This blog was researched and written by Jack Fiocco, Sustainability Intern for the summer of 2023
Back in 2020, Minimal Gear became a certified B Corporation. Now, in 2023, not only are we soon up for re-certification, but we have an updated set of standards for us to follow as well. B Labs, the non-profit organization that certifies companies as B Corporations, is currently in the final stages of updating their standards, which means rolling out some new requirements for B Corps to follow and a different structure to follow for certification.
What’s new with the B Corp standards?
B Labs is still acquiring feedback on their updated standards, but they seem to be on track to release the new standards by the end of the year. Rather than needing an overall score above a certain threshold, they are now focusing on achieving requirements in each category needed or certification. Below is a quick breakdown of each category they will be looking for:
- Purpose & Stakeholder Governance: This is a way of ensuring that we are prioritizing our impact in our work and ensuring that we are cognizant of all of our stakeholders before making company-wide decisions. These stakeholders include but are not limited to our customers, the environment, our workers and suppliers, and groups who we donate to.
- Worker Engagement: We respect our workers and they feel empowered to communicate their thoughts and opinions to other people in the company. In simple terms, we facilitate a positive workplace culture.
- Fair Wages: We pay our workers a living wage for themselves and their families. This also means that there are not high levels of wage disparity between our workers as well.
- Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion: Our company is actively taking steps to facilitate diversity in our company and are aware of areas where we can improve and grow.
- Human Rights: We make sure that there are no human rights violations in our operations, including within our supply chain. Our workers also understand these human rights and where they may be impacted.
- Climate Action: We track our GHG Emissions and have a Climate Action Plan to reduce them.
- Circularity and Environmental Stewardship: Our company understands its potential impact on the environment and we are working on ways to improve it. For example, the potential for eutrophication and ecotoxicity from our products are considered, alongside trying to minimize our carbon footprint and engage in conservation efforts.
- Collective Action: We are assisting important causes and are engaged with other groups on policy, industry, and business community levels. This is where our donations and volunteer efforts come into focus.
- Risk Standards: We are transparent in what we do and don’t participate in lobbying or controversial business practices.
- Impact Management: Everything else! This is an area for continual improvement and to work on areas beyond what is included in the categories above.
So what are we doing?
As stated on B Lab’s website, “topics which have not been a priority area for your company will likely require additional effort and investment”. Luckily, Cnoc is pretty well-rounded and has made steps towards all of the categories listed above. To make sure that we are fully compliant in all of these categories, we are using the draft requirements to check our status ahead of time before the final iteration is released.
One of the newer areas we are focusing on is tracking the emissions of our products, which allows us to better understand our emissions and environmental impact on land, water, and air. If you’re interested in learning about how we are going about that, keep an eye out for the next post in a couple of days!
Ultimately, our B Corp certification is a way to show you that we care about the quality of our business practices and your experience as a customer. Following these standards is a way for us to show that commitment to you. If you have any questions or feedback on how we can improve, feel free to comment below or message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.