The corporate landscape is quickly changing. An increasingly educated workforce and innovations in technology mean that now more than ever organizations have to find points of differentiation with their competitors. Enter a new standard for grading organizational performance; Certified B Corporations (http://bit.ly/2IEhJsy). Certified B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,400 Certified B Corps which we are proud to be a part of (http://bit.ly/2pqC0sA) working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
It is now popular belief, that a business does not have to be community service oriented or a non-profit to have a significantly positive social, economic and environmental impact in the world. Every business can make a difference whether that be on a smaller or larger scale. In fact, more and more businesses are looking at profit through purpose. Our EVP and Partner Laura Richard (http://bit.ly/2FN9JY5) shared some great insight on why people are now more than ever aligning themselves with companies who are making a positive impact. “There’s this constant news cycle and we are inundated by negativity and world events all day long. People are now taking more of a stand and becoming more vocal around issues that they care about. Because of that being top of mind – they are looking to make decisions in other areas with their wallets and are choosing to support companies that have the same value systems that they do.”
Today we have compiled a list of our top 3 for-profit companies making a big social impact in the communities in which they operate. Each of these companies are Certified B Corps, using business as a force for good.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ice cream producer Ben & Jerry’s (http://bit.ly/2FOEPyH) overall mission is to make the best product they can, be economically sustainable, and at the same time, create positive social change. Ben & Jerry’s is committed to using locally sourced dairy, cage free eggs and fairly traded products and brownies. Additionally, the company stores their ice cream in environmentally friendly freezers, sources the paper for their pints from a responsible supplier and has created a ‘Lick Global Warming’ campaign to help fight climate change. Overall, Ben & Jerry’s is guided by a mission statement which makes a community’s quality of life integral to and inseparable from their product and financial goals.
For sustainable clothing manufacturer Patagonia (http://bit.ly/2u34jDb) a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. The company is committed to donating time, services and at least 1% of sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide. Their goal is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet. Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia
Hootsuite (http://bit.ly/2GLxKMG) is the worlds most widely used social media relationship platform. More than 11 million users (including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies) trust Hootsuite to manage their social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard. Hootsuite’s vision is to revolutionize communication via social media and they have the potential to change the way people around the world interact on a large scale. Hootsuite believes that being part of the Certified B Corp movement is a great way to accelerate this and inspire other companies to join the movement.
The Final Bell
As we look forward, purpose is being integrated into the brand DNA of organizations. CSR and Marketing departments are starting to work more closely together than ever because consumers want to align with organizations whose values are similar to their own. Research shows 91% of millennials will switch brands and 87% will pay more for a product if the company shares similar values to themselves. As this becomes the new normal, organizations are going to have to take stands and support positions in order to remain relevant.