It’s apparent that the modern business must incorporate more than just profit into their business model, but how can they prove that their commitment to a more equitable, open, and sustainable world is valid? One widely accepted route is to become a B Corporation, or B Corp. A B Corp is a for-profit company that emphasizes employee and community well-being and environmental stewardship in their performance. B Corps are in constant communication with stakeholders and give full accountability to the public in the form of reports that showcase how the companies perform. If a company wants to become a certified B Corporation, they must go through a screening process where societal and environmental performance are assessed and suggestions for improvement are given. B Corporation certificates are given out by B Lab, a non-profit organization that examines a company on social and environmental performance, transparency to the public, and accountability to the shareholders. Any business can apply for a B Corp certificate. Certificates are given out to startups, public companies, and international companies of all fields, and many have taken advantage of the opportunity - there are over 6500 B Corp companies spanning over 161 industries in 89 countries (B Corporation).
Of the thousands of B Corps out there, many are well known and established. Patagonia, Bombas, and Ben and Jerry’s are widely celebrated for their commitment to the environment, its workers, and its customers. But there are many smaller B Corps that are just as committed to creating a better business.
Mango Materials, founded in 2012 with headquarters in California, is a biotechnology company that uses methane, a very potent greenhouse gas, to produce bioproducts and bioplastics. Methane gas capture plants are constructed next to methane producing facilities (such as wastewater treatment plants) to collect emissions. Bacteria in the plant consume the methane and produce an organic polymer that can be used to create profitable, biodegradable plastics. If the bioplastics enter a waste treatment facility, they break down into methane, which, if captured, can be used to create more bioplastics. Mango Materials was on the Best For the World List 2022 for its closed loop, output-pulled business model and innovative approach to tackling greenhouse gas emissions.
In rural Guatemala, it’s extremely difficult for families, especially women, to learn profitable skills and find a reliable source of income. Wakami noticed this disparity and decided to do something about it. Wakami is a jewelry company that sells hand-made jewelry and other accessories to more than 20 countries across the world. The company employs women in rural communities across Guatemala to give them opportunities to sell their jewelry on the international scale. Since the company’s founding in 2006, Wakami has empowered over 2,000 of their employees with jewelry skills, income, and access to the international market. But the benefits haven’t stopped there: school enrollment rates for the children of Wakami employees are 75% higher than the national average, and nutritional status for Wakami children has increased by 60%. Wakami was featured on B Corporaton’s Best For the World List 2022 for their incredible impact on the women they employ.
CIRT plans to achieve B Corp certification later this year. While our certification is pending, we’ve been committed to circularity, equity, and community involvement since our founding. 1% of CIRT’s gross profits goes towards 1% for the Planet, a non-profit subscription organization that uses annual membership funds to help combat environmental problems. We’re also a member of Protect Our Winters, a climate organization that speaks out for non-partisan climate change policy. On a local scale, we are very active in the Athens-Clarke County area. We’re partners with Keep Athens Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB), a non-profit organization that supports environmental beautification and education. We also participate in Rivers Alive, a statewide clean up effort for Georgia’s Rivers and Streams. CIRT is proud to be making a difference and looks forward to doing the B Corp community.