Amsterdam, 10/04/22 — There is now a community of over 1,000 B Corps in Europe striving to benefit all people and the planet!
B Lab Europe was founded in 2013. Since then, we have mobilized European businesses to join the B Corp community and take collective action to address society’s most critical challenges. Today, we celebrate the milestone of over 1,000 companies committed to the B Corp vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all: a thousandfold impact causing an unprecedented ripple effect in the European business landscape.
But where are we heading from here? Together, we are moving from individual impact to systems change. B Corps work hard to make a positive impact on people and the planet, and as a united community, our actions can go even further. Today, our growing movement of businesses is transforming 157 industries in 26 European countries, engaging +85,000 B Corp employees and impacting the lives of people all across Europe. And it does not stop here.
As part of the global B Corp movement, consisting of over 5,800 certified B Corporations worldwide, the European community continues to harness the power of collaboration – from industry coalitions such as the B Corp Beauty Coalition to Pan-European policy initiatives such as the Interdependence Coalition to multi-stakeholder collaboration between citizens, companies, government, entrepreneurs, social innovators, academia, and organized civil society such as Barcelona+B or the Swiss Triple Impact program, a national solution-oriented sustainability program that fosters commitments of currently over 300 companies to the Sustainable Development Goals.
“To each and every one of you who make up the 1000+ B Corps of Europe: CONGRATULATIONS! You are risk-takers, leaders, and change seekers! We are proud to have built a pioneering community with you – the innovative businesses – who take time to re-think business models and how to continuously improve your social and environmental performance. You are driving the global B Corp Movement forward and making our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy attainable. With standards rooted in stakeholder governance and a framework for performance benchmarking and transparency, we are tirelessly working on rewiring the goals of business and inspiring thousands more businesses across the continent to follow.”
B Corp Summit 2019 in Amsterdam
Below, leaders from across our European B Lab Network reflect on this milestone in their own words.
“If you want to go fast, so alone. If you want to go far, go together. We go together. The collective force of now more than 1000 certified B Corps in Europe inspire joy, hope, and optimism to reinforce our belief that together we can transform the economic system into one that is truly inclusive, equitable and regenerative.”
“The B Corp community in France is so proud to have contributed to this collective European milestone. Behind these 1,000 B Corps, there are tens of thousands of people working hard to help their companies become better businesses, transforming the global economy to benefit people, communities, and the planet. They are also inspiring partners, suppliers, investors and more, to think about doing business very differently, in a way that values all stakeholders and our home planet. We can’t wait to continue supporting this incredible community in reaching ever more significant milestones, as we help make stakeholder economy mainstream.”
The European B Lab Network at an Internal Network Retreat in Italy, 2022
“While it is still early days for the B Corp community in Germany with 50+ pioneering companies using business as a force for good, we are excited about this joint European milestone. We look forward to working with many of these 1,000 European B Corps in our market to drive a change in business practices.”
“Portugal is a sea country with lots of beautiful beaches with wonderful sand. Sand can teach us how important, diverse, and beautiful everyone is, namely when gathered towards a common purpose. Sand grains individually can look like little jewels and when together they can create amazing structures like beaches, divert the courses of rivers, be mixed with other elements to create buildings and more. We are very proud to celebrate having some of these sand grain jewels in Portugal that together with all the other 1,000+ B Corps in Europe reshape and create a new economic system that is more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative for all.”
“B Lab Switzerland offers a wide range of workshops, trainings and events for individuals and companies, to political initiatives, collective actions, and programs, like the national Swiss Triple Impact program. A broad variety of further entry points to join the B movement in Switzerland are through multiple partnerships, as well as the B Corp certification. Within the last five years, we grew our ecosystem to more than 600 companies, 2,500 students, 9 partner universities, 450 trained B Leaders and 72 B Corps. As part of our movement-building strategy, we are grateful to see more than 60 partners across Switzerland, from the public to the private sector, supporting the inclusive and regenerative B market infrastructure. More than ever, B Corps are needed to demonstrate that only the transition to positive impact businesses is a needed way forward. Every day, new collaborations arise and we are proud to see the B Corp community as a catalyst for radical shifts in all parts of society.”
Gathering of the Benelux B Corp Community, 2022
“This milestone shows that in Europe, the B Corp community of companies that embrace a new norm in doing business is evidently growing fast. It makes me proud to see that a significant part of this growth has been contributed by the over 200 B Corps based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. And I am convinced this milestone indicates the start of our impact as a movement. The best is yet to come.”
“This milestone demonstrates that sustainability can be an integral part of the core business. Italian B Corps spearheaded the Benefit Corporation legislation in Italy since 2016, when it became the first sovereign state to introduce this innovation out of the USA. The 190+ B Corps and the almost 3,000 Benefit Corporations (Società Benefit) make Italy a phenomenal laboratory for innovation, in continuity with a strongly rooted history of business as a positive force in society.”
“We are extremely happy to be part of the growing B Corp Family, embracing the diversity of markets and certified companies. Through our everyday work, we aim to build awareness and guide businesses towards using business as a force for good – and we can see the impact with every new company starting to use the B Impact Assessment and joining the certification pipeline. Interdependence is the key to facing the challenges and atrocities of the modern world. The B Corp Community is a perfect example of how – united with one goal – we can work together to be the change.”
Gathering of the Spanish B Corp Community (B Good Day), 2022
“We are proud to have achieved this huge milestone together. Since its beginnings in 2014, the B Corp Movement has grown stronger in Spain, especially since 2021. Currently, the Spanish B Corp Community has more than 160 companies using business as a force for good, representing 16% of all European B Corps, with an accumulated turnover of more than 6 billion euros. In fact, the movement is growing in all its facets: it is already a reference for the media and for society, while we have recently obtained legal recognition from the public administration. On 30 June 2022, we celebrated that the Congress of Representatives approved the creation of SBICs (Benefit Corporations), putting Spain at the forefront in the European promotion of the impact economy. The creation of this new legal figure will mean that, from now on, Spanish companies with this specific legal recognition will be those that include in their statutes the triple objective of generating economic, social and environmental value, while transparently demonstrating their performance in all of them. In short, a real and profound change is taking place in Spain and in Europe, driven by the B Corps. The movement has a very powerful present and a promising future as one of the key regions for the global movement.”