B Lab Announced 'Best for the World' Company List
The top five companies include Echale, a Mexico-based social housing production company; One Earth Designs, a Hong Kong-based company that provides clean-tech solution; CO2 Bambu, a Nicaragua-based design and construction firm; New Avenue, a California-based online platform that sells architecture services to home-owners; and Impact Makers, a Virginia-based consulting firm.
“The diversity proved that you can do business in a better way no matter which industry you are in,” said Katie Kerr, a spokesperson for B Lab, a non-profit organization that certifies B Corporations (or B Corps).
These companies were chosen based on their performance on B Lab's B Impact Assessment, a tool that measures the companies’ ability to solve social and environmental problems. The companies represent 20 countries, with 30 percent based outside the U.S and 13 companies from emerging markets.
The number of certified B Corps has increased steadily in the past few years. There are certified 725 B Corporations in total now, up from 125 in 2008, according to Kerr. To be qualified as B Corps, companies must prove that they care as much about the society and the environment as they do about profits by scoring at least 80 in the assessment test.
“Being a B Corp helps your business to connect with like-minded individuals nationally,” said Michael Pirron, CEO of Impact Makers, one of the founding companies of the B Corporation movement. “It also differentiates you from your competitors.”
One of the main benefits is that members of the B Corp network often offer discount services to one another, according to Pirron. 12 states now legally recognize benefit corporations.