Never heard of B Corp? You’re not alone – but let’s switch up that B Corp knowledge. B Corps – or ‘Benefit Corporations’ are a growing body of businesses who promise to do business in a way that has a neutral, or positive, impact on other humans – and our planet. You are certain to know B Corps already – they include UK surf brand Finisterre, outdoor brands Patagonia and Cotopaxi as well as wide range of businesses in services from finance to food to travel.
Becoming a B Corp isn’t easy though. Think rigorous assessments, a whole lot of questions, awkward soul-searching and plenty of researching ways to improve. At the end of the process businesses are given a score – which covers everything from gender pay-gaps, to where materials are sourced, to how offices are powered, and what conditions are like for people in the supply chain.
We received our B Corp certificate from B Corp UK in 2020 with a score of 98.8 (out of a possible 200). In 2021 we improved this to 106.4. This is OK, but we know there are heaps of improvements we can keep making – and really set our B Corp game on fire.
As part of this we go above and beyond the usual 3 year assessment set by B-Corp – and conduct self-assessments every year. These are independently fact checked to make sure we’re not getting carried away and overstating our progress. We’ll be assessed by B Corp again in September 2023 – and we’ve set ourselves the lofty target of a score of 140 by 2026. This will mean we’ve made improvements in Value Chain Transparency, Environmental & Social Impact Monitoring, and Diversity Equity & Inclusion – so we’ve a lot of work to do.
All of this ranking and scoring might make it sound like a competition – which it is - in a healthy, ambitious way – obviously. Every year there’s a ranking of ‘Best for the World’ B Corps – that’s a podium we’d love to be on.
Does any of this really matter? Oh yes. From its earliest days we’ve always aimed to make Vivobarefoot a company that does the best for people – and the planet.
We have to make a profit, of course, there wouldn’t be much of a business without it – but we want to do it in the right way. Being part of the B Corp family means we add our voice to an ever-growing movement, all showing that business can be a force for good. This influences the wider marketplace – and what investors choose to put their money into (the movement is growing fast – in 2021 B Corp recognised 767 new companies in 50 countries).
Being part of the B Corp community is something we’re hugely proud of – and for Vivo’s customers, it means an added layer of trust.
To mark B Corp month, held in March every year, we’ll be ‘going behind the B’ to reveal the highs and lows that we’ve experienced on our journey so far.
Check out our Unfinished Business, our latest impact report which explores what it means to create a regenerative business and give back more than you take out.