The B Corp movement has risen to prominence in recent years, with more than 3,800 companies across 74 countries currently boasting B Corp status — meeting globally recognised standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Fuelled in part by an uprising in conscious consumers demanding that brands demonstrate real engagement with purpose – and their willingness to pay a premium for those that can – this shift towards a ‘healthy for me and healthy for the world’ mentality has created a sweet spot for purpose-driven brands.
A Kantar Purpose 2020 study, revealed that brands perceived as having a positive impact were outperforming brands that were not, or only partially. Over 12 years, the brands perceived as having a highly positive impact experienced a brand value growth of 175%, versus 86% for those perceived as having medium positive impact and 70% for low positive impact.
Separate research by Deloitte, noted that purpose-driven companies experience higher market share gains and grow on average three times faster than their competitors, in addition to achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction.
In a poll, Deloitte found that “when companies align their purpose with doing good, they can build deeper connections with their stakeholders and, in turn, amplify the company’s relevance in their stakeholders’ lives”.
But it’s no easy process. Thanks to the level of scrutiny and accountability placed on a B Corp – which must submit to independent assessments of its social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency on a regular basis – it requires hard work, passion and commitment.
With that in mind, as it’s B Corp month we wanted to celebrate some of the wellness-focused B Corps using business as a force for good and driving positive change within the industry.
Since launching in 2017, operating as a B Corp has become a huge part of what Allplants does.
Its plant-based frozen meals are made with the planet and people in mind, taking into account sustainable nutrition, waste, the fair treatment of everyone involved in the supply chain, carbon footprint and more.
“When we started thinking about launching Allplants we were very clear that we were going to become a B Corp from early on. We knew it would hold not just us but future team members accountable to the fact that what we’re doing isn’t about rinsing the market for all its worth, but about creating a more sustainable food system.” Co-Founder Alex Petrides recently told Welltodo.
“Having that tension (in want of a better word) within the company holds us true to what we really want to create. It means when we’re trying to make decisions led by wanting to grow our customer base or trying to appeal to people, it pushes us to ask ourselves ‘is this the right thing, is this actually going to help build a better food system? Sometimes that can slow down decisions but ultimately it helps us make better ones,” he added.
Dedicated to making the most sustainable footwear it can, Allbirds says it treats the environment as if it were a company stakeholder. “How we treat it is just as important as the bottom line,” argues the brand.
From investment in plant-based materials to game-changing partnerships that aim to accelerate industry-wide sustainability, the company says its “commitment to making better shoes in a better way is fueled by a belief that the shoe industry needs to focus less on flash and more on thoughtfulness”.
Speaking recently about an ongoing collaborative project with Adidas, which aims to accelerate solutions to reduce the 700m metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by the footwear industry annually, Tim Brown, co-CEO of Allbirds said:
“Whether we realise it or not this is a race that we are all running together as a planet and it is one that trumps the day-to-day competition of individual companies. I am hopeful that this partnership will be an example for others to follow as we pursue a more sustainable, net-zero carbon future.”
Launched with a mission of tackling food waste, Oddbox’ sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery service, is driven by the ethos that people, the planet and business can, and should, go hand and hand.
To date, the British startup has rescued 13,790 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, saved 1,519 million litres of water and prevented 15,365 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The brand, which achieved 400% growth in 2020, as well as raising €3.2 million from the Northern Venture Capital Trust is commuted to changing behaviours around food.
According to founders Emilie Vanpoperinghe and Deepak Ravindranm, becoming a B Corp has provided the business with a great framework to measure itself against, ensuring that it’s always balancing its purpose, profit, and impact on the planet.
Direct-to-consumer, personalised hair care brand Prose says it’s “proud to be a part of a global movement that shares our values of diversity, community and environmental integrity”.
Writing about the company’s status as a B Corp in a post on Medium, Co-Founder Arnaud Plas explained:
“As Prose continues to grow, our impact on the environment, community, and corporate culture is only going to expand. And now our B Corp Certification will be another impetus for us to make decisions that will keep us honest, have a positive effect, and help us challenge the old school practices set by many legacy brands. We see this as a key step in ushering in a new norm to the world of beauty.”
When it comes to cultivating diversity, the brand recently revealed that 61% of its internal employee base is female, 50% of its Board of Directors are female and 45% of its workforce is made of minority groups, including POC and religious minorities.
On the environmental side of things, it is currently working towards becoming carbon neutral. Its worker focus, meanwhile, revolves around making sure its team members are fairly compensated and given room to grow.
Disruptive feminine care company Callaly, says it loves being a B Corp. The startup, founded in 2014, argues that not only does it give the business purpose but it also brings everybody in the company together, enables it to be part of a larger community and keeps it on track.
According to the brand, in 2018 and 2019 it gave over 5% of its sales to non-profits and committed to an annual minimum of 1%. Further, everyone who works at Callaly spends 3% of their time working for charities.
Every decision Callaly makes, big or small, is taken with an eye on the wider impact, says the brand. This has resulted in its packaging being recyclable and biodegradable, the exclusive use of organic cotton, and the fact it always puts its customers’ health before its bottom line.
Pip & Nut
Popular nut butter brand Pip & Nut says its purpose as a B Corp is “to help people love food that loves them and the planet”.
This philosophy is applied to everything it does, from developing new products to running an event or finding new suppliers.
In 2019, it released a report to demonstrate exactly what being a purpose-led brand means for its business. Highlights included:
Never using palm oil in its products, cultivating a healthy and happy team, recycling and volunteering in the local community.
According to Founder Pip Murray, “Being open about how we operate as a business and committing to how we can improve, means looking at the people within our business, the communities that we reach and the environment around us.”
So far, the six-year-old startup has saved 125 metric tonnes of palm oil.