B Corp and Beyond: Which Sustainability Certification is Right for Your Brand?
If you clicked on this, it’s likely you’ve already looked into sustainability certificates with your colleagues – hey, maybe you’ve even tuned into Purpose Talks?
With eco creds fast becoming a key driver of consumer purchasing decisions, it might feel like snatching that sustainability certificate has never been more important. But as any of these organizations will testify, the purpose is bigger than sales. Subscribing to a sustainability certification is about holding yourself (and your colleagues) accountable for every seemingly tiny decision that’s made under your watch. ‘Scuse the Orwellian slip, but it’s about working together towards a greater good.
You might be B Corp-curious, but have you ever heard of 1% for the Planet or Rainforest Alliance? Let us introduce you to a few of our faves. For more expert takes on sustainability certifications, and to get the inside scoop from each of the organizations below, make sure to check out episode five of Purpose Talks.
Perfect for: Any purpose-driven brands that are prepared to hustle.
Who’s in the club? Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Allbirds...
Let’s start with the OG. It’s the one you’ve all heard of: B Corp certification. This label is awarded by B Labs, a nonprofit dedicated to driving economic systems change by creating new standards, policies and tools for businesses – and yes, awarding true pioneers that hallowed B Corp stamp of approval. Applicants must prove that their brand has an overall positive impact on society and the environment. You’ll also be asked to sign a legal pledge, promising to consider the impact of your brand’s decisions on all of its stakeholders. Nothing good comes easy, eh?
Perfect for: Green-fingered go-getters looking to support the little folks
Who’s in the club? Hershey’s, Alpro, Walmart…
Rainforest Alliance is an international NGO on a mission to create a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. Its froggy certification seal indicates a commitment to improving life for those at the bottom of the supply chain. Rainforest alliance helps farmers produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase their productivity, and reduce costs.
Perfect for: Small but mighty startups and freelance lone rangers
Who’s in the club? Skoon, Envirokidz, Seedlip drinks
The premise is simple: to qualify as a member, you’ll need to contribute at least 1% of your brand’s annual sales or your annual salary to environmental causes. Yes, this label is a boon for fresh-faced startups or wantrepreneurs looking to embark on their purpose journey but without the resources to pursue a B Corp application. Once you’ve joined the club, you’ll be part of an exclusive community. You can attend Giving Circles – virtual networking events where you can discuss environmental causes with fellow purpose professionals – get invitations to events and exclusive offers from member brands.
Don’t stop here. Tune in to episode five of Purpose Talks to get the inside scoop directly from leaders at each of these organizations.