Can Your Business Be Good & Profitable? Yes – and It Can Be Certified Too!
What do Ben & Jerry's, Numi Tea, The Body Shop, and Tofurky have in common? First, they are all profitable companies that also serve their communities!
There is this myth that if your company is created for the good of the people or offers a service that benefits the community or environment, it shouldn't make money. Well, I am here to tell you that's false. You can be a company focused on the greater good and make money.
Let me introduce you to the "Certified B Corporation," also known as the Benefit Corporation or B Corp. This is a business classification that balances purpose and profit. Receiving a B Corp Certification is the newest way to build credibility, trust, and values for a business with a strong moral and social cause. It is a private certification offered by a third-party non-profit organization called the B LAB.
As of October 2022, over 5,824 companies are certified, ranging from food, clothing, and even cosmetics. Certified B Corporations include Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, Stoney Yogurt, and New Belgium Brewing.
Obtaining a certification is a multi-level process that begins with an online application and concludes with a full review by a team via conference calls. Applying for this designation is time-consuming, requiring documentation of every aspect of your business operations, from product development to hiring, and community impact.
Organizations that receive the certification pay an annual fee ranging from $500 to $50,000, depending on their yearly sales. These companies must also be highly transparent in their filings and operations. Businesses must also re-certify every three years to retain their status. A company does not have to receive this certification to be considered morally and socially focused. A company can build its identity with good marketing and press relations to show its social responsibility. However, for those companies that want to be held accountable and part of something larger, a B Corporation may be a good option.