March in B Corp Month, so we are taking a little time to explore the importance of this movement of business for the greater good.
What is a B Corp?
Have you ever noticed a big B logo on your butter (Cabot Creamery) or soap (Seventh Generation) or flour (King Arthur)? It means the product is made by an officially certified B Corp, and the B assures you that the company has met multiple metrics for good business. They have been audited for their impact on the community, their employee and customer policies, their environmental practices and supply chains, and their governance.
In an age when any business can claim to care about the public and the environment, the B Corp logo ensures customers that the goods and services they are buying come from a company that is practicing the good business practices and policies, not making empty claims.
B Corp certification is rigorous, and businesses must hit a host of progressive metrics, documenting their commitments to their community, the planet, their staff and shareholders, and the greater good. It allows you as a consumer to trust that the companies you patronize value people and planet as well as profits.
Untours, the World’s First B Corp
Did you know that the Untours Foundation owns the world’s first certified B Corp?
Not only was Untours the first company to certify as a B Corp, but Hal Taussig, founder of both Untours and the Untours Foundation, was part of the inspiration for the movement!
Hal forged a formative friendship with Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the three founders of B Lab, which certifies B Corps. Read more about their relationship and the birth of the B Corp movement here.
Untours was the first company to go through B Lab’s rigorous certification process and get the designation as a B Corp. They are now part of a large and growing global community of businesses working to set new standards for economic inclusion and sustainability.
Untours must recertify every three years. Here is Untours’ most recent report, where you can see its rating on metrics that include the Environment, Community, Governance, Workers, and Customers.
Inspiring and Supporting Others
As part of the Untours Foundation’s ongoing commitment to better business practices, we are drawn to supporting B Corps. We also work with new businesses and investees to help them become B Corps if they are not already.
Here are some of our investees past and present who are B Corps.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks
This forward thinking company sells beautiful Fair Trade hammocks made in Thailand, supporting an indigenous, largely female workforce, providing jobs that will benefit the greater community. Yellow Leaf recently won an investment on ABC’s Shark Tank
More about Yellow Leaf
Yellow Leaf’s B Corp Report
One of the early players in the sourcing and distribution of Fair Trade chocolate, Divine is a major force in the UK and has an increasing presence in the US market. Their high-quality chocolate is almost as good as their ownership model, which gives a 45% stake to the cocoa farmers themselves.
More about Divine Chocolate
Divine Chocolate’s B Corp Report
Senda Athletics makes Fair Trade soccer balls and other sports gear, guaranteeing a living wage to the workers who make their products. They also invest heavily in community sports and recreation programs that benefit at-risk youth and children in underserved communities around the world.
More about Senda Athletics
Senda’s B Corp Report
This Brooklyn-based company manufactures beautiful high-end countertops and building surfaces from recycled glass, providing a sustainable alternative to granite while setting new environmental standards in their industry. They are also creating jobs and economic growth in their community.
More about IceStone
IceStone’s B Corp Report
Home Care Associates
Working to close the gap between the hourly cost of in-home care and the low wages paid to home aids, Home Care Associates is the first coop to become a B Corp. Their ownership model and advocacy help pay living wages to a workforce that is largely made up of women of color, all the while setting new standards for compassionate personal care for the aging and homebound.
More about Home Care Associates
Home Care Associates B Corp Report
It is worth noting that a number of our investees, current and past, are registered within their states as benefit corporations. We are working with some to encourage them to get the B Corp certification as well.
Look for the B Corp logo when you shop. What are your favorite B Corps?