What is a B Corp?

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Picture: Restoring a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail near Portland, OR during the 2015 B Corporation Champions Retreat.
What is a B Corporation? You may have seen the logo in our catalog or on our website and wondered what it meant. After three days of connecting with hundreds of people from other B Corporations in Portland, Oregon, in mid-October I think I’m in a good position to explain. 
When I go into a grocery store or a natural foods store, I’m confronted with lots of labels. Some labels claim that their food is “all natural.” Others that the contents are “organic.” Still others boast that the coffee or tea inside is “fair trade.” There are actual certifications for organic and fair trade foods that hold businesses and farmers to a common standard before they can use an “organic” or “fair trade” logo on their product. 
What about other factors? While I do care about how my food was grown and whether the farmers who grew my coffee were paid a fair price, what about my bank? What about the clothes I buy? How do I know that the garment workers in Asia and the call center operators in Kansas were all paid a fair wage? Does all business really have to operate in a lowest common denominator way, focusing only on paying the lowest cost and charging the highest price? 
With the B Certification, I as a consumer can know that I’m buying from a company that is working to do more than maximize profits. B Corporations are also about making the world a fairer, cleaner, and happier place. As a business motivated by more than profits, we can communicate our values and practices to our customers by displaying the B logo.  We’re proud to be in the company of firms like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, King Arthur Flour, and Kickstarter.  
I encourage you to look for the B logo when you shop. If you’re really curious, check out the B Corporation website at bcorporation.net. There you can see details on all of us companies that are certified. You’ll see our strengths and what we still need to work on. You’ll also see a list of the 1,400+ companies around the world that are certified. By making informed purchasing choices, you can help make business a force for good in the world.

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