By Catherine Mackay
We live in a time and place where companies are allowed—and even financially rewarded—when they make decisions that increase their bottom line at the expense of workers, public health, and the environment. With so many companies claiming to be eco-friendly and socially responsible, it’s becoming more difficult, not just for consumers, but also for investors, to separate a good company from a good marketer. It does not have to be this way.
Beautycounter believes that business should be a tool for positive change. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship should not be pitted against the desire for financial success. Most importantly for Beautycounter, we want to show that making health-protective decisions about the ingredients we use can be good for the people, the planet, and for profit. This t-fold commitment means that we’re a “triple bottom line” business.
To show our commitment to this triple bottom line, we became a Certified B Corporation. The B stands for “benefit,” and it means that, unlike the traditional corporate structure, we consider people, planet, and profits equally. Currently there are 2,441 Certified B Corps throughout 130 industries around the world. B Corps are leading a global movement to redefine success in business by voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance.
The B Corp assessment process is extremely rigorous. It looks at both a business’ products and its impact on people and the planet.
In order to become certified, a company must do the following:
1) Meet the Performance Requirement: Complete the B Impact Assessment—a comprehensive audit of a company’s practices and policies. The company must earn a minimum score of 80 out of 200 points.
2) Meet the Legal Requirement: Adopt the B Corporation Legal Framework to bake the triple bottom line mission of the company into its legal DNA. This allows the company’s values to thrive under new management, new investors, and new ownership.
3) Make it Official: Sign a Term sheet and Declaration of Interdependence to make the certification official. This official B Corp certification helps Beautycounter differentiate from pretenders, benchmark performance, save money and access services, attract investors, partner with peers, and recruit and engage talent. And, it helps the wider marketplace see that there is ample opportunity to do well (financially) by doing good (for people and the planet).
We are very proud of our B Corp status and thrilled to share that not only were we recently re-certified as a B Corporation, but we also received a score of 95—our highest rating ever which is a 14-point jump from two years ago!
We achieved this score by creating stricter policies to keep contaminants out of our products. We also reduced our chemical footprint, achieving the top score out of 25 businesses in the Chemical Footprint Project two years in a row. And lastly, we founded an in-house Community Expansion Department to promote further progress toward representing everyone’s voices in the movement for better beauty.
What does Beautycounter do differently as a B Corp:
- Safer products: Our ingredient selection process keeps harmful ingredients out of our formulas.
- Environmental sustainability: This is a key focus across the business—especially when it comes to ingredient sourcing and packaging.
- Education: We work to tell everyone about harmful chemicals in beauty products, recommending safer alternatives whenever possible.
- Charitable Giving: We donate to trusted non-profit partners including the Environmental Working Group, Stand Up to Cancer, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and many more.
- Employee Empowerment: Our mission enables women to run their own businesses, while we offer benefits such as paid family leave to our corporate employees.
And we’re constantly striving to do even better!!!!
On the heels of Beautycounter’s annual trip, on March 5th, to Washington DC where over 100 consultants representing 50 states held over 80 meetings with legislators, 1400 additional consultants have held 250 additional local statewide meetings with legislators. I am excited to be a part of one of those upcoming meetings on March 21 with Senator Richard Blumenthal to thank him for his support and empower him to move forward and vote in favor of The Personal Care Products Safety Act.
Catherine Mackay is a Beautycounter consultant and Sustainne business member. We invited Catherine to write about what it means to be a Certified B Corp, and how this benefits our community and society.