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What Does B Corp Mean?

March 27th, 2020

Business as a force for good—that’s the ethos behind B Corp certification. This shared vision brings together brands from vastly different industries, all with the belief that the world’s most pressing challenges cannot be solved by nonprofit organizations or governments alone. These brands believe that every day is election day. When making purchases, choosing who to do business with, or applying for jobs, we each have an opportunity to make our voice heard on issues that affect everything from supply chains to the environment. Read on to learn about this new kind of business model—which is setting the gold standard for balancing purpose and profit—and what it means to be B Corp Certified.

What Does B Corp Certified Mean?

Here’s the first fact worth knowing: The “B” in B Corp stands for Beneficial. Second, a B Corp is a company that’s received Certified B Corporation status, which means the brand becomes legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on workers, communities, customers, suppliers, and the environment. The movement started in 2006 when three friends—Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy—left careers in the private equity sectors to, as Gilbert put it, “assist in supporting and uplifting all the entrepreneurs and investors around the world that were trying to use their business for a higher purpose than just maximising personal wealth.”

Every B Corp—regardless of industry—believes the following:

  • We must be the change we seek in the world
  • Businesses should operate as though people and places matter
  • Businesses should aspire to do no harm
  • We’re each dependent on one another and responsible for not only ourselves, but future generations

Collectively, B Corp brands work towards shared goals such as:

  • Reduced inequality
  • Lower levels of poverty
  • A healthier environment
  • Stronger communities
  • Creation of high-quality jobs

Here’s what today’s B Corp makeup looks like:

  • 3,272 companies
  • 150 industries
  • 71 countries

How Does a Company Qualify for B Corp Status?

Once a business decides it’s ready to apply for B Corp status, it undergoes a rigorous evaluation in the following areas as part of the B Corp certification process.

  • Verified performance
  • Legal accountability
  • Public transparency

A minimum verified score is required on what’s called the “B Impact Assessment”—an in-depth look at a company’s impact on its customers, workers, community, and environment. After that, a company makes its B Impact Report available on the B Corporation website for anyone to review. Before being certified by the nonprofit B Lab, Certified B Corporations also amend all legal governing documents, which requires all board of directors to play a role in balancing profit and purpose. B Corporation believes the combination of third-party validation, legal accountability, and public transparency is the secret sauce that helps Certified B Corps build trust and value with their customers.

Benefits of Being a B Corp

There are a host of reasons why a brand might be eager to become an official B Corp. Here are just a few:

  • The movement: B Corps are setting new standards for business practices. Achieving third-party validation gives companies an edge over competitors and allows them to tout the B Corp seal on products, websites, or sales materials—instantly communicating a positive value system to customers and building credibility and trust.
  • The relationships: B Corps are connected to a community of fellow leaders working to solve some of the world’s pressing problems. These relationships allow CEOs to connect online, meet offline, and build vendor and client relationships.
  • The talent: People love working for companies they believe in, which is why B Corps can attract the best employees in the industry.

B Corp Certified Companies on Thrive Market

We’re proud to stock both B Corp beauty brands and B corp food companies selling everything from moisturizer to mayonnaise. Keep reading to find a new favorite!

All Good

It’s all good with All Good, a beauty brand founded by massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast Caroline Duell. She started in 1997 with a cult favorite healing balm, and has expanded into sunscreens, deodorant, and other organic products you can feel good about putting on your body.

Babo Botanicals

Babo Botanicals makes skincare that’s safe for the whole family. Its popular eco-friendly sunscreens are reef safe and block UVA and UVB rays without the chemicals known to damage coral reefs.

Back to the Roots

Adored by both children and adults, Back to the Roots’ organic cereals include some that are made using certified Biodynamic ingredients from midwestern farms. Check out their growing kits to kickstart your garden, too!

Dr. Brite

Oral care products made from plant-based ingredients is what Dr. Brite is all about. Founded by a cancer surgeon and a dentist, this brand offers mouthwash, toothpaste, and even teeth whitening pens.

GoodPop

What’s summer without enjoying popsicles on a hot day? GoodPop’s organic freezer pops are a Thrive Market member favorite, featuring 100 percent organic fruit juice and no added sugar.

Hippie Snacks

Hippie Snacks brings the crunch to your afternoon nosh. Crispy bites made from cauliflower and avocado are the perfect addition to school lunches, picnics, and more.

Mamma Chia

Mamma Chia offers bags of chia seeds, but that’s not all. A line of wholesome squeeze snacks makes it easy to nourish your family on the go with nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, and vitamin C.

Manitoba Harvest

It’s hemp HQ at Manitoba Harvest, a line of hemp-inspired products that includes hemp hearts, protein powder, broad spectrum hemp extract, and organic hemp oil.

New Chapter

New Chapter has been nourishing families from the inside out since 1982. Its supplement line is sourced from global partners (like wild-caught salmon from Alaska and sustainably harvested plant calcium from Iceland) that meet strict standards for potency, purity, and sustainability.

Sir Kensington’s

Condiments are Sir Kensington’s specialty. From classic Dijon-style mustard to chipotle mayo, there’s a spread for every occasion. The brand donates 1 percent of its revenue to nonprofits and social enterprises that use food to create economic opportunities worldwide.

Thrive Tribe

Following a paleo lifestyle? You’ll want Thrive Tribe on your go-to list of brands. With family-friendly options like walnut bites, apricot pecan bites, and other delights, your pantry will always have a snack ready to go.

YumButter

Nut butter lovers, unite! Yum Butter’s lineup of premium ingredients like organic sunflower seeds, California almonds, and non-GMO cashews blend up to the perfect spread for sandwiches, rice cakes, or even savory dressings.

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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