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COVID-19: 
Making businesses socially & environmentally sustainable is the new norm

This article will give you a better understanding of what B Corp stands for, the importance to shift paradigms & why this certification should no longer be overlooked.

Written by Christina Andersen 04/2022

During the peak of COVID-19, the world was witnessing an unprecedented event. Everything changed. A third of the world population was put on lockdown, millions of workers furloughed or laid off. People were locked into their homes, unable to step a foot outside. Millions of people have died: clearly, our system does not work anymore.

 

But there isn’t just bad news, COVID-19 offered a chance to reset and reshape the world in a more sustainable way, giving full responsibility to people and businesses to take ownership of the future. Companies on a global scale are becoming more sensitive towards climate change, social inequality and the negative impact their activities have on our planet. The good news is, sustainability and profit are two words that can complement each other! In fact, the first Impact Report for B Corps in Italy, which was published in 2021,  mentions that there was an impressive +26% increase of B Corps in the country only based on that year! 

But what exactly is a B Corp?

 

Certified B Corporations are companies that have been certified by the nonprofit B Lab to have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency — it is similar to the Fairtrade certification for coffee, but for a business.

There is a growing global community of over 5000 Certified B Corps across hundreds of industries in over 80 countries working together towards one unifying goal: to redefine success in business so that one day all companies will compete not just to be the best in the world but also to be the best for the world.

 

Patagonia, Danone, Ben & Jerry’s and Natura and other smaller businesses like startups use business as a force for good. 24Bottles, the Italian design brand born in 2013, was officially certified a B Corp in January 2020 and aims to reduce the impact of disposable plastic bottles on the planet and lives. Their main goal is to create a better future for the generations to come.

 

Parma-based company ESPERTA was also just certified a B Corp back in April this year, and offers professional ecological investigation services, environmental education and use of natural environments.

Companies that desire to become a B Corp must meet three basic requirements: verified social and environmental performance, legal accountability and public transparency.

 

What are the benefits of becoming a B Corp?

 

There are many benefits of becoming a B Corp, for instance being part of a global community of leaders, attracting talent and engaging employees, increasing credibility and building trust, benchmarking and improving performance, but also protecting a company’s mission for the long-term and generating press and awareness.

 

To have a clear idea of where your company is standing and see where there is room for improvement, the B Corp website offers a free tool to assess, compare, as well as improve your social and environmental performance — the B Impact Assessment is your starting point.

 

Why do Certified B Corps believe that this pandemic could raise some new opportunities?

This pandemic proved to show how people can come together and support each other. Many local businesses offered and are still offering their support to the more vulnerable (many of them being B Corps) and perhaps these unfortunate events will influence our decision-making for the future and encourage more companies to join the movement. Doing good for the people and the planet whilst reaching your company's financial goals is not just possible, it has become a must.

 

May the community spirit continue to shine and let’s B the change to make this world a better place!

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