Certified B Corporations: Examples & the Promo Products World

Traditionally, businesses are organized to maximize “shareholder value.”  Yet, that ignores the influence that all businesses, large and small, have […]

Mark Jackson

President at SwagDrop


Traditionally, businesses are organized to maximize “shareholder value.” 

Yet, that ignores the influence that all businesses, large and small, have on the environment around them. 

B corporations recognize that businesses are part of a much bigger world and should strive to have a good influence. 

In addition, a B company seeks to succeed and serve its shareholders’ interests, considering employees, consumers, and the environment

We have created this post to shed light on certified B corporations so you can get to know more about the topic, examples, and their impact on our society today.

What is a Certified B Corporation?

A certified B corporation–also called B Corp– is a new form of company.

B Corps are corporations that voluntarily satisfy the highest social and environmental performance requirements. 

In addition, they must do a full review of their company’s effects on all stakeholders and have their assessment confirmed by B Lab, the charity behind the B Corp accreditation.

Unlike typical corporations, which prioritize financial prosperity, B Corps utilize the power of business to solve social and environmental issues.

Example #1: Patagonia

Patagonia is a famous outdoor clothing brand. The brand has a long-term commitment to exceptional products and environmental initiatives that earned them the UN Champion of the Earth in 2019, the UN’s highest environmental distinction.

Image Source: Patagonia

Also, the corporation has become the first California firm to sign up for B certification in 2012, implementing an earth tax on itself, and donated 100% (yes, 100%) of its Black Friday revenues in the past to grassroots groups striving to safeguard air, water, and soil quality for future generations. 

Since 1985, the corporation has given more than $89 million to environmental causes.

Moreover, it defies corporate convention by being unafraid of going political. 

For example, after the previous Trump administration considered downsizing two national monuments by up to 85%, it spearheaded boycotts and sued the US government.

That’s the real change we should be all talking about!

Example #2: Tentree

Tentree is another outdoor clothing brand that sees itself as a forestry initiative that happens to sell garments. 

For every product purchased, the firm plants ten trees as part of deliberate initiatives that reforest the environment and help communities rebuild around sustainable local economies.

Image Source: TenTree

Tentree has planted nearly 57 million new trees since its beginnings. 

In addition, the company’s objective is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.

The brand’s items are generally comfortable, plain sweatshirts, tees, leggings, and other essential clothing that is reasonably priced.

Furthermore, it created a thriving online community and is the owner of one of the most-liked Instagram photos of all time.

Image Source: Instagram

The world’s most sustainable post for sure!

Example #3: The Body Shop

You may recognize The Body Shop from regular mall visits. 

Still, the business has a devoted following due to its social responsibilities and the vast range of ethically produced body care goods. 

In 2019, the firm was accredited as a B Corp.

Image Source: The Body Shop

Since its inception in 1976, The Body Shop has been involved in several advocacy activities, including being the first multinational cosmetics business certified by the Humane Cosmetics Standard.

In addition, The Body Shop has formed a community trade collaboration with the Tungteiya Women’s Association in northern Ghana. 

As a result, over 640 women are helping find the high-quality shea butter utilized in The Body Shop’s products. 

Certified B Corporations vs. Benefit Corporations

The main difference between certified B corporations and benefit corporations is that the benefit corporation is a legal structure that can be formed in numerous states, while a B Corp is a certification provided by B Lab. 

Image Source: Bcorporation

It is considered that benefit corporations are a type of state-recognized firm (similar to an LLC or nonprofit corporation), while B Corps are typical businesses that have received a socially conscious certification (such as the LEED certification or Good Housekeeping’s “Seal of Approval“). 

To illustrate more, the first is the real legal “person,” while the second is the “sticker” that the person can acquire if the conditions are satisfied.

The B Corp permits a business to be created in order to tackle certain social or environmental challenges

Although not every business is eligible for this categorization, it can be a powerful tool for developing a united identity. 

The qualifying procedure, on the other hand, is more lengthy since the company’s social or environmental welfare purpose must be certified. 

Here are some benefits and drawbacks of forming a B Corp to think about before submitting your articles of incorporation.

Advantage #1: Powerful Marketing Tool

Having a B Corp classification is a powerful marketing tool in itself. 

It instantly lends your company legitimacy to the subject you’re attempting to promote. Many businesses claim to be “going green” or “helping the environment” via various accreditations that may or may not be genuine. 

In addition, the B Corp designation shows customers that you take your goal seriously and can back up your promises with solid proof.

Advantage #2: Influencing Built-in Criteria

When a corporation has several shareholders, the internal argument regarding the appropriate course of action to take can be difficult and time-consuming. 

The B Corp has built-in features that assist in influencing a company’s path. 

Moreover, some requirements must be satisfied such as random audits performed to ensure that all regulations are followed.

Advantage #3: Ability to Exchange Resources

Once a B Corp is permitted to be established, it has access to a wide range of member resources

The company status enables immediate networking with other business owners who have similar aims in their respective localities, therefore this fellowship enables mutually beneficial sharing that other businesses may not always be able to provide.

Disadvantage #1: No Tax Advantages

Unless you have a tax-exempt status linked with your B Corp, your organization will be required to pay the same taxes as any other corporation. 

There are no extra tax advantages to having this classification.

The benefits and drawbacks of a B Corp demonstrate that it might be advantageous to individuals who have a business that qualifies for such a structure. 

It is recommended to check whether you can apply for this status when you draft your articles of incorporation, and then start to prepare to remain in compliance so that you can reap all of the advantages of being a B Corp.

Disadvantage #2: Hard to Maintain Accountability

You can have a favorable experience with your B Corp if you are able to keep your B Corp status by passing random audits and being upfront about your objective. 

If you fail an audit or can’t verify you’re keeping loyal to your declared objective, your certification will be called into question

B Corps and the Promotional Products World: 3 Bright Examples

Promotional products are here to spread a powerful message and raise awareness.

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s (ASI) 2020 Global Ad Impressions research, 46% of purchasers have a more positive perception of a business if they get eco-friendly swag

One of the most effective methods to engage with today’s shoppers is to demonstrate that your firm values something greater than itself.

In this following section, we shall be highlighting three examples of B corporates that create high-quality and sustainable swag items committing to being the best of both worlds

Sustainability

A great example of persistently keeping the sustainable act intact is Eco-Hilana.

Under their triple impact requirement, they create great fabrics from recycled materials in a zero-waste method.

Also, they are completely dedicated to developing and discovering new methods to minimize environmental impact.

Image Source: Eco-Hilana

A great product Hilana features is their upcycled Fethiye throw blanket you can see below.

The throw blanket is composed of recycled cotton, which makes it softer and more durable. 

The more you wash and wear it, the softer it gets! 

Another great feature is that Hilana blankets fold down to a small size. 

Accountability

Bellroy adheres to the most practical principles, which has led to their day-to-day decision-making and high levels of accountability.

Their principles are as follows:

  • Create products that will be used and recognized for as long as possible
  • Eliminate severe toxins from  products and packaging
  • Seek biodegradable or reusable materials and items where they apply
  • Reduce waste and energy consumption throughout the process
  • Actively seek a better understanding of our impact and how to minimize it
 Image Source: Bellroy

One of Bellroy’s popular sustainable products is their elegant-looking laptop sleeve you can see here.

The environmentally friendly Bellroy 15″ Laptop Sleeve has a magnetic bumper opening for scratch-free security as well as a quilted microfiber inner for further protection

In addition, it’s composed of recycled woven fabric called looma weave and has a sleek shape that makes it incredibly simple to carry

Transparency

Klean Kanteen is a family-owned B Corp that is a worldwide leader in BPA-free, stainless steel drinkware, and food transportation.

Many of their items are made from 90%  post-consumer repurposed 18/8 stainless steel

The company is very transparent about its actions and they always provide full information on what they’re doing at the moment and in the future.

They have shared their newest plan; by 2023, recycled steel will make up 95% of their products which is a very significant move.

Image Source: Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen features a lot of great swag items such as their thermal bottle.  

The café cap is created with portability and adaptability in mind, resulting in a very practical water bottle, coffee mug, sports bottle, and insulated cup all in one package. 

It also has a double-wall climate lock vacuum insulation that keeps contents hot for up to 17 hours or cold for up to 47 hours.

What do you think?

In many respects, the conventional corporate structure has controlled our knowledge of how we think and speak about business. 

The development of new organizational structures will need us to start reimagining what the essential building blocks of business are made of so we can move forward.

In case you have any questions in regards to the topic discussed or you need any promotional product related advice, feel free to reach out any time.

Thank you for reading! 

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