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How to build a B Corp ethical business

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UK consumer spending on ethical products is at an all-time high. In fact, in the last 20 years, the market for ethical consumption has quadrupled in size. And it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down – especially with the rapid rise of B Corps like Healthy Nibbles.

 

With the UN’s COP26 summit coming to Glasgow later this year, Scottish consumers and businesses are all looking for ways to help the planet. But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start.

That’s where B Corporations (B Corps) come in.

In 2020, woman-led wellness brand, Healthy Nibbles, made the commitment to become a B Corp. Trailblazers of the wellness industry, Healthy Nibbles have joined a global group of pioneering companies to change the culture of business. Healthy Nibbles have made bettering the world their mission from the start. The company’s founder, Sara Roberts said “Being a young company our eyes are open to the damage caused by uncaring business; for us that’s a powerful challenge to build our business better.”

So what is a B Corp, and how do they help our planet?

B Corp businesses aim for their companies to become a force for environmental and social good. As Sara Roberts of Healthy Nibbles explains, “Championing health and wellbeing for people at the same time as committing to the highest standards of social and environmental impact is at the heartbeat of Healthy Nibbles.”

B Corps are about more than just making a profit. They work together to build a healthier environment, to create empowering jobs and to lower inequality and poverty levels. Their shared philosophy: business as a force for good.

Aiming for transparency, diversity, and responsible energy use are examples of how B Corp businesses make sure they achieve more than just profit. Following these steps means that B Corps contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK has over 400 B Corps across 48 industries with over 20,000 employees. And you’ll probably recognise some of them. Activia, Ecosia, Mindful Chef, The Guardian and the Body Shop are all certified B Corps.

What does it take to become B Corp certified?

B Lab is a nonprofit which shapes the world economy to help the planet and all its communities. They grant B Corp certification according to their performance and legal criteria.

B Corps create a sustainable and inclusive economy by using stakeholder governance. This means that when they make decisions, they focus on the needs of all the people impacted – not just investors. So, workers, customers, suppliers, and the wider community all matter to B Corps.

It all starts with a free impact assessment that makes sure your company’s business model and day-to-day operations have a positive impact on our environment and society. Your business must meet requirements in five key areas: workers, customers, suppliers, community, and environment. But don’t worry, B Lab is there to help. If you don’t meet the criteria, they give you a personalised improvement plan so you can reach your goals. Lastly, you write your commitment to good into your everyday operations and company legal frameworks. And after this, B Lab grants you your prestigious B Corp certification.

Why is being a B Corp important for your business?

Above all, B Corp status is the gold standard. It tells your customers, workers, and investors that your business makes a positive impact on the world. By achieving B Corp certification, you can make your company one that:

  • People want to work for
  • Customers feel good about buying from
  • Investors believe in

Take it from Healthy Nibbles’ founder, who says that, “By achieving B Corp we have a stamp of approval that gives our people, suppliers, and our customers confidence that we are able to evidence our commitment to building our business as a force for good.”

And even better, B Corps never have to go it alone

B Corps are part of a global community 4000 companies across 77 countries. Through their working groups and networking, you can join caring businesses that share, support, and learn from each other. As a result, being a B Corp not only helps you do good with your business, but it also does good for your business.

So, if you want to help the planet, being (or buying from) a B Corp is a great place to start!

To learn more about what it’s like to run a B Corp, read Beauty Kitchen’s story here.

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