B Corporations: The Business of Doing Good
Last week I wrote about the Mondragon Cooperatives, a collection of 95 worker-owned cooperatives employing some 80,000 people in northern Spain. But there are other ways that businesses, and the consumers who support them, can have a positive impact. B Corporations are for-profit companies whose shareholders hold them to account for achieving a mission that benefits the larger society as well as producing profits. B Corporations must undergo an evaluation of the company’s impact on its workers, customers, community and environment. According to the B Lab site (B Lab and Sistema B are the certifying organizations for B Corporations), there are 467,420 people working at 5,818 certified B corporations in 85 different countries.
Some of these companies are quite small (Dean’s Beans), but others are fairly large: Cabot Creamery Cooperative, in Vermont; Danone North America. There are over 50 B Corps in Africa acting as catalysts for sustainable development, and 4000 businesses using the B Lab criteria to “help measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders.”
You can use the tools on the B Lab site to identify businesses you might want to work for or support. For example, you can search for Black-owned businesses in the United States, or you can search for companies with the highest environmental certifications.
Thanks for letting us know about this example of better behavior by businesses. I’m happy to B aware of it!
Every little bit counts.