March is B Corp month. But ehhh, B Corp? From what it means to why we’ve got ourselves this official certification, here’s telling it like it is — simple as (A)-B-C..
so, what is B Corp, exactly? B Corpis a business certification where B stands for Benefit. And, actually, yes — being a B(enefit) Corp is a bit like being a friend with benefits: giving a whole lotta lovin’ to everyone. Because B Corps are all about giving goodness to all of society, not just giving profits to shareholders.
what does it take to be a B Corp? The B Corp label is an official certification that can be earned by for-profit businesses that use the power of the marketplace to help solve social and environmental problems. Or simply put, companies that use their business for good. Not just not doing bad stuff, but actively doing good stuff.
To wear the B Corp badge, companies are required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. So, it covers ethical practices in every aspect of the business, not just, for example, fairly trading with cocoa farmers (that’s what we got our Fairtrade certification for!). Things like the UN Sustainable Development Goals, workplace diversity, and building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
why did Tony’s choose to become a B Corp? Because we believe that being a better business should be the norm, not the exception. As a company that is first and foremost a changemaker, addressing social injustice in the cocoa supply chain, and a chocolate-maker second, we’ve been living the B Corp mantra of balancing purpose and profit since day one. Not to mention their three main criteria: not only limiting negative impact, but improving your industry, holistically aiming to do good, and seeing money only as the means, never the end.
For us, it’s also a way of showing how much we value our internal as well as external stakeholders. Because to be a B Corp, you need to take responsibility for your whole value chain.
More than that, we also really value being part of a community of leaders, and a global movement for a better world. Being a B Corp helps us raise the bar by showing us where and how we can keep improving. So you can bet we were quick to apply for our badge of honor in 2013. (So quick, we were the second company in the Netherlands to get certified, and the first European chocolate company. Huzzah!)
what’s next in Tony’s B Corp journey? Onwards and upwards! We’re in the process of getting recertified (it happens every 2 years), with the aim of upping our points. Points? Yep: B Corps are measured on a scale of 200, and we’re aiming to improve our score since the last re-certification. The results should be in before the end of the cocoa season (October 2021); stay tuned.
In the meantime, we’ll be doing our bit as part of the B Corp community. Meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose is still the exception for most businesses, and we fully support B Corp in making these high standards the norm. Because the more companies shift their mindsets to being socially minded, the faster we can all achieve our goals. Only together we’ll make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate.