Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do business with a B Corporation.

Because of the focus and audience of So What Can I Do, I get a number of announcements from companies who are involved in "cause" or "green" marketing. All other things being equal, I certainly choose products associated with a cause I support over those that do not. However, I am much more impressed with companies who focus their mission, not just their marketing campaign, on more than just the bottom line. That's why I like the idea of B Corporations.

"B Corporations are a new type of corporation that are purpose-driven and create benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders." Certified B Corporations adhere to a set of transparent social and environmental standards and they make the interests of all stakeholders part of their business model. There are now 134 Certified B Corporations in 31 industries. If this sounds like a business model you can support, consider these ways of getting involved:

* Become a B Corporation. Follow the three step plan to become a certified B Corporation. Once the process is complete, your company will have access to best practices for social and environmental performance. Your business will be promoted through the nonprofit B lab. And your (potential) customers will know that you are committed to being a good company, not just good marketing.

* Do business with a B Corporation. When you need goods or services, consult the list of Certified B Corporations to see if one fits your needs. You'll get what you need and support socially and environmentally responsible business practices. I am pleased that So What Can I Do has already directly or indirectly profiled several B corporations, like Better World Books and Shore Bank.

The transparent policies of B Corporations are a great way to combat greenwashing and good-coating. So consider becoming or supporting a B Corporation. And by the way, B stands for Benefits - for everyone.

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy


Karama said...

Good-coating describes the practice of companies that promote socially-responsible practices or the societal benefits of their product or service in ways that do not accurately reflect the effects of their actions, products, or services. It is a deceptive or misleading use of cause marketing. Good-coating is a portmanteau of "do-gooder" and "sugarcoating." See for comparison greenwashing.

brooke said...

Hey, Karama, it's Brooke! I came across B Corporations (and B Lab) a few weeks ago doing some research at work. I think it would be interesting to run this idea up the flagpole at Southern...

zang said...

Nice Post
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