B The Change 2021 Year in Review: The Top 21 Stories of People, Products, Services, and Collaborations Driving Change
December 20, 2021
As businesses play a more significant role in addressing the world’s social and environmental challenges, the community of Certified B Corporations is attracting hundreds of new companies. By stepping up to address these challenges, new and existing B Corps are creating and expanding partnerships and coalitions to build collective power.
At B The Change, this year has incorporated a focus on how B Corps in the U.S. and Canada are using that collective power to pursue climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economy — the three pillars of B Lab U.S. & Canada’s Theory of Change.
From large, multinational companies to social entrepreneurs, the community of B Corps demonstrates how businesses can succeed while pursuing positive benefits for all stakeholders, not just profits for shareholders. B Corps broaden their focus to include more people — workers, customers, community members, supply chain partners — and in turn broaden economic and social opportunities for those who have been historically excluded.
B The Change’s Top 21 articles of 2021, shared below, reflect the growth, challenges, and opportunities that the B Corp community encountered in 2021 as it continues to work collectively to carve a path toward a more resilient and inclusive future.
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How Patagonia and Allbirds Set the Pace on Their Journey as Sustainable Leaders
As B Corps and benefit corporations, Patagonia and Allbirds are among businesses that consider the Earth as a stakeholder and factor their impact on the planet into their policies and practices as well as their mission and values. But in a B The Change conversation, the leaders of these businesses say they — and other businesses — should and must do more to address the impending climate crisis and environmental consequences.
Behind the Gift: 14 Gifts That Take Care of the Planet
Reduce the environmental impact of your holiday gifts by buying from B Corps, which are holistically working to positively impact communities, workers, customers, and the environment. As one in a series of holiday gift guides, B The Change shares 14 useful and sustainable B Corp gift ideas to help you take care of the planet as well as your friends and family this holiday season.
Behind the Gift: 15 Gifts That Give Back
Create positive social impact with every holiday purchase from these B Corps committed to giving back. The companies behind these 15 gift ideas make giving back a part of their business model and use a portion of every purchase to reinvest in worthy organizations. From expanding ocean stewardship to supporting domestic violence survivors, these important causes prioritize people and the planet.
B Corps Doing Business Better: Screening Supply Chains for Positive Impact
By encouraging or requiring their suppliers to factor environmental and social benefits into their business decisions and practices, B Corps amplify their value and build the B Economy. Through supplier screenings, B Corps are strengthening the stakeholder capitalism model and raising the bar for all companies to do business better.
B Lab and Partners Release the Climate Justice Playbook for Business
The escalating climate crisis endangers all of us, but its effects are and will not be felt equally by everyone. To help B Corps and other companies take responsibility to reduce their negative environmental impacts, B Lab and partners recently released the Climate Justice Playbook for Business. The playbook provides insights, guidance, and case studies of companies that are seeking to advance their overall climate action in the communities they impact.
The Climate Justice Playbook for Business
This practical guide from B Lab features information to help business leaders understand the intersection of climate action and social justice and advance a justice-centered approach to climate action.
Behind the Gift: 16 Gifts That Value Producers
Shopping with B Corps helps ensure that you’re selecting gifts produced by healthy, ethical supply chains, which include sustainably minded producers along with fairly paid and treated suppliers. The 16 B Corps highlighted on this list are leaders in practices that encourage long-term, transparent relationships with suppliers who share in their success.
17 Ethical Fashion B Corps: Sustainable Apparel Produced Fairly
While the first step in sustainability is to reduce consumption — through innovative models for circularity and repair, careful sourcing, equitable supply chain management, and thoughtful treatment of employees — the B Corps on this list are bringing ethical fashion into the mainstream.
8 Offerings from B Corps That Give Back: An Earth Month Guide
When you support a B Corp, you already know you’re supporting a company that values people and the planet. The B Corps in this guide take it one step further — they are also part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, which means they give 1% of their sales to approved environmental nonprofits.
Anti-Racism Resources: 47 Books, Podcasts, Movies, and More
B Lab and the global community of Certified B Corporations are continuously developing ways to build a more just, inclusive, and actively anti-racist economy. In honor of Black History Month in the United States, we share a list of recommended reading and viewing resources on systemic racism and injustice compiled by the team at B Lab U.S. & Canada.
Let’s Keep Pushing for Lasting Change in 2021
The work of the B Corp community, which has lasting change as its foundation, gained greater urgency during the events of 2020 that exposed systemic fault lines. To drive reform and enhance their impact, B Corps can focus on three main pillars — anti-racism, climate action, and stakeholder capitalism — with resources shared in this article.
Making a Meaningful Career Change: The Role of Purpose in the Future of Work for Job Seekers and Companies
The volatile events of 2020 brought rapid changes to the relationship between employees and the workplace and renewed calls for businesses to consider the impact of their actions on workers and other stakeholders as much as they value benefits to shareholders. As more people look to pursue careers with B Corps, B The Change reached out to B Corps who connect applicants with potential employers via B Work, an impact job site, and who help hire employees.
Behind the Gift: 10 Gifts That Employ With Purpose
B Corps can serve as a model for other businesses seeking new methods to engage employees — the people who fill critical roles in creating, packaging, communicating, and distributing products and services. The 10 B Corps on this list take care of their employees and create beautiful and useful gift options for the special people in your life.
How to Measure, Plan, and Adjust Carbon Emissions and More: How Consultants Guide Companies on Their Path to Net Zero
Business leaders looking to address their company’s carbon emissions while committing to net zero by 2030 face a fairly steep learning curve. That’s where consultants can step in to offer specific assistance and guidance to launch climate action that incorporates climate justice. B The Change highlights lessons, tips, and other thoughts on the process from a B Corp climate consultant company as well as a B Corp that has worked with a climate consultant. Their top advice? Start now, even with just small changes.
B Corps Doing Business Better: Launching and Expanding on Carbon Neutral Practices and Products
Environmentally minded businesses around the globe are heeding the call to reduce their impact and centering the environment in their practices and products. But knowing where and how to start can be a challenge, especially for smaller businesses. Find ideas from two B Corps incorporating climate neutral practices and products that benefit the environment as well as their communities and consumers.
2021 Best for the World Workers: B Corps That Put Workers First
Employees are a company’s most valuable asset, and creating an equitable work environment that centers around the company team is a foundational conscious business practice. Here, we highlight six B Corps who are centering workers at the base of their operations and share how other businesses can build off of their leadership.
4 Steps Businesses Can Take to Advance a Net Zero by 2030 Commitment and Act Against the Climate Crisis
In recent years the global climate crisis has grown beyond a concern for environmental advocates, becoming a point of emphasis for large and small companies — led by businesses cutting carbon emissions, pursuing climate justice, and working to achieve net zero by 2030. B The Change shares real-world examples from four B Corps that are reducing their environmental footprint by addressing the four P’s of net zero: pledge, plan, proceed, and publish.
A New Playbook for a New Economy Led by Stakeholder Capitalism
To help business leaders navigate the journey to adopt benefit corporation status as a requirement of B Corp Certification, B Lab is releasing a new downloadable resource, the Board Playbook, to lay out the process and demystify the risks. Find highlights and testimonials from the new Board Playbook on B The Change.
The Board Playbook
To help business leaders navigate the journey to adopt benefit corporation status as a requirement of B Corp Certification, B Lab U.S. & Canada provides this downloadable resource, the Board Playbook, to lay out the process and demystify the risks.
An Update from B Lab on Our Commitment to Anti-Racism and JEDI: Catalyzing Change to Go Deeper
A year after B Lab Global made an organizational commitment to justice and anti-racism, Dr. Ellonda L. Williams, B Lab’s Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, provides an update on actions and plans to catalyze far-reaching impact across the organization and its community. “It was and continues to be imperative that B Lab show up as leaders, and good leaders are transparent, open, and honest,” she writes.
10 Regenerative Products and Services from B Corps: An Earth Month Guide
While shopping certainly won’t save our planet, supporting companies that use business for good is one way to care for the environment and each other. This guide shares offerings from B Corps that prioritize regenerative practices.
2 Complementary Tools Help Companies Measure and Report Their Impact on Stakeholders
Two resources that help companies measure their impact — the GRI Standards (GRI) and B Lab’s B Impact Assessment — have seen growing interest and an opportunity to coordinate their efforts and inform impact-minded businesses. Read more in a Q&A on B The Change and access a new publication designed to help companies and other stakeholders better understand the connections between GRI and the B Impact Assessment and how to use them together efficiently.
7 Zero-Waste Swaps from B Corps: An Earth Month Guide
When companies take on the challenge of making their products and services zero-waste and environmentally friendly, it makes it easier for us to make purchasing decisions we can feel great about. The B Corps in this guide make it simpler to live a low-waste lifestyle and divert waste from landfills.
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