If you’ve ever spent time on the couch with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s (don’t lie) or browsed through Chloé’s website, you might have come across a little black and white logo of an encircled capital B.
It stands for B Corp Certification, one of the most reputable certifications out there, signalling brands that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance.
As customers, we can take that information at face value: you see the B Corp logo, you know a brand is doing good. But one of the most interesting things we’ve discovered about this certification is just how hard it is to achieve. There are no shortcuts in this process. If a brand wants to wear their impact on their sleeve, they have to prove they’ve put in the work to get that tick of approval.
So, what exactly does that involve? To answer our burning B Corp questions, we spoke to Ella Drake, the founder of Monarc Jewellery. Over the last two years, she’s been working through the B Corp application process and recently became New Zealand’s first B Corp certified jewellery brand.
What is a B Corporation?
The first generation of B Corps were certified in 2007, and the number of brands earning the certification has grown exponentially ever since. In fact, there are now more than 5,000 businesses from over 80 countries who have the accreditation.
Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab – a nonprofit network working to make businesses a force for good. “B Corp has always been a really sound and balanced company … it’s not about focussing on one aspect but a 360 [degree] approach – a holistic approach” Ella says. This means they only certify companies who meet the highest standard in an array of areas: verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.