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You may have heard of the term “B Corp” but maybe you’re not quite sure what it means. A B Corp is a for-profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. In other words, it’s a business that is committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment.
There are currently over 3,000 business in over 50 countries across 130 industries, ranging from well-known companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s to local brands like New Seasons Market and Etsy.
Here are some ways being a B Corp could benefit your business.
- Benefit Your Community: When you become a B Corporation, you are committing to using your business as a force for good. This means working to solve social and environmental problems in your community. As a B Corporation, your business will be held accountable to these commitments through annual audits and reporting requirements.
- Attract & Retain Top Talent: A recent study by Emory University shows that “millennials increasingly seek out job opportunities with companies that reflect their values.” In other words, today’s young workers want to know that their work is making a positive impact on the world. Joining the ranks of well-known socially responsible brands will not only help you attract top talent, but it will also boost your company’s overall reputation.
- Stand Out from the Competition: In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s important for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Customers are becoming more socially and environmentally conscious and they want to support businesses that share their values.
- Get Good PR: As a certified B Corporation, your business will receive valuable media exposure from popular outlets like The New York Times, Forbes, Inc. and Fast Company. This publicity can help increase brand awareness and boost sales.
- Enjoy Tax Breaks & Government Incentives: In many states, certified B Corporations receive tax breaks and other government incentives. These incentives can help offset the cost of becoming a B Corporation and make it easier for businesses to reap the rewards of certification.
- Improve Your Bottom Line: Numerous studies have shown that sustainable businesses outperform their competition financially over the long term.
- Access Valuable Resources & Connections: As part of the growing community of certified B Corporations, your business will have access to valuable resources like educational events, networking opportunities, discounts on products & services and much more.
- Build Consumer Trust: Consumers are becoming increasingly suspicious of large companies and their motives. They want to support businesses they can trust – businesses that put people and planet before profits. By becoming certified as a B Corporation, you’ll send a strong signal to consumers that they can trust your brand
In addition to passing an assessment administered by B Lab, B Corps must also amend their legal governing documents to state their commitment to creating positive social and environmental impact. This legally binding commitment holding businesses accountable to stakeholders—not just shareholders—is part of what sets B Corps apart from other “socially responsible” businesses.
As a business owner, you have the power to make decisions that can have a positive impact on not only your bottom line, but also your community and the environment. Becoming a B Corp is one way to formalize your commitment to being a force for good.