Amsterdam, Netherlands, 8th of May, 2023 – In the last 10 years, the B Corp movement in Europe has been leading the way in showing how companies can look beyond profits to benefit people and the planet. To celebrate a decade of impact in Europe, B Lab has chosen the iconic NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam to bring not only the growing community of over 2,600 B Corps from across Europe together but also open the doors to the general public in order to imagine what the next decade could look like.
With scientists delivering a ‘final warning’ on climate crisis and the EU coming one step closer to establishing rules to hold companies accountable for human rights and environmental violations, it’s evident that companies urgently need to change course towards a low carbon economy. Businesses have a pivotal role to play in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, and have both the opportunity and the responsibility to use business as a force for good.
For a long time, the prevailing assumption in business was that social and environmental considerations would stifle revenue growth and shareholders’ demands needed to be traded off against other stakeholders. However, the data from European B Corps shows positive correlations to a company’s business performance over the three year recertification period with companies seeing an average revenue growth of 22% between certification periods and an 8% average annual growth in the number of full and part-time employees. Throughout that same period, recertifying European B Corps on average increased their impact scores by 6%, with 40% of businesses adding a new Impact Business Model, rethinking the way they operate to benefit people, communities and the planet. We are now seeing validation that running a business in the interests of all stakeholders (including but not limited to shareholders) can be a win-win for all.
Looking ahead to the next 10 years, B Lab’s goal is not to just certify more companies – it’s to inspire and enable all companies to behave more like B Corps. By using B Lab’s impact management tools and the certification as a framework to better understand, measure and improve their impact, businesses commit to accountability, transparency and continuous improvement. Together, they work towards creating a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system.
Juliette Caulkins, Executive Director of B Lab Europe commented: “We have all been working hard over the past decade, but perhaps doing too much thinking from our own silos. The heightened urgency for us to achieve impact now will bring us all together to act now. Rather than reflecting on how far we’ve come, this milestone celebrating 10 years of the B Corp movement in Europe is an opportunity for businesses to come together and collectively decide what we want the next decade to look like and take action to lead the change. There is still a long way to go, but the B Lab network is proudly committed to continuing to raise the bar, supporting businesses to embrace interdependence and go beyond business as usual.”
Today, the community of Certified B Corps in Europe is even more widespread, with companies in 28 different countries, including the United Kingdom. Since the beginning of 2022, the number of Certified B Corps has doubled in size. Together, these businesses which include companies like Tony’s Chocolonely, Too Good to Go, Camper, Weleda, Patagonia and many others represent a workforce of over 150,000 people across 160 industries. The diversity of the community is key: from small, purpose-driven organizations to publicly listed companies, these businesses are working to not only measure and improve their own impact but also influence their industries as a whole.
B Lab’s success is not measured by the number of B Corps but the impact they have on the world. That’s why beyond certification, B Global Network is committed to promoting collective action via coalitions and advocating for policy change. Over the past two years, B Lab Europe has been advocating for directors of all companies to be obliged to take the interests of all stakeholders into account in their decision-making via the work of the Interdependence Coalition. With support from advocacy efforts and a petition that has reached almost 500 signatures, Article 25 of the CSDDD is only one vote away from being accepted by the European Parliament, which would be a revolutionary step towards accelerating better business.
Whether you work for a B Corp, aspire to become one, or are simply interested in meeting purpose-driven individuals for an unforgettable evening, join the celebration at the NEMO Science Museum on May 12th, 2023 at 19:00.
Photo Credit: NEMO
About B Lab: B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, tools, and programs for business, advocates for policy changes, and certifies companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our global community includes 580,000 workers in over 6,700 B Corps across 90 countries and 161 industries, and more than 240,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.bcorporation.eu.
About B Lab Europe: B Lab Europe – the European branch of the global non-profit network on a mission to transform the economic system – was founded in 2013, just as ESG investing began gaining traction and two years before the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals were adopted. Today, B Lab Europe now has partners operating across the continent, with teams in the Benelux, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Nordics, and Poland.
About Certified B Corporations: B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service, it assesses the overall social and environmental impact of the company that stands behind it. To achieve B Corp Certification, a company must meet a score of at least 80 points on the B Impact Assessment, an evaluation of a company’s positive impact, and pass a risk review, an evaluation of a company’s negative impact; change their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders; and exhibit transparency by allowing information about their B Corp Certification performance to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website. B Corps recertify every three years and once certified, are expected to increase their score over time as they progress towards becoming more equitable, inclusive and regenerative businesses
About the B Corp Festival & B for Good Leaders Summit: The B Corp Festival celebrating 10 years of the B Corp movement in Europe is made possible by B for Good Leaders, who are organizing a 3-day summit with founders, leaders and C-suite executives of businesses who are committed to building a regenerative future. The B for Good Leaders Summit is an invite-only event that will take place from May 10-12th, culminating in the 10 year celebration which will be open to the public.
The B Corp Festival will be an opportunity to enjoy an exclusive visit to the NEMO Science Museum after hours, enjoying B Corp cocktails, wine and dinner, along with entertaining musical and audiovisual performances. Throughout the night, there will be chances to learn more about the movement by connecting with pioneers, listening to toasts and experiencing a B Corp take on some of the NEMO’s unique exhibitions.
The 2023 B Corp Festival official partners include B for Good Leaders, Lighthouse, Imagine5, Made by Maude, Skandinavisk, Bonduelle, Misteli, Avallen Spirits, Ramborn Cider, Moyee, Tony’s Chocolonely, Willicroft, Strongroots, Reflect Studio, CrowdFarming, Merchery, Boska and Creatives for Climate.
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