Our first article of the special session on B Corp shares the concept of "B Corp", discusses how B Corps leverage their business power to create a better society.
Meanwhile, Leping’s SVP (Social Venture Partners) program, Yicai Foundation and CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) jointly hosted “Do Good Together: B Corp Initiative Party”, which involved partners, researchers, practitioners who achieved commercial success, and companies with “B Corp” qualities to discuss how to make money while doing good to the society.
To kick off the event, we presented the stories of 3 companies to show the core of “B Corp”; in terms of impact, credibility, transparency and law, these 3 companies are exemplary and appraised as B Corps by the B Lab. In the meantime, they are devoted to solving social issues and generating social values by the power of commerce.
Esty, a refreshing online shopping website offering customer experience beyond your imagination: one Esty shop owner used 120 emails to make the ideal wedding ring for its customer.
Patagonia, named by Fortune in 2007 as the coolest company on the planet, is a B Corp that makes outdoor clothing. It makes shell jackets with great heat retention property using polyester fleece that recycled from plastic soda bottles. At the meantime, it donates 1% of its sales as “Earth Tax” to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world, which contributes to environmental protection indirectly.
As a company that care democracy, environmental protection and world peace deeply, Ben & Jerry’ defies the image of average ice-cream labels. Once the second popular ice-cream brand after Haagen-Dazs, it built a reputation on wide variety of flavors and novel design. In the recent years, Ben & Jerry’s has been promoting democary relentlessly, by advocating individuals to fully exercise their right to vote.
All these three companies became B-Corp certified in 2010. To them, for-profit enterprises should not only be held accountable to shareholders, but also to the whole human society and the planet.
On the “Do Good Together: B Corp Initiative Party” held on 26th, August, we also invited 6 “B-Corp in-the-making” (2 of them are already certified B-Corps) to share their stories with us. Their stories signify a pursuit beyond commercial profit. Just as Zhou Xufeng, the vice secretary of Yicai Foundation said on the night: “I hope we can be delicate altruists. If we can be delicate egoists, then we shouldn’t be to crude when it comes to altruism.”
DaddyLab: An “Angry Daddy” Who Does Toxicology Tests
By conducting toxicology testing on daily goods, DaddyLab ensures the healthy growth of children. Financed by crowd funding, the founder Daddy Wei exposes invisible chemical hazards in children’s daily life through testing ordinary objects such as book covers, pencils, school uniforms, even cutting boards, knives and electronic mosquito swatters.
Wei Wenfeng (founder): During the building of DaddyLab, I received all kinds of help from people around me. What moves us forward is not only commercial gains, but the noble love of society that we’ve seen from people. I believe this is what B Corp calls for.
SWNE: Treating the “Nature Deficit Disorder”
SWNE promotes embracing nature as a way of life for the public, especially our next generation through nature experiences (such as hiking and fieldtrips), R&D on natural education course and training on natural education specialists.
Ma Xiaoqi (co-founder): SWNE was born out of a survey on “nature deficit disorder”, a term coined by American writer Richard Louv. We found out that not only children are spending less time outdoors, grownups are also getting more indifferent to their soundings, which is a great loss to both of them.
Yimishiji: Changes starting from a Grain of Rice
Yimishiji is an online farmer’s market dedicated to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers. It wants to introduce the friendly and diligent farmers behind every grain of rice on the dining table.
Raymond Chang (founding member): Farmers can look cool and edgy too. We want to help trustworthy farmers to thrive and win respect in this harsh market. At meantime, we utilize Design Thinking to create the best user experience for our online marketplace. For example, we built our own cold-chain logistic and equip every delivery man with an eco-friendly box to ensure the freshness of fruits and vegetables.
Workface: All for One and One for All
Workface provides startupers with a public space for mutual services, study and support. It intends to build a community of mutual help and support for this “high mortality” career. With an underlying “all-for-one-and-one-for-all-ness”, in four years, it managed to amplify its impact through a 50,000 strong startupers’ community.
First Respond—First B Corp in Mainland China
The very first certified B Corporation in Mainland China—First Respond—is dedicated to improving citizen’s first aid skills and awareness. As of June 2016, it has successfully guaranteed the safety of more than 140 race events nationwide.
Robin Lu (First Respond’s CEO): B Corp is already well known the US, as many people recognize the B Corp label and know it's a strictly verified good company. It works the same way to investors, saving them lots of time to check a company’s impact on society and environment.
The Honest Company: Keeping Our Babies from Unsafe Products
The Honest Co., founded by American actress Jessica Alba, is a mission-driven baby products producer that provides unquestionably safe, eco-friendly products for babies and homes. A certified B-Corp, its vision is to build a consumer brand that offers safe, environmental friendly, quality products for everybody.
Whether B-Corp certified or not, these companies advocate a same message: their goal is not only maximize the interests of their shareholders, but to make positive impact and contributions to the world. They long to be the pacesetter of their respective industries while nourishing all stakeholders along the way.
The B Impact Assessment—the first step in becoming a certified B-Corporation—is not only a set of appraisal standards, but also rigorous criteria for self-assessment regarding governing, employees, community, environment, impact, business model and information disclosure. Whether applying for B Corp or not, these standards are worth deliberating on: how to use B Lab’s evaluation tool and the “B-Corp community” with more than1800 B Corps to better improve one’s business.
Every enterprise applying for B Corp certification is asked to sign the Declaration of Interdependence, marking that it enters into a community based on reciprocity and mutual benefit.