According to the nonprofit B Lab, “B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
B Corp certification does not confer legal standing and is completely voluntary. However, it does provide the validation of an independent body acknowledging that the company has met a responsibility performance standard — and B Corps across all industries are well known for positive impacts on both people and planet. We at Triple Pundit received our B Corporation status earlier this month — joining more than 900 other forward-thinking companies.
Yesterday, the Wayne, Pa.-based B Lab honored 92 of these global companies for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact with the release of its third annual “B Corp Best for the World” list. Including companies from 31 different industries, the list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10 percent of all B Corps on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment developed by B Lab that rates a company’s impact on its workers, community and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small and mid-sized businesses.
The list includes 92 honorees from 31 industries — ranging from manufacturing and telecommunications to financial services and environmental consulting. Thirty percent of honorees are based outside the U.S., with 15 companies operating in emerging markets, such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. Highlighted companies include:
- CDI Lan: A Brazilian education and training company generating income and employability in low-income communities through internet cafes
- D.light design: A manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products providing access to reliable, affordable, renewable energy for nearly 30 million people in 60 countries
- Sunrise Banks: A Minnesota community bank supporting affordable housing, small business development and not-for-profits.
- Co2 Bambu: A Nicaragua-based company that designs, manufactures and assembles ecologically sound structures for homes, schools and clinics.
- Quetsol: A Guatemalan solar company that provides affordable solar power to off-grid communities.
The full list is available here and is definitely worth a read in full, as each company brings its own set of values to the table and focuses on solving a distinctly different social or environmental problem — underscoring the multifaceted nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“Employees, consumers, investors and policymakers increasingly want to support companies that create a positive impact in the world, and the Best for the World honorees are the best of the best,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. “It’s particularly inspiring that 21 percent of the 2014 honorees are first time winners but long time B Corps. They’re winning the race to the top.”
The community of Certified B Corporations has grown from just over 600 companies in 2012 to more than 970 today — hailing 60 industries and 32 countries unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business. B Lab will release separate lists recognizing the companies “Best for the Environment” (environmental impact), “Best for the Community” (community impact), and “Best for Workers” (employee impact) throughout 2014.
Triple Pundit is proud to join the growing global community of Certified B Corporations. To mark our newly-achieved B Corp status, we’re offering Podium Posts to all certified B Corps. See details on the B Corp Resources page for members.
Image credit: B Lab
Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is an editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared on the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.