What is a B Corp?
Why choosing to buy from a certified B Corporation is the smarter ethical choice
If you’re a good person who buys from ethical businesses, you might have noticed a swarm of announcements about achievements of B-Corp status recently. We’re pretty proud of ours.
But what is a B-Corp? Put formally, certified B-Corporations are businesses that are verified to officially balance profit and purpose. The B-Corp mark indicates businesses with publicly transparent and legally accountable high standards in social and environmental performance.
B-Corps are becoming popular in the UK as a way to celebrate transparent businesses – and products – that offer a more sustainable way of life.
So where does that leave you, the ethical consumer? Even if you already know what a B-Corp is, or that it generally means ‘good egg’, you might be wondering:
What does B Corp mean for customers?
What does B Corp mean for a business?
Can I trust that it’s not just greenwashing?
How many other companies are B-Corps and where should I look for them?
What does the B stand for?
Here are our thoughts:
What does B-Corp mean for me and my buying habits?
Basically, the B-Corp certification is a sign you can trust a business. The certification works like a protected geographical origin marker, Fair Trade symbol or any other sign of quality. When you buy from a B-Corp you can be sure that the business is behaving behind the scenes. Which makes the choice of which businesses to buy from a lot easier in a saturated market.
So what does B-Corp mean for a business, then?
Becoming B-Corporation certified means businesses complete an assessment of five areas: environment, workers, customers, community and governance.
For instance, Pala’s bio-acetate frames mean that in the environment category we’re doing great. The other categories solidify our commitment to community and accountability for the business as a whole, not just in what we sell.
Are you sure it isn’t another form of greenwashing?
Not at all. B-Corps have become popular almost as a direct result of the greenwashing issue. B-Corp certifications offer a way for businesses to put their money where their mouths are (quite literally).
From the consumer point of view, seeing the B-Corp logo means that there’s something substantial behind any marketing that claims to support the strong values many customers now hold.
Ok, I’m convinced.
How many other companies are B-Corps?
One of the biggest B-Corps is Patagonia, and companies like the Guardian and Body Shop have recently achieved B-Corp status. However, most B-Corps are smaller businesses just like Pala, creating a fantastic new range of products and services for ethical consumers to look out for.
What does the ‘B’ stand for?
In the US, B-Corp is short for ‘benefit corporation’, but the UK certifying organisation is called B Lab with no ‘full’ name. This means the B could stand for anything! We like to think it stands for brilliant.
So there you have it, what is a B-Corp: a reason to trust companies you buy from. And if you’re raring to get buying from B-Corps, don’t let us stop you from heading over to our store.
Our founder talks more about the purpose of B Corp for Pala >