The Moscow Food Co-op is very excited to be part of the B Lab’s “B the Change” campaign. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business as not only being the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Corps are new and existing businesses that are certified by the nonprofit B Lab as meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. B Lab is a nonprofit that conducts third party evaluations of business practices. They use a customizable platform for benchmarking, measuring and reporting on business impacts and host the world’s largest database of verified social and environmental performance data for private companies. An analogy that has been used actively during the campaign is that B Corp certification is to sustainable businesses as LEED certification is to green buildings or Fair Trade certification is to coffee.
Today, there is a growing community of more than 900 Certified B Corporations from 32 countries and 60 industries that have signed the B Corp “Declaration of Interdependence” which states:
“We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation—the B Corporation—which is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. As members of this emerging sector and as entrepreneurs and investors in B Corporations, we hold these truths to be self-evident: That we must be the change we seek in the world. That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered. That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. To do so, requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
In addition to providing a certification that labels businesses as socially and environmentally responsible (B Corp certification), the B the Change campaign has helped pass legislation in 19 states and Washington D.C. that creates a new form of corporation, the “benefit corporation.” These entities operate in the same way as traditional corporations but with legal protection to pursue purposes other than profit. According to the B Lab founders, marketers use terms like green, responsible, sustainable and even local, yet there are no standards to back up the claims. Although there exists an increasing number of narrow product or practice specific standards (e.g. “Organic”, “Fair Trade,” “Energy Star”, “LEED”, etc.), there are fewer standards outside of the B Corporation certification that provide a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance as a whole. This makes it difficult for a consumer to tell the difference between a ‘good company’ and just good marketing.
The B the Change campaign aims to make it easier for consumers and investors to support businesses that truly align with their personal beliefs by providing a reliable certification logo to look for as well as a searchable database of all existing certified B Corp businesses.
You will soon find posters around the store with the certified B Corp logo and the campaign slogans. In order to help our customers identify brands we carry that are currently B Corp certified, you will also find tags with the logo next to certified products. If you are interested in learning more or joining the campaign on a personal or business level, please visit www.bthechange.com.
This article was written by Misty Amarena, Outreach + Education Coordinator, and was originally featured in the April issue of Community News.