Why Buy from B Corps?
Once you know what this little B is all about, you’ll never think about business the same way again.
There are a whole lot of certifications out there. You’ve probably seen Fair Trade Certified, USDA Organic, and Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free (among many others!) while you’re perusing the shelves of your local grocery store, co-op, or online marketplace. Each of these certifications is essential, and each one focuses on a single area of impact—like fair wages for workers, organic agriculture, or animal welfare.
So what does B Corp Certified mean?
Well, B Corp’s area of impact is a little different. While certifications like Fair Trade and Cruelty Free ensure that individual products, like chocolate or shampoo, meet high social or environmental standards, B Corporation is a certification for entire companies. It means that by purchasing from that company, you’re not just supporting practices that are healthier for the world—you’re also supporting a whole new way of thinking about business.
Rebecca Hamilton, Badger's Co-CEO, speaking at a B Corp event.
The Concept: Business as a Force for Good
Businesses are powerful entities. They employ workers, provide goods and services for their communities, and have an impact on the environment (whether positive or negative). In our current economy, businesses have a responsibility to their shareholders, meaning they must focus on profits as their primary goal.
But some of us believe that businesses should exist to do more than make profits.
Some of us believe businesses have a responsibility not just to their shareholders—but also to their employees, their communities, and the environment.
Some of us believe that business can be a force for good.
Behind the scenes of Badger’s production space.
“At Badger, we’ve always held true to what we call our ‘North Star:’ our vision for a healthier world,” says our Co-CEO, Rebecca Hamilton. “In the beginning, at a time when most businesses were making decisions based on the bottom line, Badger was making decisions based on strong mission-driven principles and ethos. In our mission statement, we say that money is a fuel, not a goal—meaning that our true reason for being in business is to enact our mission-based work and help create the healthier world we imagine. This commitment to doing the right thing for people and the planet continues to shape the way Badger does business today.”
A Growing Movement
The B Corp movement started in 2006, when three friends got together to talk about their shared vision for a new kind of economy—one driven not just by profits, but by purpose. Together, they founded B Lab, the nonprofit network leading the B Corp movement. This network certifies and connects mission-driven companies to drive large-scale economic systems change, working toward “our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.”
Rather than viewing each other as independent competitors, these mission-driven B Corps sign on to a Declaration of Interdependence. Together, they acknowledge that in order to create a healthier global economy, they must recognize that they’re dependent on each other and responsible for our impact on future generations.
Sounds pretty huge, right? The movement is growing fast—and it’s much bigger than you might think! A few B Corps you might know include Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, King Arthur, Stonyfield, Warby Parker, Ben & Jerry’s, Burton… and that’s just to name a few. Today, there are over 4,000 Certified B Corps spanning 150 industries in over 70 countries.
How Does a Company Become a B Corp?
To become a B Corporation, a business must meet or exceed a rigorous set of standards holding them publicly accountable to their employees, their communities, and the environment. Certified B Corporations all achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment, a stringent evaluation of a company’s impact, and share their B Impact Report score for the whole world to see. (You can see ours right here!)
The certification focuses on five impact areas:
So Why Buy from B Corps?
All of this means that you don’t need to do all the research yourself. When you see the B Corp certification, it serves as a seal of approval that lets conscious consumers know where their money will have the most positive impact.
- B Corps are 3 times more likely to use 100% renewable energy in comparison to ordinary businesses
- B Corp employees spent over 2,775,000 hours doing community service (while being paid by their employers) over the past 15 years
- Many B Corps, including Badger, have a high-to-low pay ratio of 5:1, meaning CEOs aren't making fortunes at the expense of their lowest-wage employees
Our employee benefits include a free organic lunch for every employee, every day.
The B Corp certification benefits businesses as well! By providing them with legal protection, becoming a B Corp allows companies to grow their business while also holding onto their social mission. Certified B Corporations actually amend their legal governing documents to require that their board of directors balance profit with purpose.
Proud to B a B
Here at Badger, we believe in this better way of doing business. In fact, we believe in it so much that we helped pass Benefit Corporation Legislation in New Hampshire in 2015! In short, this legislation provided a legal framework for NH’s for-profit companies seeking to do the right thing in the world. The companies still pay taxes, but corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency requirements are added. When a business registers as a benefit corporation in New Hampshire, it is legally required to leave a positive impact on society and the environment.
Senator Maggie Hassan signs benefit corporation legislation into law—right here at Badger!
At Badger, we passionately believe that becoming a B Corp was the best way for us to maintain our social mission as we scaled up our business. And it’s also connected us with a vibrant community of businesses that share our vision and values! For example, at the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, we joined over 500 fellow B Corps in publicly committing to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by the year 2030. This type of shared commitment reinvigorates our hope that together, we can solve the social and environmental issues that feel insurmountable when faced alone.
"Being a B Corp means that we're standing together with other companies who share our vision for a better world,” says Katie, our Co-Founder and Chief Mission Keeper. “We continually look to other B Corps to be our vendors, to be our partners, and to build community in whatever ways we can. There are so many opportunities to be inspired and to learn from each other... I love this focus on building a coalition of businesses doing the right thing for their employees, their communities, and the environment."
At Badger, our status as a B Corp is an essential piece of our journey to creating a healthier world. Because, above all, it reminds us that the only way to create a healthier world is to create one together.