Corporate responsibility is in high demand among consumers globally. And it’s not just with the young kids either. In a 2017 study conducted by Nielsen in partnership with the Conference Board and Global Consumer Confidence Survey found 81% of global respondents felt strongly that companies should be helping to improve the environment. Back in 2012 66% of consumers worldwide said they preferred to purchase services and products from companies that were giving back to society and we know that number is only rising. Worldwide, people are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. This makes sense when you put it in the context that 1 in 4 global deaths were caused by environmental health risks according to the World Health organization in 2016.
Companies are growing more savvy of this fact which is apparent in the rise of language around “doing good” and “being green.” Which has led to rampant greenwashing by companies that aren’t actually doing right by our planet. The flipside, is a movement of businesses shifting their focus away from the classic Milton Freedman model of profits above all else, towards benefiting stakeholders. Stakeholders include the environment, workers, communities, and customers.
So how is a consumer to know the difference? There are some really amazing certifications out there that are pushing the envelope including 1% for the Planet, LEED rating system, and one of our favorites; B Corp Certification.
To become a certified B Corp, a business must pass through the verification process of the B Impact assessment which is a rigorous and thorough inventory across your company. It measures your impact on your community, workers, environment, customers, and the governance of your business. Essentially, the goal of a B Corp is to use business as a force for good as the number one priority and build a sustainable business that will last and provide job security and opportunity for your employees and community. Not only are B Corps leading in social and environmental responsibility, they are industry leaders like Patagonia, Allbirds, Kickstarter, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot, MiiR, and so many more.
As it turns out, doing the right thing is also profitable. In a 2018 study by Helio they found that B Corps outperformed their category in sales growth by 3x. In a 2015 survey of 30,000 consumers 66% said they would pay more for sustainable goods. It pays to do the right thing.
We’re about waste deep in the B Impact Assessment ourselves, working towards B Corp Certification. In our getting started, we reached out to some local B Corps in our area for guidance. The conversations were so helpful to us, we knew they would be helpful and inspiring to others. So we launched a podcast sharing those convos which you can check out at responsiblydifferent.com. What’s been most fascinating is how these companies are coming up with innovative ways to make a difference. Below are some of our favorite policies we’ve learned about from our interviewing and promoting the following brands. Check out the links below to hear directly from them in our Responsibly Different™ podcast which you can find wherever you listen to podcasts.