Inequality rises in developed economies and the growth-at-all-costs mentality that has led to work force disruption and downward pressure on real wages is being questioned.
"80 per cent of global consumers believe business must play a role in addressing societal issues.”
When organisations undertake a deep exploration of their purpose and impact, real positive results emerge. Businesses are creatures of people and all people seek purpose in their lives.
B Corps are committed to delivering profit with purpose and meeting the highest standards of verified environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. B Corps recognise the need to adapt to stay relevant in the changing business environment.
The concept stems from Jay Coen Gilbert’s B-Lab which in 2007 began certifying a new type of company called a B Corporation, with a mandate to benefit all stakeholders and a commitment to submit to regular tests of its social and environmental impact. The concept has become increasingly mainstream.
With huge growth in demands on businesses from a wide range of stakeholders, the idea that environment, social and governance (ESG) principles are merely the soft underbelly of corporate practice is falling away and recognition of a new paradigm is starting to take hold.
It is abundantly clear that we, as a society, don’t like this state of affairs.
Edelman’s Trust Barometer states 80 per cent of global consumers believe business must play a role in addressing societal issues. It is against this backdrop that B Corps emerged and over the last decade have grown in number to over 3,000 across the globe.
B Corps are big and small, listed and privately held, and operate across 150 industries in 65 countries globally. They think long-term and focus on the impact they have on their workers and customers, as well as on their local communities and the natural environment around them. They measure their impacts against a comprehensive assessment framework and their performance is certified by independent assessors, with results online for all to see.
When you buy an organic lemon, you know something about how that fruit was grown, but when you buy from a B Corp you also have confidence in the way the fruit pickers were treated, the energy and materials used in packaging and delivering the lemon to your local shop, and the way in which the shop itself marketed and sold that fruit to you.
Not all B Corps are the same, many perform differently, but they are universal in their transparency and commitment to doing business in a way that benefits people and planet. B Corps recognise the interdependence shared responsibility we have to each other and future generations.