Have you noticed a B Corp logo on the signs, tubs and ads for your favourite products? From Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Aveda haircare, countless businesses are promoting their B Corp certified status; but what is a B Corp certification? It’s a big deal, and somewhat complex but we’ll break it down for you:
Attaining a B Corp certification is measuring a company’s social and environmental impact. You need a B Lab company to award the certification following a thorough evaluation, the standards of which are highly demanding – it’s meant to be tough! For its part, a B Lab is a nonprofit network which aims to transform the global economy and help create a sustainable future…sounds promising.
The B Lab’s goal is to encourage corporations to take environmental and social responsibility. Basically, this means that companies must work towards positively impacting the environment and look after their employees in all teams and divisions. Combating excess waste, high emissions, and low employee benefits are all factors of the B Corp standards! This is exactly the type of movement all businesses should be supporting in 2023. In hairdressing we know how important people are, and the B Corp certification ensures all everyone involved in a business is looked after- brilliant.
About B Corps
B Corps are leaders in the global movement to prioritise sustainability. Companies need to have an environmentally-responsible approach and business methods, and to care for their staff and look after the entire team, ensuring the whole company runs to “an equitable and regenerative standard”. It’s as if society is saying it’s time we hold big corporations accountable for their outputs – ensuring they are positive and social-conscious.
So in turn, a B Lab looks at three main factors when evaluating a business for B Cop status.
- Social and Environmental performance
- Legal commitment
The process is demanding – that’s the whole idea. The B Lab measures your company’s entire practice and process, ensuring your business holds itself accountable to its environmental goals. The B Lab will engage all teams and departments of your business in its evaluation. You must share documentation of the company’s business model, and be transparent about all operations, including how you work with supply chains. The assessment consists of points, and you must score over 80 to achieve the certificate. Obviously the higher you score the better, and you may have heard companies sharing their respective scores.
The benefit of a B Corp certificate is that your business is officially known as an environmentally-conscious company with a positive social impact. This builds trust with investors and consumers.
Interested in becoming a B Corp-certified business? Great, but it can be tricky. Small businesses and start-ups may struggle to gain B Corp certification given the degree of scrutiny involved and the need for strong protocols and systems in place. It can be overwhelming and may seem inappropriate. Here’s what you can do instead; apply to become a Pending B Corporation. The Pending B Corporation status gives start-ups and small businesses time to prepare for becoming a B Corp. You must adopt a legal framework that states your sustainable goals and brand mission. This demonstrates that you are conscious of your social and environmental impact – a green flag to investors and consumers. To achieve the Pending B Corp status, you need to:
- Meet the legal accountability required
- Complete an assessment
- Sign the agreement and pay a one-time fee
If gaining a Pending B Corp status is too hard at this time, consider working with B Corp companies. This way, you can still support the global movement for a more sustainable economic future. Choose B Corps for your distributing partners and/or manufacturers. It may seem like a small step, but if it has a positive impact, it won’t go unnoticed!
If you’ve been reading along as someone based in a larger company, consider either applying for a B Corp certification, or influencing your management to do so. You’ll reap the benefits of investor and customer trust. Even more than these great benefits, the best part is that you are pioneering a sustainable economic future for all businesses. We’ve all heard the warnings around global warming; to gain B Corp status, you must have strong environmentally conscious goals. Start with small things, compostable or fully recyclable packaging, it’s always good to cut waste where you can. Stop buying single-use plastics and non-environmentally friendly materials.
Knowing about the B Corp certificate can help you build sustainable and socio-responsible business practices, whether a small business or a big corporate entity. Partnering with B Corp enterprises is a great way to promote the future of a sustainable world. Hopefully, now you understand what they mean when companies announce their B Corp status!
Great Lengths is an example of a company with the B Corp status
The Green Salon Collective
For more information on B Corp click here
Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We Love, We Hear and We See as the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! We bring you ‘Revitalise dried-out hair’ on behalf of Fudge Professional. Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on www.respectyou.me