation logo on a brand’s products is getting to be as natural as checking if products are Non-GMO Project Verified or certified organic.
B Corps can have a positive impact right where they are physically located. One important way B Corps support community is through policies and practices that uplift their workers. For example, B Corps work to reverse income gaps between highest- and lowest-paid workers and commit to building pay equity across positions. Uplifting employees can ripple out to uplift the community where they live, too.
Just like a person with professional certifications needs to maintain them through continuing education and even periodic examinations, maintaining B Corp certification is an ongoing commitment for a company. B Corps are held accountable by B Lab, the certifying body for B Corporations. This means the company is regularly assessed on whether they’re living up to the ideals established by B Lab. See below for more on the B Impact Assessment that every B Corp must complete.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility is the concept that a business should benefit the society in which it exists, not just itself. Socially responsible business strategies make a positive impact on people and planet, in addition to seeking profit. These 3 Ps—profit, people, and planet—have been called the “triple bottom line.” The truth is that B Corps go above and beyond the triple bottom line. B Corps are responsible for building sustainable value into everything they do. With New Chapter vitamins and supplements, for example, our mission is to create products with holistic integrity. We use sustainably sourced ingredients whenever possible, work to maintain a safe, ethical supply chain and production facility, and we are a certified Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill site as part of taking steps to actively reduce our carbon footprint. B Corp is never just a label. It’s a whole way of doing good that’s embedded into critical business functions at every level.
B Impact Assessment
As a Certified B Corporation, New Chapter goes through recurring assessments conducted by B Lab. Anyone can view the resulting score online! To encourage businesses to be better corporate citizens (which happens to also make them better businesses), B Lab conducts rigorous, independent impact assessments. They believe that “we manage what we measure,” so impact is measured in these five areas:
- Governance—what is the company’s overall mission, and how are they being accountable and transparent with their business decisions?
- Workers—how is the company’s work environment, employee compensation, and corporate culture?
- Community—how does the company support the local community and the communities of its suppliers and distributors?
- Environment—what is the company’s carbon footprint? What about emissions and water usage?
- Customers—how does the company address social problems through its customers, such as with health or educational products?
Impact on Consumers
Seeking out B Corps helps consumers use the power of their dollars to endorse a better future. When you add a B Corp product to your cart, you’re purchasing with a purpose. You’re supporting not only that business, but also good quality of life for its workers as well as good environmental practices.
There are a ton of B Corps out there working hard to “B the change” and make a positive difference in the world. Find B Corps by checking labels, just as you’d check for Non-GMO or organic on foods. Or visit bcorporation.net to search up inspiring, socially responsible brands. Help us make a difference in being a force for good!
The Bottom Line
We are proud to be the first major vitamin and supplement company to achieve B Corp certification. New Chapter has been a B Corp since 2014, and we’re always working to get better at caring for people and planet in our products and our business decisions. Honestly, the B Corp movement is perfectly aligned with New Chapter’s 40+ year commitment to nourishing our employees, our communities, and Mother Earth.
We became a Certified B Corporation because it is clearly the next new chapter—to formally align with other companies who are all agents of positive change for the future. Defining our success in these terms is not only exciting, it is essential. Our fierce commitment is all part of wellness, well done!