B Corp: A New Kind of Corporation

By: Co+op

A growing community of companies is seeking to redefine success in business. Profit is one measure of success, but increasingly more and more business are including their social and environmental impact as additional and important measures of success. How do businesses measure this and how do consumers, who may wish to support such organizations, know how businesses are doing? That's where B Corp comes in. B Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, certifies companies as B Corporations in much the same way the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) certifies LEED buildings.

B Lab's hope is that through developing this new type of corporation, individuals will have greater economic opportunity, society will move closer to achieving a positive environmental footprint, more people will be employed in great places to work, and we will have built stronger communities at home and across the world.

So, why can't corporations do all this on their own? They can, but B Corp addresses a couple challenges many corporations face:

  1. Current corporate law makes it difficult for businesses to take employee, community, and environmental interests into consideration when making decisions
  2. The lack of transparent standards makes it difficult to tell the difference between a 'good company' and just good marketing. (B Corporations all have public B Impact Reports, so anyone can access performance data about the social and environmental practices that stand behind their products. (Find a searchable list of companies and their B Impact Reports.)
B Corps, unlike traditional businesses:
  1. Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards
  2. Meet higher legal accountability standards
  3. Build business constituency for public policies that support sustainable business

B Corp performance standards are comprehensive and transparent and B Corp's legal structure expands corporate accountability so corporations are required to make decisions that are good for society, not just their shareholders.

There are over 6,000 Certified B Corporations across 150 different industries—from food and apparel to attorneys and office supplies. And National Co+op Grocers (NCG), the organization that brings you this website is proud to be a Certified B Corporation.

Find more info about B Corps on their website,