March is here. The days are growing longer, some green is starting to emerge from the ground, and it’s B Corp month! If you’re unfamiliar with B Corps, just know that they’re better for people and the planet. Here’s a look behind the B and why Full Circle Brands is so proud to be one of 4,381 global businesses making the world a better place.
What is a B Corp?
So, what’s all the buzz about B Corps? And what exactly is a B Corp? A Certified B Corporation is a for-profit entity that meets voluntary standards regarding metrics like accountability, transparency, and performance. The certification also takes into consideration things like charitable giving, supply chain practices, input materials, and employee benefits.
Essentially, B Corps make every purchase a little easier for the 77% of consumers who shop with their values in mind. The logo—a ‘B’ with a circle around it—is easy to spot on products from companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Tentree, and, you guessed it, Full Circle Brands (Full Circle, Soma and For Good)!
On a mission to use business as a force of good, B Lab is the nonprofit organization behind Certified B Corporations. The organization was founded by three friends in 2006, certified their first 82 companies in 2007, and now partners with more than four thousand companies in 77 different countries—all of which are committed to balance purpose and profit to achieve the highest standards of social and environmental performance.
What it Means to be a B Corp
Can a company just stamp that B logo on their product and call it a day? Absolutely not. The certification process is actually not that easy, which is what makes it so meaningful.
In order to become certified or renew certification, a company must complete a B Impact Assessment, a free platform that measures a company’s positive impact on their workers, customers, community, and environment. It looks at both day-to-day operations and the business model to produce a numeric store. A minimum verified score of at least 80 out of 200 is required (with most ordinary businesses hovering around 40-60).
After the Assessment, a multi-step verification process takes place. This involves an initial evaluation, an assessment review (think: an interview), background checks, and the submission of documentation.
In order to maintain certification, a company is required to update their assessment every three years to ensure that they still achieve a score of at least 80. Every one in 10 companies is randomly selected for a Site Review, which is an on-site or virtual assessment that lasts between 6-10 hours.
Why B Corps are Important
In a world of greenwashing and the newer woke-washing—where a company’s environmental or social claims don’t match their actions—are so common, we’re proud to have been well-vetted by B Lab to receive our certification.
In fact, this is why B Corps are important. They provide a way to recognize companies that have committed to “B the Change” and make it easy for shoppers to see what positive impact their purchase has when they support a B Corp.
On a larger scale, B Corps are important because they’re changing entire industries, for the better. The significant growth in certified companies is a testament to this. In fact, at the time of writing this article, B Lab is experiencing “overwhelming interest” in certification, which is good news for people and our shared home.
Full Circle Brands, a Certified B Corp Since 2013
Let’s face it, more people want to buy products they can feel good about. This has led to an influx of companies seeking certification in recent years, and we’re thrilled to be one in a growing number of companies with that encircled B logo.
Since June 2013, Full Circle Brands, parent company of Soma, Full Circle, and For Good, has been paving the way for better business. Not only do our innovative offerings make lives better, more sustainable, and more joyful, but our operations do, too!
While we recognize that social and environmental sustainability is an ongoing journey, everything we do has our planet and the people who inhabit it in mind.
- It’s why, for every Soma product purchased, we donate to the organization charity: water to help end the global water crisis, and why we offset our emissions by funding conservation projects.
- It’s also why Full Circle partners with Plastic Bank, removing plastic headed for our oceans to compensate for our use of plastic, making us a Plastic Neutral company.
- It’s even why our For Good range makes it easy for you to lessen your impact, providing sustainable swaps for everyday kitchen essentials. To do our part, too, we also donate 1% of every For Good purchase to support Rethink Food, an organization that helps to reduce food insecurity.
Behind the scenes, we have impressive (if we may say so ourselves) standards regarding labor practices, animal welfare, transparency, and anti-discrimination.
Because the folks who work in our factories are just as important to us as our sustainable products, we work hard to ensure that social responsibility is at the forefront of everything we do. Our suppliers adhere to a strict Code of Conduct and our factories are audited and regularly visited to ensure that fair and safe labor conditions are maintained.
We also source our raw materials as close to the location of processing as possible to minimize transportation emissions. To cut it down even more, Full Circle has partnered with Flexport (and carbonfund.org) to offset the emissions of our international shipping by funding projects that fight deforestation and support renewable energy innovations.
To top it all off—literally—we prioritize recycled, recyclable, and plastic-free packaging.
Not only are we celebrating B Corp Month, but we’re close to celebrating our 10-year anniversary with B Lab, and we’d love to thank you for helping us use business to help build a better world.