More than 1,000 companies from 121 industries and 37 countries are redefining what it means to be a successful business. They’re called B Corporations (the “B” is for benefit), and their goal is to do business in a way that benefits their customers, employees, suppliers, and the environment while maintaining long-term financial sustainability.
The easiest way to think of a B Corp is that it’s like a business with a certification that’s equivalent to Fair Trade or USDA Organic. Businesses are certified by B Lab, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia that sets stringent standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Businesses use B Lab’s online questionnaire to benchmark progress toward their Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, and Profit. Companies that score 80 or more on the 200-question instrument can seek certification as B Corporations.
As a member of the B Corp community, Ben & Jerry’s has watched this revolution of “Caring Capitalism” flare from a spark to a full-on fire. Our stance was formalized back in 1988 when we developed a three part mission statement emphasizing product quality, sustainable economic growth, and commitment to the community. That experience has made us all too aware of how complex this concept can be to understand and implement for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Enter The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good by B Corp owner Ryan Honeyman.
This book is the definitive guide to becoming a B Corp and making the most of it. Both informative and inspiring, it’s a must-read for any business that seeks to take the first step towards improving its social and environmental impact. It shows aspiring employees and business owners how companies of any stature can join a growing community of likeminded businesses that includes friends of ours, such as Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Greyston Bakery, Green Mountain Power, Etsy, and King Arthur Flour.
Tapping into the experience and insights of over 100 B Corp CEOs and top-level executives, Honeyman takes what is a sometimes complicated idea and breaks it down to relatable terms. The result is a simple, step-by-step guide that demonstrates how doing good can help a business attract better talent, stand out from the crowd, and increase brand loyalty—all while remaining profitable.
The book is an extremely useful tool for navigating B Lab’s assessment and learning how to improve your business’s score should you seek to pursue certification. Guiding readers through the certification process, with useful explanations at every step, it’s the ideal road map for organizations to measure success in a clear, concise, and captivating way.
Don’t just think you need to be a business owner or executive to benefit from this book. Anyone who wants to learn how they can make an impact, no matter how small, and regardless of what role they have within a company will find the B Corp Handbook informative. Click on over to Better World Books to order your own copy. It just might be the best investment you’ve ever made.