March is B Corp Month, and we want to take this opportunity to tell you all about being a B corporation, and why we’re proud to share this distinction with thousands of other like-minded companies.
Veritable Vegetable has been B Corp certified since 2014. In addition to this certification, we are also a registered Benefit Corporation in the state of California. This ensures the company’s legal status accurately reflects our values driven business model. Learn the difference between B Corp and Benefit Corporation here.
Veritable Vegetable is an example of a rapidly growing part of the economy — the social enterprise. By using business strategy to forward social and environment objectives, we hope to help bring about meaningful change for our community. For us, that change includes a sustainable food system where the true cost of food is understood.
What is a B Corp?
Unlike traditional companies, certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, customers and the environment. In order to achieve certification, a company must:
- Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a score of 80 or above from B Lab’s Impact Assessment.
- Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders – including employees, customers, and the community – not just shareholders.
- Achieve Benefit Corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.
- Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.
What’s the Difference Between a B Corp and a Benefit Corporation?
A B Corp has been certified and assessed by B Lab, a global nonprofit. Today there are over 4,000 B Corporations in the world, in over 77 countries—across 150 industries.
A Benefit Corporation, on the other hand, is a certification by the United States government. It allows corporate officers and directors to take into account the triple bottom line of profit, people, and planet when making business decisions. It is currently available as a corporate form in the District of Columbia and in 35 states.
VV is both a certified B Corp and a registered Benefit Corporation.
What is B Lab?
B Corporations are certified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization working to build a community of socially and environmentally conscious businesses. The nonprofit is based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and was started by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy in 2006.
The three friends met at Stanford and had a strong belief that the key to addressing major social issues was by using business as a force for good. They believed that they could create a framework that would allow businesses to grow, while staying mission aligned, and addressing social and environmental problems.
As B lab puts it: “A historic global culture shift is underway to harness the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges. B Lab’s goal is to accelerate this culture shift and make it meaningful and lasting. Our vision is of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.”
How to Become a B Corp?
B Lab will do an assessment of your company in order to better understand how your business operates, and how the business model affects your employees, your customers, your community, and the environment. The assessment looks at the previous 12 months of activity, so companies with fewer than 12 months of operation will need to wait in order to certify.
Some areas that are considered in B Lab’s assessment are:
- Balance of profit and purpose
- Transparency regarding supply chains, ingredients, and labor
- Hiring practices
- Sustainability and environmental impact
- Legal accountability
The website BCorporation.net has extensive information on how to become a B Corp, including a complete guide to the process.
The certification process can take up to 6-10 months, and B Corps must recertify every three years.
Why Become a B Corp?
If you have been thinking about becoming a B Corp, now is the time!
- Being a B Corp formalizes your commitment to consider the impact of your business on employees, suppliers, community, customers, and the environment.
- B Lab’s assessment helps you monitor your progress, set goals, and identify areas for improvement
- Access to B Corp community data and an extensive network allows you to learn best practices to further your social and environmental goals.
- The B Corp status lets employees, customers, and vendors know that you’re more than just talk. It’s a way to demonstrate that you really stand behind your values.
Come join this growing community of companies using the power of business to make change!
Find a B Corp Near You
The number of B corps is sky rocketing, and has risen by more than 30% since 2019. You can use this search tool to find one near you.
Grand Canyon University did a great assessment of B Corps around the USA, analyzing them state by state. California took the top spot, but you can see how well other states performed.
We are so excited to see the number of B Corps grow every year, and we hope you continue to work with us, and other B Corps, as we use business as a force for good in the world.
Happy B Corp Month!