Fairware is a founding Canadian Benefit Corporation (Certified B Corporation or B Corp). B Corps make up a large portion of our businesses and the community of B Corps is instrumental in keeping us inspired and motivated. We thought we’d share some of the reasons and benefits to become a B Corp based on Fairware’s experience.
What is a B Corporation?
Certified B Corporations are recognized as using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The formal definition of “Benefit Corporation” says Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
At Fairware, we’ve been committed to using business as a force for good from day one. We were certified in 2010 and to become a B Corporation, Fairware had to achieve 3 things:
- Take and pass the B Impact Rating System which sets a benchmark for the social and environmental impact of good companies.
- Adopt the B Corporation Legal Framework to incorporate the mission of Fairware into our legal structure.
- Sign a Term Sheet that makes our certification official.
How many B Corporations are there?
There are over 2,500 B Corps around the world (in more than 50 countries). Collectively, the B Corp community uses a common framework to drive social and environmental change by using their businesses as a force for good in the communities and countries where they operate. The list of B Corps is impressive, from global brands like Danone to leading sustainability business leaders like Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s and over 200 Canadian Benefit Corps.
5 Benefits of Becoming A B Corp
Our experience of being a B Corp has tangible benefits for our company – it’s been a great fit for us.
- Membership in the B Corp Community
The ability to connect and share with other B Corp leaders has been incredible. Whether it’s getting insight on a challenge or opportunity or being inspired by what other B Corp leaders are doing, access to the talent and experience of the B Corp community has been valuable.
- Access to Best Practice Standards
Having access to the B Lab brain trust is like having our own in-house sustainability department. The B Lab team keeps tabs on emerging social and environmental standards, corporate social responsibility trends and activist campaigns, things we don’t always have time to do ourselves. They are a great resource for examples, case studies, and tips and tricks for improving our own efforts.
- Collective Marketing Campaigns
The B Lab team creates ready to roll content for sharing and communicating with your clients and employees. The 2019 ‘Vote Everyday’ campaign reminds consumers you have voice and power beyond the ballot box. By buying from, working for and doing business with B Corps, you vote for what you believe in. Every day is election day. The campaign is being supported by leading B Corps and the collective visibility is greater than anything we could achieve on our own marketing budget.
- Third Party Recognition for our Social and Environmental Responsibility Efforts
In a world where greenwashing is a real risk, having a third-party certification to hold us accountable to our commitments helps to separate us from our competitors. Our B Corp certification sends the signal that we’re serious about our sustainability efforts.
- Business Development and Lead Generation
The B Corp community loves to support each other. We always look to other B Corps to be suppliers, vendors, and partners. In 2018 over 20% of our sales were from other B Corps or from organizations and institutions that told us they chose to do business with us as a result of our B Corp status.