March was B Corporation month. In our bi-weekly B Corp series we took the opportunity to explain what B Corporations actually do for the world… for their employees, clients, community and the environment. This month of April we will focus on the environment.
Earth Day is coming up on the 22nd of April. This day has a compelling history, coming into existence due to harm done by certain manufactured products and the polluting of the environment by various businesses. Unfortunately, the need for an Earth Day still is with us, as there continues to be instances of harm to people and the environment. But we can say that there has been great progress, with B Corporations leading the way!
This week we will look at what two companies are doing to screen their suppliers and improve their products. We’re featuring B Corporations with brands that many of us are familiar with: Seventh Generation and Natura &Co. We hope you enjoy these stories about business being good for the world.
B Corps Doing Business Better: Screening Supply Chains for Positive Impact
By Screening Suppliers for Environmental and Social Practices, B Corps Benefit People and Planet
“The B Impact Assessment (BIA) serves as more than an evaluation method for companies pursuing or renewing B Corp Certification: It also can be a screening tool to encourage suppliers to adopt practices and policies for positive impact. Screening suppliers for positive impact with the help of the assessment also can expand the B Corp community by exposing more companies to the stakeholder mindset that incorporates workers, environment, customers, community, and shareholders.
“By helping B Corps — and, in turn, their suppliers — measure their impact and pursue continual improvement, the BIA is a critical component of the B Corp movement. B Corps of all sizes rely on goal-setting, best-practice sharing, and improvement metrics within the BIA to advance a more inclusive and regenerative economy. Suppliers are more than businesses that provide products — they offer services that affect the environment, employ people, and serve customers. By encouraging or requiring suppliers to factor environmental and social benefits into their business decisions and practices, B Corps amplify their values and build the B Economy.”
Seventh Generation’s Supplier Code of Conduct
“Seventh Generation markets household and personal care products designed to protect our planet and our health, and ensure an equitable and healthy planet for the next seven generations. The Burlington, Vermont-based B Corp has built a business with $200 million in annual revenue in more than 25 countries.
“Its Supplier Code of Conduct, first adopted in 2013, includes social and environmental standards that collaborating companies must meet or pursue with an emphasis on respect for people and the environment as well as practices that are ethical, transparent, and responsible.”
Natura & Co’s Brand and Supply Chain Impact Management
“After completing its third time through the BIA, which B Corps take every three years for recertification, Natura & Co continues to evolve and grow its environmental, social, and economic impact. In addition to Natura, two of its cosmetics group brands are B Corps: The Body Shop, since 2019, and Aesop, which has just achieved this recognition. This group also includes Avon, which Natura acquired in 2020 and aims to get B Corp Certified by 2026.
“Based in Brazil, the multinational brand with $14 billion in annual revenue has global reach and impact through its operations and stakeholders. Last year, Natura acted to amplify that impact by announcing its sustainability vision with a plan to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues, including addressing the climate crisis, protecting the Amazon rainforest, defending human rights, and embracing circularity and regeneration by 2030. Its suppliers play key roles in several of these goals, including Natura’s circularity approach:”