If you’re a label reader then your eye is likely trained to recognize stamps for certifications like Organic, Non-GMO, Fair Trade and Gluten-free. But you may have noticed a less familiar “B” on the packaging of some of your favorite products. That “B” stands for Certified B Corporation or “B Corp.” Unlike the stamps you are used to, B Corp certification can apply to any for-profit business industry, not just food and health and beauty products. Developed on the premise that businesses of all kinds can be a “force for good” in the world, B Corp certification is rapidly gaining momentum in the United States and internationally. Some even call it a movement. As such, many planet- and people-friendly products found in the aisles of your grocery store have adopted the B Corp certification. But what does it mean to be a “B”?
A B Corp Certified Company Has to Pass a Test
Any company or product hosting the big B stamp on its label is required to achieve a passing score on the rigorous B Impact Assessment, a tool developed by the nonprofit B Lab that measures how that company or product positively impacts the environment, the community, its workers, and how it adopts business practices that are good for the long term.
A B Corp Certified Company Has to Be Good for the Environment
Every two years, certified B Corps, like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, are required to assess their impact on the environment. This means their bottom line doesn’t simply end at pint sales and smiles, but also in answering questions about the resources, like water and fuel, they use, and the outputs, like carbon emissions, they produce to get Chubby Hubby all the way from Vermont into your freezer.
A B Corp Certified Company Has to Be Good for the Community
B Corp certified companies like Traditional Medicinals are expected to contribute to positive change, whether that’s through job creation or charitable giving, in the communities where they operate and from where they draw on resources for their products. The Traditional Medicinals Foundation helps to ensure water security for people living in the Thar Desert region in India where they harvest key herbal ingredients for their teas.
A B Corp Certified Company Has to Be Good for Workers
It’s not enough for Badger Healthy Body Care to have satisfied customers. Like its fellow certified B Corps, Badger is built on the inside to have happy workers too. This is evident in compensation, benefits and its family-friendly workplace that allows young babies to come to work with parents and provides a partially subsidized child care center for older infants and toddlers.
Since buying green is mainstream and fair trade is a trend, it can be difficult to determine when a company is truly “walking its talk” or luring consumers with a slick “green-washed” marketing campaign. B Corp certification helps to clear up this confusion. Be a discriminating shopper by looking for the the B stamp on everyday products from toothpaste, to laundry detergent, to coffee and coconut oil. Through simple product choices, you can join the movement to make a positive impact in the world.
Not all B Corp products have the signature “B” on their label. The next time you go shopping, look for these certified B Corp products on your grocer’s shelves:
Dr. Bronner’s, King Arthur Flour, Method, Seventh Generation, Happy Family, Plum Organics, Badger Healthy Body Care, Organic India, Ella’s Kitchen, Ripple Dairy Free Milk, Stonyfield Farm, Cabot Creamery, Bhakti Chai, EO (Everyone) Products, Guayaki Yerba Mate, Mama Chia, Numi Organic Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Teatulia Organic Tea, Yogi Tea, Dang Foods, Madhava Sweeteners, The Honest Company, World Centric.
Through her work at the certified B Corp Cultivation Center, Blair Young supports nonprofits and socially purposed businesses to thrive. Blair and her family travel as much as possible by bike to have the most fun while making the least amount of impact on the planet.