The Benefit Corporation Movement
Is it possible for a business not to put its profit unconditionally at the forefront? And while striving for the benefit of the company, to take equal care of the society and the planet by helping to solve social and environmental problems?
This is not fiction at all, but rather a possible mission towards a better world. This is the mission of the B Corporations movement (Benefit Corporations, B Corp™) – companies carrying out economic activities that make use of the business opportunities to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy and that meet the highest proven standards for social and environmental indicators, transparency and accountability. They create benefits for all their stakeholders, not just their shareholders. Moreover, through all their activities, products and through their profit, they seek to do no harm, just on the contrary, to create benefits for all.
The B Corporations Movement is charting the path to a global economy where business is a force for good. It builds a community of shared values with the understanding that we are all interdependent as well as responsible to each other and to future generations.
How to become a B Corp™? B Corp™ Certificate.
To become part of this community, companies are subject to certification under strict criteria by the B Lab Institution, a non-profit organization that serves the global cause of business as a force for good. Its initiatives include B Corp™ certification, conducting B Impact (impact management) programs, and advocating for governance structures such as Benefit Corporations.
The B Corp™ certification is comprehensive and it assesses not just a product or а service, but the entire business and its actual impact in different areas and on different significant issues. The company's performance is measured in five categories: management, workers and employees, customers, communities and environment. The certification process uses reliable, comprehensive, transparent and independent standards for social and environmental performance.
The B Corp™ Certificate helps consumers discover companies with a mission and helps investors target investments that align with their values.
How is the assessment done?
The B Impact Assessment objectively measures a business's positive impact on society and the environment through a set of customized questions. The candidate company receives a comprehensive score based on a 200-point scale for its overall impact on employees, communities and the environment. To obtain a B Corp Certificate, it shall not only reach extremely high standards of social and environmental activities (with an impact score of over 80 points), but also change its governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders and to demonstrate as much transparency as possible.
A B Corp-certified company goes through the verification process every three years.
Spadel: the only group in the world with all its subsidiaries certified as B Corp™
In 2022, the Spadel Group accomplished its ambition to become a B Corp™-certified company. The group is consistently at the forefront of sustainability and declares in its charter its will to be a company with a positive impact.
Spadel is the first family-owned water bottling group to receive B Corp™ certification both for the group as a whole and for each of its brands: SPA and Bru in Belgium, Carola and Wattwiller in France and DEVIN JSC in Bulgaria.
The support provided by the group to the local economy and local associations in each of the countries where it operates also contributed to its high B Corp™ score. Spadel employs local people, sources almost entirely from local suppliers, and is committed to investing at least 5% of its profit for the year in local partners and local solidarity actions.
In Bulgaria, DEVIN JSC is the first mineral and spring water company to receive the B Corp™ Certificate. Since the summer of 2020, the company's bottling plant has been running entirely on green energy, with the brand committed more than ever to protecting the exceptional natural environment and biodiversity of the Rhodope region, where DEVIN water comes from.
In the words of Marc du Bois, CEO of Spadel, the certification "is just the beginning of our journey as Spadel and its brands will strive for higher and higher achievements in the coming years."
All of us at DEVIN JSC are ambitious to inspire and motivate other companies and businesses in Bulgaria to make efforts in environmental protection and attention to their employees and the products they produce, so that they can receive the prestigious certificate. In this way, as a market leader, we strive to help bring about positive change in our sector, as well as improve the overall business climate across the country.
The B Corp™ dimensions
As of today, the global B Corp™ community includes over 6,800 B Corporations in 90 countries and over 160 industries, employing more than 600,000 people. More than 1,100 companies are certified in Europe. Today, there are B Lab™ laboratories in continental Europe, North and South America, Australia and East Africa. All B Labs issue certificates for B Corporations. Lab Europe was founded in 2013 and is gaining popularity in the Benelux countries, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Portugal, the Scandinavian countries, Spain and others.