B Corps should have a Mission with a Social, Environmental and Financial goal
From the beginning, a company should be operating itself with a mission. These missions vary between industry as well as the size of the company. However, when a certified B Corp creates its mission statement it should align similarly with other B Corporations. All B Corps should have a mission that strives to do much more than just maximize profits. These companies use business as a force for good. B Corps balance profits with purpose and this mission is built into the company’s business model. Many times, a B Corp will have either a social or environmental goal along with its financial goal. In the best of circumstances, it will have all three resulting in using the triple bottom line. Having this three-part mission can help set a B Corporation apart from its competitors in its industry.
What a three-part mission should look like
For instance, take two higher-end ice cream companies: Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs. Each company makes ice cream that consumers enjoy and will pay a premium price to eat. Both companies are successful, but there is a difference. Ben & Jerry’s is a certified B Corp while Häagen-Dazs is not. The mission statements of these companies show how they differ. Häagen-Dazs’ mission is “to make the most extraordinary ice cream the world has ever tasted, a spoonful of luxury to escape the everyday,” whereas Ben & Jerry’s “operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to our business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike.” The three parts of this mission are economic, social and product. Economically, Ben & Jerry’s strives to have sustainable financial growth. Socially, Ben & Jerry’s tries to find innovative ways to improve the quality of life globally. And from a product standpoint, it produces ice cream that promote business practices that respect the Earth and environment. The mission of Ben & Jerry’s has much more depth than Häagen-Dazs and being a B Corp plays a significant role in it. These larger, more meaningful missions encourage informed consumers to purchase from B Corps.
When comparing missions from different B Corps across various industries, the sentiment of meaningful missions stays the same. Although these B Corps sell diverse products and operate in different ways, they all have the common goal of using their businesses as a force for good.
When looking at three B Corps in different industries the missions stay quite similar:
- Bombas (apparel) – provide a sustainable, high-quality solution to the most sought-after article of clothing in homeless shelters.
- New Belgium Brewing (beverage) – to make world-class beer, do right by people, and inspire social and environmental change.
- Beautycounter (personal care) – formulate, advocate, and educate for cleaner beauty standards for everyone.
The missions of these three companies all have a central theme of helping people and the world, regardless of if it is making socks, beer or beauty products.
Each B Corp goes about making its impact differently. Bombas donates a pair of socks to a homeless shelter with each pair of socks purchased, New Belgium Brewing produces the first ever carbon neutral beer as well as other environmental and social initiatives, and Beautycounter produces clean beauty products and makes them available for all people. They also make it a mission to transform the beauty industry.
In whatever capacity they work, each of these B Corps use their business as a force for good and that is mission of all B Corps.