What is a B Corp?
What do Cabot Creamery, King Arthur Baking Company and Ben & Jerry’s have in common? Besides all being Vermont-based companies, they’re all certified B Corps too. Vermont, with the highest number of B Corps per capita, has become a home for many purpose-driven businesses. And if you’re asking yourself, what is a Benefit Corporation or B Corp? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, only ⅓ of adults know what mighty icon means.
To celebrate national B Corp month we created this guide to educate our community about the work we do. Below you’ll learn what they are, who they are, what their purpose is, and most importantly, why they matter.
What is a B Corporation?
B Corps are companies that have achieved a third party certification by the non-profit B Lab. These companies reach a minimum score that guarantees the companies are performing well for their communities, workers, and the environment. B Lab was founded in 2006 by three friends who believed that businesses could be a force for good and drive positive change in the world. Nearly two decades later, the B Corp movement has grown into a global movement, with over 6,000 businesses (and counting) that have achieved B Corp certification throughout North America, South America and Europe.
Why do they matter?
B Corps should matter to you because you matter to them! Instead of a business existing solely for profit, B Corps prioritize people, planet and profit equally. As a farmer-owned cooperative, this approach really resonated with us. We’re committed to our farmer-owners, our employees, stewarding the land for future generations and producing award-winning dairy products.
Why does the B Corp certification matter?
A lot of companies can claim to be environmentally conscious, or support their communities, but aren’t showing up the way they promised. B Corps are. When you see the B Corp logo on a snowboard or a yogurt container, you can trust that this company has been rigorously tested and held accountable by a neutral third party. So, you can feel good knowing that the company does good.
How does a company become a B Corp?
To certify, B Lab grades companies on a 200 point scale across several categories including, community, governance, environment, workers, and customers. Companies must receive a minimum of 80 points to pass and are required to renew every three years. Each time you recertify, the assessment gets harder, as a way to challenge B Corps to keep improving.
Who makes up the B Corp community?
B Corps can be found in virtually every industry, from creameries to chocolatiers to craft skincare to consulting agencies. To date, over 6,000 companies across the world have become B Corps. Some of them include Burton, Patagonia, Cabot Creamery, Seventh Generation, Bombas, Aveda, and Tony’s Chocolonely.
What is Their Purpose?
B Corps are purpose driven and many have made a public commitment to support and address a systemic issue in the world, whether it’s the environment, racial justice or food justice. Here at Cabot, we believe that farms and the food they produce are vital to our communities, culture, and landscape. By using the freshest milk from our family farms, crafting our products with both tradition and innovation, and giving back 100% of profits to our members, our co-operative makes award-winning cheese and dairy products that are as good as good gets.
Cabot’s B Corp Journey
Cabot became a certified B Corp in 2012, and was the world’s first dairy co-operative to certify. As a farmer owned co-operative, we know the value of peer to peer relationships. The opportunity to be part of a network of other purpose driven businesses that would both inspire and challenge appealed to us.
Over the last 10 years, our farms and facilities have received awards for their sustainability efforts. We’ve joined the US Dairy Stewardship’s commitment to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. We’re active in our communities, making donations to organizations that align with Cabot’s commitment to nourish communities, foster cooperative relationships, and steward the land.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and we’re excited for what’s next.