Examples of damn good businesses: Making good money while doing good
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend toward businesses that prioritize more than just their financial results. These companies strive to have a positive impact on their employees, customers, society, and the environment while still making a healthy profit. This article features some of the most successful examples of such companies and what sets them apart within the market in which they operate.
Patagonia is a company that has long been praised for its commitment to environmental activism. They produce outdoor clothing and gear, but what sets them apart is their focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing. Patagonia invests in renewable energy, encourages recycling, and has pledged to donate 1% of its sales to environmentally friendly causes. They also have fair labor policies and encourage their customers to take care of their products to reduce waste.
Warby Parker is an eyewear company that has disrupted the traditional eyewear industry. They sell high-quality, affordable eyewear and have made it their mission to give people in need access to better vision. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates one pair to someone in need. They are also strongly committed to ethical manufacturing and work with suppliers who meet their standards for fair labor practices.
Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's is a beloved ice cream company that has always been committed to social justice and environmental sustainability. They source their ingredients from fair trade suppliers, use sustainable packaging, and have a strong stance on climate change. In addition, they have a program called "PartnerShops" that provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities.
B Lab is not a traditional corporation, but rather a nonprofit that certifies companies as "B Corporations" based on their commitment to social and environmental impact. B Corp certification is a rigorous process that evaluates a company's impact on its employees, customers, community, and environment. Some notable B Corps mentioned above include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry's, and Warby Parker, as well as companies such as Etsy, Allbirds, and The Honest Company.
The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a cosmetics and skincare company that has been committed to ethical manufacturing and sustainability since its founding in the 1970s. They were one of the first companies to ban animal testing and are strongly committed to fair trade. They also support various social and environmental causes through their Community Trade program, which works with suppliers in marginalized communities.
Salesforce is a software company that has made a name for itself in the tech industry for its commitment to social and environmental impact. They have a program called "1-1-1" in which 1% of their products, shares, and employee time are given to charities. They have also made progress in reducing its carbon footprint and have set a goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company.
TOMS is a shoe company that pioneered the "One for One" model. For every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need. They have also extended this model to eyewear, and have worked to promote access to clean water and safe deliveries in communities in need. TOMS has also worked to reduce its environmental impact through sustainable production methods.
Patagonia Provisions is a company that produces sustainable and organic food products. They prioritize regenerative agricultural practices, and their products are all responsibly sourced. They have also made efforts to reduce waste by using compostable packaging and have a strong commitment to supporting local communities.
The Honest Company
The Honest Company is a company founded by actress Jessica Alba that makes natural and non-toxic home and personal care products. Their products are all ethical and cruelty-free, and they prioritize transparency in their ingredients and manufacturing processes. The Honest Company also has a strong commitment to giving back and has donated millions of products and funds to various charities.
REI is a company with a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. They have set ambitious goals to reduce their environmental footprint and have adopted sustainable packaging practices. REI also invests in various environmental causes and encourages its customers to participate in outdoor recreation and environmental activism.
Eileen Fisher is a clothing company that has been committed to ethical and sustainable production since the 1980s. They prioritize organic and sustainable materials and are strongly committed to fair labor practices. Eileen Fisher also has a recycling program that encourages its customers to turn in their used clothing for reuse or recycling.
These companies are just a few examples of businesses that prove that doing good can also mean doing good financially. By putting their impact on employees, customers, society, and the environment first, these companies set themselves apart from their competitors and win loyal customers who share their values. Whether it's sustainable production practices, ethical business practices, or giving back to the community, these companies are leading the way toward a more responsible and sustainable business model.
What is a B Corporation?
A B Corporation is a certification awarded to businesses that meet high standards for social and environmental impact, as evaluated by the nonprofit organization B Lab.
Why is it important for corporations to prioritize social and environmental impact?
Prioritizing social and environmental impacts can lead to increased customer loyalty, a positive reputation, and a more sustainable business model in the long run.
What are some other examples of B Corps?
Other notable B Corps include Etsy, Allbirds, and The Honest Company, as well as companies in various industries around the world.
How can consumers support these companies?
Consumers can support these companies by choosing products and services from companies that prioritize social and environmental impact and by telling their friends and family about these companies.
Can businesses still be profitable and still prioritize social and environmental impacts?
Yes, many of the companies mentioned in this article are profitable and successful and still prioritize social and environmental impacts. By putting these values first, these companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a loyal customer base.