5 things to know about the resilience and financial performance of B Corps
We on B Lab Global’s Insights team are excited to share our latest report, examining the financial performance and resilience of Certified B Corps. Perhaps it’s been a while since your last statistics class, and you’re a bit rusty on your p values. Fear not! Below is a summary of the key things you need to know, with a couple of B Corp case studies to illustrate the story we saw in the numbers.
Being a B Corp is about much more than profitability. When B Lab created the B Corp Certification, we intended to urge companies to move away from focusing solely on generating ever-greater profit for shareholders. B Corps commit to serving all stakeholders, people, communities, and the planet, whilst staying financially healthy as a for-profit company. Their profits power their purpose – not the other way around.
Yet, the evidence shows that B Corps do perform well financially. Across a wide range of studies – including our analysis of previously published work by researchers outside B Lab – we find that B Corps are likely to be on par with "ordinary” businesses when it comes to financial performance, and potentially doing better on some measures.
In fact, B Corps are generally more likely to grow both their workforce and their revenue. Whether measured in new jobs or sales, the evidence shows some positive signs for B Corps outperforming “ordinary” businesses, in terms of topline growth.
B Corps are more resilient to disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. From Australia to Chile to the United States, our study found that a greater number of B Corps remained in operation in 2023. Over 95% of the B Corps we studied stayed in business, while only 88% of comparable non-B Corps did the same.
It’s probably about people and purpose. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that we will find the reasons for this performance in the ways B Corps are run: focused on their people, or their mission, and hence with a keenness to be sustainable over the long term.
We look forward to seeing more research on these topics, and to hearing examples from the community. Here’s one, from Graze in the UK. Read the full report to learn more about additional B Corps who are living examples of our research in Africa, New Zealand, the US, and Europe.
Graze was launched in 2007 as a healthy snack subscription service. Originally operating as a direct-to-consumer delivery model, customers signed up and the boxes were delivered to them at home or work. Its current CEO Joanna Allen joined at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Over the past three years, the business has focused on continuing to make its snacks tastier and healthier, further expanding availability through launching into new retail channels and adding new product formats and features to its direct-to-consumer subscription.
Allen says one of the most rewarding aspects of the job was steering Graze through the final stages of becoming a B Corp, a status it achieved in 2021. Allen said: “Not only has the process helped transform the business for the better, it has supported Graze as we attract great talent and opened up conversations with suppliers and customers keen to do business with purpose-led companies.”
At Graze, Allen has taken the business on a journey to understand that making a profit and being socially and environmentally responsible can be mutually beneficial. Examples of this include a project where Graze recently redesigned the packaging of its savoury products. The new material now used is more recyclable, stands out better on the shelf, and has helped the business to mitigate inflationary costs. The team also reviewed its supply chain, relocating Graze’s bakery to its main manufacturing site, to reduce fuel consumption and carbon mileage.
Ready to dive deeper? The full report includes charts with filters for different regions, a detailed analysis of the data, an explanation of our methodology, and case studies on four additional B Corps. You can also download a PDF to keep, or pass along.
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