Yesterday was the midterm election in the United States. I hope you exercised your privilege and right to vote. My wife and I certainly did, and we are raising our daughter to understand that the right to vote should not be taken for granted.
Voting for elected governmental officials is the most apparent type of voting privilege we enjoy in the United States. But it's not the only one.
We can also "vote with our wallet."
What does that mean? In our world-leading economy, we as consumers have many choices of how to spend our money. Where we choose to spend our money is a choice, or "voting with our wallet."
I'll get straight to the point: some brands do good for people and the planet, while others cause harm.
Given the choice to spend money on good or bad, most consumers would choose to purchase from brands that do good.
However, much like voting for elected officials, sometimes the information about the ethics of companies is murky, misleading, or missing entirely. How can consumers know which companies are good or bad?
My favorite method is to seek out and purchase from Certified B Corporations. When I see the (B) Logo on a website, e-commerce store, or product packaging in a physical store, I know that the company does good for people and the planet. I will eagerly buy from a Certified B Corp instead of their competitors.
Maybe their competitors are also claiming to be ethical companies. But who's stopping them from making false marketing claims to sell their products? Nobody. Sadly, the truth is that many companies make misleading claims about their social and environmental business ethics.
I don't have the time to research every company before I buy from them! Thankfully, the Certified B Corporation identification does that for me.
Let's look at a real-world example.
Anybody who knows me well knows I enjoy a craft beer every now and then. Recently I was at Target picking up some things for my wife's birthday party. Staring at the dozens of options of IPAs in front of me, I wasn't sure which one to choose.
My mind drifted to how resource-intensive it is to produce beer. It requires significant natural resources to produce: land, water, grains, hops, and other ingredients. Converting natural resources into beer requires energy and materials to brew and package it. Getting the finished product to market uses fuel, energy, and resources to transport, warehouse, and get it to store shelves or restaurants. Finally, people are paramount at every stage in creating, managing, transporting, storing, and marketing it.
It takes a LOT to bring beer to market. At every step, the brewer chooses how to treat people and the planet. I want to "vote with my wallet" by choosing beer from breweries that align with my values and practice strong environmental and social ethics!
Regaining my focus to choose my beer at Target (I think a few fellow shoppers were wondering why I was standing there so long, hah!) I spotted a 6-pack from New Belgium Brewing that had the Certified B Corp logo on the box! I proudly put it in my cart! My vote had been cast!
There were probably other beers there from breweries with good social and environmental ethics, but how would I know? They didn't have the Certified B Corp logo, and I wasn't going to spend more time looking them up online while standing in Target!
The Certified B Corp logo sold me, and it sells many other people, too!
Here's New Belgium's packaging. Look for the Certified B Corp logo. You may also notice some copy about their values and beliefs:
When I got home, I went to New Belgium's website. On their homepage (valuable digital real estate for any company), they proudly state: "New Belgium has been a human-powered company from the beginning. Before our founders ever sold a bottle of beer, they hiked into Rocky Mountain National Park with a jug of home brew to outline the values that would shape our brewery. As a Certified B Corp, New Belgium continues its commitment to being a brewery for good. We put people and community first, consider the environmental and social impact of our work, and strive to set the highest standards of taste and quality when it comes to our craft - making great beer." Check out New Belgiums B Impact Score here.
Does this resonate with you? Do you want to try to buy from Certified B Corps? Here are the top 3 ways to find them:
Look for the Certified B Corp Logo on product packaging and websites.
Search for Certified B Corps by business type, region, and more filters at https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp
Search online (I prefer to use Ecosia, a Certified B Corp search engine), using search phrases like "Certified B Corp women's clothing", "Certified B Corp health supplement brand", "Certified B Corp retailer", etc - whatever you are looking for, you can look for a B Corp that offers it!
Want to learn more about becoming a Certified B Corp to attract more customers and clients to your company? That's one of our specialties! Read more here: B Corp Certification Guidance from Impact Grove.