Many companies state that they are socially and environmentally responsible, but it can be difficult for consumers to know that these statements are actively enforced. There has historically been a distinct lack of transparency of about social responsibility. However, this is slowly but surely changing with the adoption by many companies of Certified B Corporations standards.
More than 1,200 companies in 41 countries and 120 industries have become Certified B Corps, voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. In short, these organizations work to be the “best for the world.”
Companies are certified by the non-profit B Lab. For companies to earn the designation, they must score points on a lengthy questionnaire that includes topics such as diversity of executive ranks, pay for the lowest-paid employee, and companywide recycling programs. Notable companies earning the certification include Etsy, Patagonia, Warby Parker, Plum Organics, and Ben & Jerry’s. Check it out – be the change.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the concepts of corporate social responsibility. What are essential components?
- Before showing the Web site for B Labs, divide students into teams and have them identify companies that they think act in a socially responsible manner. Do they patronize these businesses?
- Show the Web site: https://www.bcorporation.net/ There are various videos and information on the site.
- Have student teams analyze the information. Then, using this information, develop a business plan that meet the certification criteria.
Source: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, other news sources