What it Means to “B” a Better Business

By Ann Fulton

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Are you more inclined to do business with people because you like them?  When purchasing groceries and other household items, is cost the primary factor in your decision making?  Or are your choices influenced by a broader mission espoused by the manufacturer?  

Generally speaking, I find comfort in dealing with people I know and like, whether it’s getting my haircut or having our heating and cooling system serviced.  Loyalty goes both ways and, in an age where so many things are expendable, it’s refreshing to have relationships where loyalty is still valued and principals matter.  When I see a company that looks beyond its bottom line in an effort to make our world a better place, I feel better about purchasing their products.

So I was intrigued when my friends at Stonyfield announced their newly earned status as a Certified B Corporation.  What, you may ask, is a B Corp anyway?  In simple terms, it’s a company that’s guided by a set of principles that are socially and environmentally focused.  

To quote from The B Corp Declaration, these businesses “envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit.” This sector “is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.”

To celebrate their newly anointed status and to spread the word about the concept in general, Stonyfield sent their friends in food a boxful of products from other like-minded, B Corp companies.  Since I knew nothing about this until Stonyfield made their pride-filled announcement, I thought it worth sharing here.  

For sustainable businesses like Stonyfield, Purely Elizabeth, MethodPreserveKing Arthur Flour, Pukka, and Pete and Gerry’s, B Corp certification is a public declaration of the values that underpin their entire business.  It’s also a validation of the lengths to which they go to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

I’ve long been a fan of several of these companies (Pukka’s cinnamon tea, the 100-pack of parchment sheets from King Arthur Flour, and I’m a new fan of Purely Elizabeth’s granola😊), so I appreciated learning a little bit more about them.  

Stonyfield actually started as a farm dedicated to educating people about organic dairy farming practices – from which sprang their delicious yogurt. They haven’t lost sight of that original mission, of healthy people, healthy food, healthy planet and healthy business, and I was only to happy to spread the news! 

Today, there’s a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. B Corps aim to be better companies – better for workers, better for communities and better for the environment.

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    1. Ann Post author

      So true, Dianna, and so encouraging to see such a large number of companies committed to making the world an even better place!