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What if you worked in a place where your employer met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose – free from the demands for higher profits? Well, then you might be working at All Good Products! Years ago, we scoured our networks to see if such a model existed, and discovered becoming B-Corporation Certified (B, short for Beneficial). As a member, we pledge to use our business as a force for good, employing a purpose-driven ethos for every touchpoint of our company, that “creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders”.
How do you responsibly scale your small business while staying true to your triple-bottom-line values?
This question has been with All Good Founder & CEO Caroline Duell since the beginning. When artisan batches of her first product (the all-encompassing, 16-products-in-1 All Good Goop) began to create a real demand from consumers outside of friends and family, Caroline was faced with the daunting reality of a business’ impact on people and planet. While balancing a growing business, farm, and family, how could she ensure a future where All Good was part of an industry solution, rather than the problem?
Endless research, conversations, and spreadsheets later, All Good received their B Corp Certification in 2009. It was a challenging journey that Caroline wouldn’t have traded for the world. B Corp both certifies and regularly assesses network members to ensure upholding of their criteria. All Good has not only maintained B Corp standards, but excelled in the journey — so much so that we are now in our second-running year as a B Corp Best for the World Honoree in 4 categories: Overall, Environment, Governance, and Changemaker.
The Best For The World list celebrates the top 10th percentile of certified companies that have received the B Corp Certification, tackling the hard work to make measurable positive improvement in a suite of aspects of their business. Here are the awards All Good is being recognized for in 2019:
As the top 10% of Certified B Corps across all impact areas, our Best For The World: Overall honorees are leading the way in the B Corp movement, showing others not only what’s possible but how to make it happen. With creative and compassionate approaches to using business as a force for good, these companies are living proof of the power of balancing purpose with profits.
“The Environment portion of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s environmental performance through its facilities, materials, emissions, and resource and energy use. Companies answer questions about their transportation/distribution channels and the environmental impact of their supply chain. The assessment also measures whether a company’s products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure or consult to solve environmental problems.”
“The Governance section of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency. It measures whether the company has adopted a social or environmental mission, and how it engages its employees, board members and the community to achieve that mission. This section assesses employee access to financial information, customers’ opportunities to provide feedback, and the diversity of the company’s governing bodies.”
“This list celebrates the companies tackling the hard work to make measurable, positive impact improvement. Each of the more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations declares, upon certification, to be committed to continuous impact improvement. And these rock stars have made tangible progress on that commitment.”
An impact score of 80 certifies a company as a B Corp, and All Good sits at 123 out of a possible 200, moving up from 116.6 since 2009.
We are committed to improving this score every year. Some of those plans are top-secret (for now — we’ll share with you as they come!), but we have a couple exciting items at the top of our minds to share.
For one, All Good is partnering with fellow B Corp Terra Genesis International for a deep-dive into our supply chain. Though we enforce strict guidelines for purchasing, TGI will conduct a global sourcing audit that assesses the social, environmental, and economic impacts of every All Good supplier’s raw materials so that our products are created with the most positive, beneficial, and regenerative resources.
A more specific update about our sourcing lies right here in Morro Bay at Four Elements Farm, which produces the herbs and flowers used in All Good products. This year, Four Elements went 100% solar! This big step means that our products (such as sunscreens or lotions) are created in part with renewable energy, thus leading to a lower carbon footprint and lower impact on our climate.
Caroline looked into third party certifications, memberships, partnerships, and charter opportunities, but it was only when she discovered B Corp that she found the accountability standards she was seeking. From the jump, Caroline was extremely impressed with B Corp’s knowledgeable staff, rigorous criteria, and comprehensive metrics.
Aside from the marketable certification and standards B Corp upholds, joining the B Corp network plugs companies into a generous and innovative community. Through our B Corp membership, we attend events, access member forums, and collaborate easily with other B Corp companies. The diverse B Corp directory has connected All Good to our main contractors, marketing agency, merchant processor credit card company, printer, and law firm.
One of Caroline’s favorite B Corp community pastimes was attending a Leadership Seminar with 50 other B Corp companies, where she and her husband/VP of Sales, Ryan, spent 3 days workshopping a climate change initiative for B Corp companies. The attendees still work together, with Caroline focusing on sustainable packaging and Ryan working on the GHG Coalition. Connecting to such a powerful collection of ethical companies creates an awesome opportunity for self-organization.
The process was a little different back in 2009. At the time, a B Corp representative visited Caroline’s home office on Four Elements Farm.
Nowadays, businesses can work through the process online. On their website, companies can apply to become a B Corp by taking the B Impact Assessment (BIA), meet the legal B Corp requirements, and declare a commitment to being reviewed at least every 3 years.
These standards aren’t easy to meet, but their team is happy to provide all the assistance they can. B Corp membership consulting agencies have even begun sprouting up for folks who need a helping hand, guiding them through the process!
To be a member, we are not only evaluated on our products but also our positive impact on the industry. We adhere to a rigorous standard of good for workers, customers, community, and environment. Furthermore, that extends even to our business structure with our board of directors and how we balance profit and purpose. We understand that with capitalism comes a whole host of potential abuses. We’re not about to play that game. When you know better, you do better, and with All Good, you can choose better.
Since 2008, B Corp has grown exponentially. From joining a cohort of just 120 other B Corps in 2008 to now being part of a 3,000+ business network in 2019, this scrupulous certification continues to draw in brands seeking to actively better their businesses.
“I have a lot of gratitude towards B Lab for creating a structure that gives us the foundation to do this as companies,” Caroline says. “Without this network, it would be harder to facilitate ongoing dialogue without a common language. We’re all in it together; we know what we’re going for. It’s allowed us to make really cool steps in the right ways.”