Capitalism gets a lot of stick. Most of it is totally justified. The fact is, unchecked capitalism incentivises turning all the planet’s resources into cash.
Are we part of the problem? If you look at it one way, sure. We turn the Earth’s natural bounty into something for people to buy. And we're here to make money too - because if we don’t, we won't last long enough to prove that there's a way to do business right.
The financial bottom line isn’t the only thing we care about. We believe that companies have real power to make a positive impact on the world. Done right, businesses can benefit everyone involved, working with the planet and the people on it, not against.
That’s why Minor Figures is now a B Corp Certified company.
Awarded by the non-profit organisation, B Lab, the B Corp Certification is more than just a sustainability label. It’s also a movement, with the collective goal of transforming the global economy to benefit people, communities, and the planet (the ‘triple bottom line’). The systems we currently have in place value profit over people, are built on extreme inequality, and rely on pillaging the earth’s natural resources. B Corps reject this and value equity, interdependence, and regeneration above all else.
There are only a handful of B Corp Certified, 100% carbon neutral companies across the world. B Lab has seen a swell in applications in the last couple of years, which is amazing (and also explains why the process is pretty lengthy - we submitted our application in June 2020!) At the time of writing, we’re one of just 4,856 B Corps globally and we’re proud to be among the ranks of companies setting the new standard for the way business should be done.
To achieve B Corp status, we provided documentation demonstrating our policies and practices pertaining to our mission, ethics, accountability, and transparency. We had to verify how we contribute to employees’ financial, physical, professional, and social well-being. Think: everything from how we pay our people and our retirement programs to our health and safety practices and the trainings we offer. The assessment also looks at how we contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which we operate and, of course, how we measure our environmental impact. This covers the climate, water, land, and biodiversity, at both our production sites and that of our suppliers.
We were already holding ourselves to these standards. So why was it so important to us to get the actual certification?
Firstly, because certifications from third-parties are a really big deal when it comes to building trust with our community. The world of sustainability is full of a lot of buzzwords that can be confusing and the unfortunate prevalence of greenwashing only muddies the waters even more. With a certification like B Corp, we’re writing our existing practices into official policies which we can share with all of you (like we’re doing now). The application process also helps us take a critical look at ourselves and spot any areas where we could be improving, which is a valuable thing to continue to pursue, no matter how far along in our sustainability goals we get.
B Corp helps us draw up our own roadmap towards becoming a better company. When you see the B Corp Certification you can feel confident knowing that you’re supporting a company that has made a commitment to treat business as a human enterprise and will continue to do so as long as it sticks around.
The next certification cycle will take place in 3 years (when, yes, we’ll have to go through the process all over again) and until then we’ll continue to ask ourselves the difficult question: ‘how can we be better?’