As B Corp month draws to a close we are pleased to feature this guest post from one of the businesses in the Hatch community: Spruce. Mahira, Spruce’s founder, is an advocate of B Corp certification for small, impact-focused businesses, and has contributed to the Hatch podcast and blog before to provide her insight into the process. This quick summary will tell you everything you need to know about the certification and whether it is right for you.
Why Become a B Corp Certified Business?
If you own or work for an impact-focused business it’s highly likely you will have come across the term B Corp certified. You may have even pondered upon whether the benefits of applying would outweigh the costs for you.
At Spruce, we have been a certified B Corp for a little over a year, and a pending B Corp for much longer. In this short time, we have learnt a lot about all the positives – and pain points – of the certification. So we’d love to share our learning and experience, in the hope that it helps you decide if becoming a B Corp is right for your business.
What is B Corp Certification?
B Corp certification is a designation that is awarded by B Lab to businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
These standards are measured by the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment that evaluates a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and the environment.
In short, the certification is awarded to those who can demonstrate they are using their business to do good for people and the planet. And putting purpose above profits and monetary gains.
What are the Advantages of B Corp Certification for your Business?
1. Attract and Retain Customers
B Corp certification is one way to differentiate your brand from competitors who maybe aren’t as committed to social and environmental good. Customers are increasingly interested in voting with their wallets for what they believe in. And B Corp certification provides a tangible way to demonstrate your commitment to these values.
2. Being Part of a Community of Like-Minded Businesses
B Corp certification provides access to a community of businesses that share similar values, opening the door for opportunities for collaboration, learning, and networking. Being a part of a global movement of brands that are working to use business as a force for good is incredibly inspiring. And it can also help with finding investors who will believe in your mission.
3. Improved Employee Engagement and Retention
The certification requires businesses to meet certain standards related to employee well-being and satisfaction, such as paying a living wage, offering benefits such as healthcare and paid time off, and creating a safe and inclusive work environment. So meeting these standards can help improve employee engagement and retention.
4. Greater Transparency and Accountability
B Corp certification requires businesses to meet certain standards of transparency and accountability, such as by publishing an annual report with information about the company’s social and environmental performance. This can help build trust with customers and other stakeholders.
But How Does it Help People and the Planet?
B Corp certification is about more than just the benefits it provides to your business It is also about the impact that you can have on making the world a better place.
Addressing Social and Environmental Challenges
Driving Systemic Change
Make a Stand Against Greenwashing
Our Personal Experience
At Spruce, we make natural and refillable cleaning products as part of our mission to end single-use plastic waste and toxic indoor air pollution.
We were working towards this certification even before we officially launched because we wanted to embed the B Corp values into the foundations of our business. It strengthens our honest commitment to people and the planet, which is why we exist in the first place.
It was a crucial step to communicating our mission with our customers. We wanted to have a tangible marker to demonstrate trust and transparency with them. Having that was so important to us, because anyone can produce cleaning products, but what makes us unique is our mission and commitment to do business in a better way. One that doesn’t cause further damage.
The certification process made us take a deeper look into how we monitor and minimise any negative impact on the planet throughout our supply chain, choose to work with conscious suppliers and partners, and treat our employees and customers fairly.
Our advice to impact-driven businesses considering applying, is simply to take the first leap. We won’t lie, it’s a time consuming process. But incredibly rewarding, with priceless benefits. Not just for your brand, but also your customers and the planet.
It helps to use your business to drive meaningful change at a systemic level, which is exactly what purpose-led brands are trying to do. So if this article has piqued your interest, why not look further into how to apply?
Access Hatch discount for Spruce products
Patrick Lavery is the founder of Attlas, a business increasing customer loyalty by planting trees.
Hatch founder Zainab Mahmood is on a mission bring together South Asian cultural traditions and the modern sustainable fashion movement.