B Corps Month
March is B Corp month and Klean Kanteen is proud to be a Certified B Corp. The “benefit” part of our mission is a big deal to us. From the products we make to the nonprofit partnerships we forge and the way we show up in our communities, B Corps are on a mission to make a positive impact in the world. It’s about voting every day with small, personal actions. Living your values through your purchases and choices. Together we can change the world with the choices we make. It’s about asking: Who will I choose to B?
But what is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit. B Corp is short for Benefit Corporation. Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment.
It is a legal certification that businesses can choose, instead of becoming an LLC or a C Corp, which requires them to submit an annual benefit report to their shareholders. Where C Corps are mandated to prioritize profit for their shareholders, B Corps are obligated to prioritize people and planet at the same level as profits.
Because B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their business decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment, they are setting a new standard and leading a global movement to use business as a force for good. When for-profit companies leverage the power of their businesses, they can quickly build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
With more than 3200 B Corps in 150 industries and 71 countries around the world, our collective values are already driving demand for eco-friendly goods, transparency, and corporate social responsibility. According to the Harvard Business Review, “the landscape of American corporations is changing,” and B Corps are the future.
How do B Corporations make a positive impact?
Establishing your business as a B Corp is both a commitment to better business practices and a tool for accountability. Any brand can label their product as “green,” “natural,” or “eco-friendly,” but there are very few ways of enforcing or regulating those claims. Organizations like B Lab prevent greenwashing and ensure that the brands they certify are actually making decisions that are good for people and planet. Holding businesses accountable is hugely important in shifting our economy to a more sustainable, inclusive model that works for everyone—but B Corp doesn’t stop there. In addition to pushing brands to be a force for good, B Corp’s initiatives encourage customers to make better decisions on a daily basis.
In addition to encouraging corporate and consumer action, B Corps empower employees to take direct action. B Corps around the world have performed over 1 million hours of volunteer service, and are shown to be 98% more likely to hire workers from historically underemployed communities. As B Labs points out, “people want to work for, buy from, and invest in businesses they believe in. B Corp Certification is a powerful way to build that credibility, trust, and value."
When I started my first position at Klean I didn’t know how much being a B Corp would affect my decision making outside of these walls. But since working here I have seen a major shift in the way I consume, and how important it is to research the products you are bringing into your home. It has also helped me understand the importance of the quality of a business that I’m happy to support because I’ve done my research.
Being a B-Corp has always given me a sense of pride—knowing that we joined a community of companies that took that leap of full transparency. Not only does it provide transparency for our consumers, but it also provides transparency in our own lives and the decisions we make for our own families. - Abbi Karge, Klean Kanteen Marketing Specialist
What being a B Corp means to Klean Kanteen
For Klean Kanteen, being a B Corp means putting our community and our planet first. It means making products that won’t pollute the planet, giving back through programs like 1% For The Planet, committing to going Climate Neutral, and working together with nonprofit partners in our communities to forge meaningful relationships. One of the most exciting aspects of our business is getting to work with amazing partners who take action every day to make this planet a better place for all living beings.
Our Nonprofit Outreach Manager, Caroleigh Pierce, is proud to work for a B Corp because “It means being a part of a movement of brands who see beyond profit and numbers. We have a report card to guide our goals and a roadmap to keep us moving forward and always improving how we run our business and care for our people.” For Klean Kanteen employees, that report card helps encourage us to bring our values into everything that we do, both as humans and as businesspeople. It encourages us to make better decisions and holds us accountable to our community.
Whether you are a business owner, an employee, or a customer—your choices have the power to make an impact. By supporting B Corps, you can build your personal awareness and interaction with the issues that matter to you and vote with your dollar for the world that you believe in. And that’s exactly how we choose to B.