B Lab showcases the winners of its Best For The Environment B-Corporation list.
By Katie Kerr
It seems every company these days is “going green,” but what does that even mean? In today’s crowded marketplace it’s increasingly difficult to separate the truly good businesses from those with just good marketing.
That’s why it’s important to honor those who truly walk the talk. Today we recognize 63 companies across 30 industries and 11 countries for creating the most positive environmental impact with the release of the B Corp Best for the Environment List, a second installment in our B Corp Best for the World series.
Top Scorers in B Impact Assessment
Companies earning this honor include well-known brands such as Method Products, New Belgium Brewing Company, Patagonia and Seventh Generation. Other, equally impactful honorees include Mas Ambiente, an Argentinian company producing handmade soap from used cooking and frying oil, Namaste Solar, a solar energy, employee-owned cooperative and New Leaf Paper, a developer and distributor of environmentally-responsible paper products.
These companies are not just telling stories about their best practices, but measuring and improving their performance.
Every Best for the Environment honoree has scored in the top 10 percent for environmental impact as measured by the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment used by more than 8,000 businesses to measure their impact on their workers, community, and the environment.
Their policies and practices have undergone rigorous analysis, using metrics regarding their environmentally preferable products, services, and practices, such as their materials, waste, water, and energy inputs/outputs and the environmental impact of their offices, plants, land, suppliers and transportation.
GoLite, SMART Watering, Acción Verde Make The Cut
For example, GoLite, a midsize, Colorado-based manufacturer of outdoor apparel and equipment, not only has recycling programs throughout their facilities, but also takes back used products, saving thousands of pounds of merchandise from landfills. They also use more than 65 percent environmentally preferred materials and power their production with renewable energy.
Together, these efforts take them closer to their self-committed goal of moving “past neutrality toward becoming ‘net positive’ to environment and civilization across our entire value chain.”
SMART Watering Systems Inc., a small business based in Ontario, Canada, creates a positive impact through its service itself -- providing water efficiency consulting and “hands on” irrigation water management to municipalities, parks departments, architects and property managers to reduce potable water use on landscapes.
“If we are going to continue to use potable water on our landscapes, we must make every effort to use it responsibly,” the company states on its B Corp Profile. “We hope that through our leadership, other organizations will be proactive in looking at their business impact as well as ‘water footprint’ and investigate ways to reduce it.”
Finally, Colombian microenterprise Accion Verde empowers others to contribute to creating a healthier planet. It strategically plants trees throughout Colombia to prevent natural disasters, while mitigating climate change. Customers range from individuals giving trees as gifts to corporations trying to offset their impact. “Each person, each enterprise must and should, do a green action (Acción Verde), and we offer them that possibility with protective reforestation," they iterate in their B Corp Profile.
Setting An Example
Clearly, these companies are more than just talk.
Measuring and benchmarking social and environmental performance is important for any brand, no matter the size or industry. The Best for the Environment honorees stand as examples for how business can be used as a force for good, helping create a more inclusive and sustainable economy that works for all of us (and the generations to come). With their commitment to the environment and openness about the practices behind the product, these companies take us one step closer to redefining success in business.
Check out the full B Corp Best for the Environment List or start measuring your impact and see how you match up with the free, confidential B Impact Assessment.
B Corp Best for the Environment honorees earned scores in the top 10 percent of all Certified B Corporations for their positive environmental impact as measured by the B Impact Assessment -- a free management tool used by more than 8,000 businesses to measure, compare, and improve their social and environmental performance across more than 150 metrics.
Best for the Environment honorees have their performance certified by the nonprofit B Lab and have met the highest standards of legal accountability and public transparency. To learn more about the Best for the Environment honorees and more than 700 Certified B Corporations from more than 20 countries, check out www.bcorporation.net.