What’s in a sustainable business? We think it’s much more than offsetting carbon, going plastic-neutral, or paying above the minimum wage.
Are sustainable businesses responsible for open sourcing their best practices, searching for continuous opportunities for improvement, and encouraging action beyond their own industries? The B Corp community would argue yes, everyone in the movement is responsible for going beyond the B, and maximing the positive impact of sustainable practices.
March is B Corp month, and this year’s theme is We Go Beyond. In a world full of greenwashing, consumers might not notice that B Corporations are measurably going beyond expectations in their respective industries. These businesses are redefining their industries and bringing positive change to the communities they value.
Take Nisolo for example, a fashion brand and B Corp headquartered here in Nashville. Nisolo is going beyond by continuously auditing itself to ensure that the true cost of its products is measured and rethought, all the way from leather sourcing to the in-store customer experience.
Fashion is a pretty dirty business. It’s the second largest consumer of the world’s water supply and contributes 10% of all carbon emissions. On the social side, some of the worst working conditions in the world are suffered by garment workers in unsafe factories. The downstream environmental impacts of fashion are also felt most intensely by disadvantaged communities, like factory runoff in waterways and air pollution. Nisolo is on a mission to redesign the fashion industry by showcasing how it can put people and the planet above profit, though a series of social and environmental interventions.
Learn why Nisolo is a top-rated B Corporation on their blog, where they dive into their score a bit more and explain initiatives that support transparency. For example, their Sustainability Facts Label is the first effort of its kind to connect consumers with the impact of their purchase. The idea is that by shifting the focus of shopping on impact for the consumer, other brands will see initatives like the Sustainability Facts Label as a blueprint for their own industries.
Jacqueline Goodwin is the Sustainable Workplaces Manager at Urban Green Lab. She oversees the Urban Green Lab Certification Program and the Nashville Sustainability Roundtable. More…