The secret to becoming a B Corp certified brand

Posted on March 22, 2021

Updated on March 22, 2021

4 min read time

The illustrious B Corp movement is paving the way towards a greener and more ethical future through its steadfast ethos of purpose over profit.

 As March is B Corp month, we wanted to celebrate 3 flourishing B Corp brands, Tony’s Chocolonely, DAME and Patagonia.  

For those unfamiliar with the global sensation that is B Corp, let’s unpack it. The B Corp story goes back to 2007, when non-profit organization, B Lab, wanted to recognize outstanding brands going out of their way to create a better world. This is where the B Corp certification emerged, as a means of highlighting altruistic, high-performing brands.

Why should brands take notice of B Corps?

B Corp certified brands tackle universal issues, dominant in modern-day society, from climate concerns to prejudice, race, and the wealth gap. The B Corp certification exists to hold these brands to a higher standard, as every registered company must prove their work has positive worldwide implications.

If your brand proposition or values are closely tied to ethical concerns, like sustainability, justice, and inclusivity, you may want to go for a B Corp certification. Becoming a B Corp will drive your mission further, faster, as it will supplement the good work you’re already doing and provide more credibility to your company’s cause.  

Brands choosing to go down the B Corp route benefit from:

  • Community
  • Education
  • Credibility

The B Corp organization brings together likeminded companies to create a strong, impactful community. A community that looks after its members, providing new opportunities and spaces for them to move into. As it’s made up of thousands of experts from different fields, it serves as a useful networking tool, helping companies to broaden their reach outside of their immediate areas. For challenger brands, these connections are invaluable.

The movement is also an educative experience. B Corp companies are trying to implement positive change into the world, so the companies themselves are incredibly innovative, and many are pioneering a new category, product or service. Because of this, they are great sources of knowledge to learn from.

Credibility is another huge benefit of the B Corp certification. This is particularly helpful for smaller businesses who are struggling to make connections. When other businesses hear a company is operating in the same league as prominent figures, like The Guardian and Brewdog (both of whom are in the B Corp sphere), this will add a layer of credibility to the initial company, supporting their cause.

What is the process to become a B Corp?

 The B Corp process shouldn’t be entered into lightly, as it’s strenuous and time-consuming. Brands going for the B Corp certification should only do so if the B Corp ethos already aligns with their company’s existing mission, and if they believe it will further their goals.

 For example, businesses aiming to go carbon neutral might find the B Corp certification helpful, as it will connect them with relevant companies to work alongside to assist them in this objective.

The B Corp process involves working alongside a B Corp-registered analyst, who will scrutinize the minutiae of your business, including each step of your processes, as well as your partners and suppliers. The procedure is designed to surface aspects of your company that aren’t up to scratch.

 After the analyst has investigated your company, they’ll provide a report to show you areas you’re succeeding in and areas that need more work. Your company will go away and work on these areas, and once all have been resolved, you will be provided with a B Corp score. A score of 80/200 (or higher) will see you winning the coveted and esteemed B Corp certification.

The B Corp certification can take months or years to complete. But the good news is, whilst you’re waiting, the movement will provide a ‘Pending B Corp’ logo to place on your website to inform people you are going through the process. This logo holds similar weight to the actual certification within these communities, so can be used to create connections whilst you wait.

 

Pending-B-Corp-Logo

Which 3 B Corp brands have we got our eye on?

There are thousands of flourishing B Corp brands we could mention, from established large-scale companies, like Ben & Jerry’s, to smaller challenger brands like teapigs, Pip & Nut or PROPER.

With so much potential out there, we were really struggling to pick. With difficulty we’ve settled on 3 phenomenal B Corp brands who have pulled out all the stops this year, and really wowed us with their conscious effort to better the world.

 

1) Tony's Chocolonely

Tony’s Chocolonely is a delicious chocolate bar and one of our ProQuo platform customers, or Exchangers, as we call them. But they’re also a B Corp brand that are using their powers for good to fight against modern-day slavery. Tony’s are raising awareness for the exploitative nature of the chocolate trade through their bold, brightly colored bars that are 100% slave free. They’ve created a fully transparent supply chain and have established a clear roadmap to ensure slave-free chocolate one day becomes the norm.

Tony’s have high levels of Transparency, one of our 16 ProQuo Drivers, and a way of measuring the strength of a brand’s relationship with its consumers. They are authentic, open and honest, about their processes, values and actions, and customers react well to this. After launching a manifesto video in September, in collaboration with Idris Elba, explaining what the Tony’s brand stands for, their Transparency score on the ProQuo platform shot up. This demonstrates the more open and transparent Tony’s are, the more likely customers are to engage with them.

 

 

2) DAME

DAME have produced the world’s first climate-positive period products. Their mantra is ‘bleed red, think green’.

Their actions are governed by their 3 guiding pillars; sustainability, accessibility and acceptability. They are striving for a greener world through the reduction of plastic, are trying to create a more open world, where the taboo of periods is removed, and want to ensure everyone with a period is able to access the products they need worldwide.

DAME is championing our Driver, Clarity, as anyone that knows the brand will also know exactly what the company stands for and what their mission is. This is because their role is expertly communicated in the most coherent and clear way possible, across their platforms, website and through their proposition.

 

 

3) Patagonia

Patagonia offer high quality, eco-friendly outdoor clothing and gear for a variety of sports, from skiing to fly fishing. But their company mission goes much further than that, looking outwards, beyond their company to see which communities they can help.

Above all, Patagonia are activists, using their voice for good. They fight against oil drilling and other important environmental issues. Their product pricing contains a self-imposed earth tax, to support environmental non-profits working around the globe to make the world a greener place. The Driver they most embody is Integrity, as all of their communications, actions and guiding statements are authentic and true, as well as motivated by their end goal of saving the climate.

During the 2020 presidential elections, Patagonia took matters into their own hands, rebranding the underside of their clothing tags to say, ‘Vote the assholes out’. This jab was intended at the American politicians in power who were refusing to take action on climate change.

 

 

Interested in learning more about our 16 Drivers of Relationships, and how to build a brand people fall in love with? We've got you covered in our guide.

 

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