What is B Corp Month?

In the world of business the bottom line usually takes precedence. But over the last 18 years a movement towards a broader understanding of what it means to do good business has been quietly growing: the B Corp movement. March, known as B Corp Month, is a time to celebrate companies that are determined to make positive change in the world.

These are the businesses that are actively reducing their emissions, looking after the wellbeing of their employees, and tying executive compensation to how well they are doing on the social and environmental front. They are, in short, doing better than the norm, and showing it is possible to run a business without pursuing profit at any cost.

So, as 2024's B Corp Month comes to an end we thought we’d take some time to celebrate the month, the movement, and the community of UK businesses who are part of it.  

The Start of the Movement

Our story begins in 2006. There was already a growing awareness that current ways of doing business were leading to emergencies for global ecosystems and climates, and that things would have to change. There was plenty of talk about doing better, but no way for companies to show that they were walking the walk. 

So three friends from Stanford University in the US —Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy decided to create a framework that could be used to judge whether a company was having a positive impact for the environment, its workers, and the wider community. Thus, B Lab, the nonprofit behind B Corp certification, was born.

In 2007, the first group of 82 companies received their B Corp certification, officially becoming the pioneers of a movement that would grow around the world. As of February 2024 there are 8,254 B Corps in the world, from coffee roasters to clothing companies to, you guessed it, eco-friendly toilet roll brands

Running the Gauntlet

Becoming a B Corp isn't for the faint-hearted. It's a rigorous process that puts companies through a comprehensive evaluation. The B Impact Assessment scrutinizes a company's impact on its workers, customers, community, and the environment. Companies must score at least 80 out of 200 points and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

So it’s not a walk in the park, but at Naked Sprout we’ve found huge benefits in opening ourselves up to this assessment. It encourages us to always pursue the best practices in our supply chain, employee welfare, and environmental impact, and document the fact that we are doing so. 

B Corp month is a time where those of us who have run the gauntlet can celebrate our hard work and shout out the other companies making a change. 

Highlights of B Corp Month 2024 have been a pop-up bar in London, serving delicious drinks made exclusively by B Corp certified brands, and a mural in Manchester’s historic Northern Quarter, celebrating the flourishing community of regenerative businesses in the UK’s manufacturing heartlands. 

Continuous Improvement

Another great thing about having a month set aside for B Corps is that it provides a space to give updates. Certification isn’t a one-time thing, companies who seek the B Corp label need to show that they are actively looking for ways to improve and to implement progressive changes over time. 

We are incredibly proud to be one of the 1500 B Corps in the UK, with a score that is far above the average, and plans to go higher. At the moment our score is a very respectable 128.4, the highest for any eco toilet roll brand. But we never rest on our laurels at Naked Sprout. We kicked off B Corp month by moving the European leg of our transport to electrified rails, and we won't be stopping there. 

As well as B Corp certification, Naked Sprout has targets approved with the Science Based Targets Initiative, so we have the best guidance on ways we can minimise the environmental impact of our operations, as well as some ideas of our own! And our factory is a B Corp in its own right, so their fantastic team upholds the same commitment to regenerative business. 

Our recertification will come later on this year - watch this space.

B Corp: More Than Just a Certification

Being a B Corp is about using the power of business to address social and environmental problems, not because it’s easy, but because it’s necessary. As we come to the end of B Corp Month we're delighted to lend our voice to this global call to action.

Here's to being a force for good, to pushing boundaries, and to keeping a clear view of the horizon; a brighter, more sustainable future. We're looking forward to B Corp month 2025!

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