If you are not in the natural health or benefit space you may not be aware of the many benefit corporations you interact with daily. Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Warby Parker are all certified benefit corporations. B Corps must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency by a third party called B Lab in order to achieve certification.
Kabrita USA, the baby food company I co-founded in 2013 is a certified benefit corporation. We became a B Corp for two reasons. Firstly to publicly establish our company as a mission driven business and secondly and perhaps more importantly to hold ourselves accountable.
Our mission was simple. Best products supported by inspirational education and resources. It was our purpose to help new parents wade through the muck of information they are confronted with and to provide balanced, objective and comprehensive content related to all aspects of our company and products. As a small group of women we were also committed to redefining the workplace and what it means to be a working mom.
Applying for and becoming a B Corp forced us to go through the rigor of creating the policies and documentation necessary for a growing company. While manageable initially, our business philosophies would need to be documented for future growth. The B Corp assessment helped us identify where our company was succeeding from a social and environmental point of view and find the gaps. The assessment is free and highly recommended before applying for actual certification.
The advantages of becoming a benefit corporation are numerous. As an employer our social mission inspired a passionate, driven and dedicated team of employees. The fact that companies with an engaged workforce typically outperform the stock market by 20% was becoming a well demonstrated fact at KABRITA. Despite product delays and other challenges we quickly grew the business to 6,000 retail outlets through the sheer passion we generated by an unwavering belief in our purpose.
In addition to a motivated team benefit corporations join an elite group of companies that are leading the future of business as a force for good. Companies like Honest Company valued at $1.7B, Plum Organics which recently sold for hundreds of millions, and Beautycounter.com with annual sales of $150M are major disruptors in their respective spaces and all wear the B Corp badge. Established B Corps like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s remain relevant to millennials through their B Corp commitments.
Whether you are an established business or a start-up, mission is good for margin. Find out how to discover, certify and share your mission by contacting Brand for Benefit today.
CEO Carolyn Ansley is an award winning marketer, entrepreneur and mother who believes that together we can do good business better.