Put simply, B Corps are businesses that are truly committed to using their resources to make the world a better place. While one might think that all companies and their owners would want this, what sets B Corps apart is that they have made an actual commitment to evaluating their own positive impact, and have achieved a certain minimum grade on the B Impact Assessment. The assessment examines the operations and values of a company, and its specific impact on its own employees, environment, and community at large.
Now, more than 3000 B Corps exist, and with public interest in sustainability steadily on the rise, that number will only continue to grow. With a huge variety of companies using a huge variety of methods to improve the world, B Corps could be at the forefront of a more sustainable future. Here, we’re going to share our top 5 picks for current B Corps that are really making a difference:
1. Tom’s of Maine
If you have ever gone on a hunt for a natural toothpaste brand, you have likely come across Tom’s of Maine. Tom’s of Maine chooses only naturally sourced, naturally derived ingredients, each of which has a specific purpose within their formulas. Tom’s of Maine also happens to be the creator of the world’s first recyclable toothpaste tube, something that could revolutionize how we dispose of dental products.
On top of choosing the best and most sustainable ingredients, Tom’s of Maine works to examine sustainability in all areas of their business and has a number of environmental and community-based initiatives that are constantly in motion. At Tom’s each employee is encouraged to take 12 full days a year off work with pay to dedicate their time to volunteering for causes they are passionate about, and the corporation as a whole shares 10% of its profits annually to local and national charities and environmental initiatives.
One of the first categories of items most people give up when they decide to start living sustainably is plastic bags, which is exactly the market ChicoBag has tapped into. ChicoBag creates reusable alternatives to items that are typically single-use, and is best known for its reusable grocery bags which can be folded in on themselves and tucked into a pocket, purse, backpack, or glove compartment in the car.
Along with providing tons of high-quality reusable alternatives to single-use items (which wreak havoc on the environment), the ChicoBag team works hard to maintain a sustainable and eco-friendly work environment. The ChicoBag team works together to eliminate food waste, prevent paper waste, and donates tons of products to fixed and low-income families to make sustainability more accessible.
Allbirds was founded with the idea of making footwear more sustainable, since most popular footwear brands almost exclusively use synthetic materials which can be extremely harmful to the environment. Allbirds shoes are made from sustainably sourced renewable resources, have a carbon footprint half the size of competitor products, and are crafted using all-natural materials.
The tops of Allbirds shoes are made from merino wool, which is super breathable and naturally moisture-wicking! The wool used by the Allbirds company comes from New Zealand, where sheep outnumber humans by around 6 to 1. Because of the abundance of sheep and beautiful land for them to live happy, healthy lives, the production of merino wool requires around 60% less energy than producing synthetic materials.
While Allbirds shoes may not be zero-emissions just yet, that is where the company is headed. Until they reach this goal, however, Allbirds taxes themselves by offsetting their emissions with donations to organizations working to combat climate change.
Patagonia is well known as a maker of high-end gear for lovers of the outdoors, which is why it should come as no surprise to know that Patagonia is also a company that is seriously dedicated to the environment. There is a lot to be said about how Patagonia is taking care of the planet, so let’s get started listing just a few of their many initiatives.
In terms of their products, 72% of items made by the company utilize recycled materials in some way, and 76% are Fair Trade Certified sewn. Keeping with that theme, thanks to Patagonia, 66,000 get support through the Fair Trade Program. To reduce their overall carbon footprint, Patagonia participates in a number of initiatives, and has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Pela is on a mission to change how people buy phone cases, and it all starts with eliminating plastic. Pela creates phone cases that feel and work like hard plastic, but are actually made from a proprietary plant-based compostable blend. Pela manufactures phone cases, sunglasses, and other accessories from their 100% compostable plastic, encouraging users to toss them right in their backyard compost pile once they are no longer useful to them.
Pela products are designed to compost fully in residential and commercial compost piles, but Pela’s customer base isn’t limited to home-owners or those with big backyards. Pela makes their eco-friendly plastic product alternatives super accessible to anyone that is ready to make the switch. The Pela 360 program allows customers to send their used phone cases back, where they are either properly composted or ground down to be made into new items.
By offering a truly superior plastic alternative, Pela and its customers have prevented more than 336,438 pounds of plastic from being produced. Pela is also Climate Neutral Certified and a member of 1% for the Planet and Save the Waves and a number of other community support initiatives.