March is B Corp Month, a time to recognise brands that strive towards a high standard of sustainability. This year’s theme is ‘Behind the B’. It’s an opportunity to reflect and ask ourselves some important questions. What’s our motivation? What does it mean to achieve B Corp certification? And is the whole concept still important in 2022?
Look around, and the importance of sustainable business practices is growing. Both for customers and your own team, how a brand conducts itself is a reason to back it or bin it, and this can be seen in how UK retailers are embracing B Corp month. Waitrose is showcasing its range of B Corp products across 187 stores, and promoting its online B Corp shop. WH Smith will be signposting its range in 65 station stores, and March saw the opening of a dedicated B Corp shop in the heart of Soho called ‘Good News’.
This means B Corps matter more than ever and I’m proud that Dash features in these activations. But it’s important not to enter an echo chamber on the issue of sustainability. I was recently speaking to a major retailer outside the UK, for example, and they mentioned how B Corp was simply not on their radar. They would continue to be ‘led by the consumer’, and not go out of their way to provide more sustainable choices to their customers unless they felt it necessary.
Brands and retailers have a responsibility to explain sustainability to consumers, and offer sustainable options as standard. But it can be hard for retailers to take the first step, especially if they fear losing competitive advantage.
Brands, then, should lead by example. At Dash, the banner of sustainability is one the whole team rallies behind, from our annual challenge of only eating wonky fruit & veg for a week, to day-to-day elements such as sharing the responsibility for meeting our targets. I know that for many B Corps, the certification is a major boon when it comes to hiring, corporate governance, and internal communications, too.
A piece of paper is not why we hold ourselves to high sustainability values. It simply means the values we hold can be recognised by others. As brands, our voice carries weight, and as part of our sustainability journey we have a duty to bring others on board. This month, it’s worth remembering that.