How a Small Business can Become B Corp Certified

This time last year, Sea Witch Botanicals celebrated its greatest accomplishment yet- becoming a certified B Corporation! After an in-depth, third-party assessment by the B Lab of our business practices, we were able to confirm that our sustainability efforts are a measurable force for good. And now one year later, it still couldn’t feel better to be held to the B Corp standard of excellence.

Sea Witch Botanicals is a certified B Corp

The Value of Becoming a B Corporation

Since the start, our mission at Sea Witch Botanicals has been about people and planet. We care deeply about the long-term impacts our everyday choices have on our bodies and waterways. It’s because of our inherent goal of informing consumers about the insidious chemicals lurking in many home and body care products, that we set out to create our line of products that are safe for your health and the waterways. 

Commerce and environmentalism are often seen at odds. True, even when we started forming our business, we weren’t sure that a company with a strong drive to improve the environment would have a chance. When we discovered B Corporations, we realized that we had a standard of success and a community of peers we could look up to so we could achieve that balance of creating jobs while healing the world around us in this global movement. 

 In a recent  interview, our Founder & Master Crafter, Alesia explains, 

“What it really comes down to is we just want to do good. It’s not about making soap, it’s not about making incense, it’s about being an environmental company. My goal would be that we’re a trusted brand from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed. You would use Sea Witch Botanical products and you would be confident that you’re doing good for you and good for the planet.” 

By gaining the B Corp certification we strengthened our ties to our mission and values of stewardship, charity, health and prosperity. Plus, the third-party certification on our product packaging makes it easier to communicate this commitment to our stakeholders. Win-win!

The Impact of a B Corp Certification

We knew there was no higher precedent to hold our business model to than the B Corp certification, and upon going through the assessment and documentation process, our assumption was validated. 

The B Lab judges companies on a 200 point-based system. A minimum score of 80 points is required to become a certified B Corp. While our final score for 2018 was 81.4, this is still a huge accomplishment as each vertical of grading has in-depth requirements. 

The B Lab’s Impact Assessment is a lengthy process, but for good reason- it addresses governance, workers, community and environmental impact. Upon going through the assessment, the sustainable practices that we’ve always had in place such as diverting waste from the landfill, sourcing high-quality ingredients, giving precedence to local suppliers, providing meaningful training to our employees, opting into renewable energy, and donating to nonprofits were called upon. We soon discovered that the more documentation we could uphold around all of these practices, the better it is for our organization and our pursuance of the B Corp certification.

The Impact Assessment inspired better record-keeping in areas such as:

  • what percentage of our expenses support our local economy
  • how many pounds of carbon dioxide we’re reducing from our operations
  • what percentage of our ingredients are fair-trade, organic, and non-gmo
  • what proportion of our revenue is going to nonprofits annually
  • how many pounds of clean plastic we’re diverting from the landfill

The B Lab’s aim of compelling businesses to become better environmental and social stewards has worked on us, as we continually strive to gain a higher rating and strengthen our sustainable operations. It also led to us setting new environmental and social performance goals each year. Learn more in our 2018 Sustainability Report

We are excited to announce our completion of two of our three 2019 sustainability goals. The first being our 1% for the Planet Business Membership completed in January, which solidifies our commitment to donating 1% of revenue to environmental charities every year. 

All Natural Sea Witch Botanicals Incense which is a Certified B Corporation

The second goal we have achieved happened just this month with changing our natural incense packaging from plastic bags to compostable boxes! We couldn’t be happier to never see another plastic incense bag again, and even better is local artist Nikol King’s artwork being front and center on our new boxes. This change in our supply chain will help divert an immense amount of plastic from the landfill, which speaks to our mission of keeping our waterways clean. 

Ultimately, we thank the B Corp certification for being a guiding force behind sticking to our mission and values and for inspiring and holding us to our sustainability goals as we grow.

How You Can Become B Corp Certified 

  1. Start the B Impact Assessment. 

The B Impact Assessment is a tool every business owner should explore because not only is it an informative guide that strengthens any business model, but it’s also free! This assessment  illuminates sustainable business practices you may have never even considered before, making it incredibly enlightening. Plus, it saves as you go, allowing you to take as long as you need- so don’t procrastinate any further! 

  1. Get strong record-keeping practices in place.

The sooner you can keep proper accounting of every expense, every donation, every employee training, etc. the easier it will be when it comes time to upload supporting documentation upon completing the B Impact Assessment. Stay organized and it will help you move along with gaining the certification. Additionally,  it makes it easier to market your sustainable practices to your stakeholders in a sustainability report, on social media, and the like. 

  1. Be authentic with your unique mission and values.

As stated before, points are awarded in the B Impact Assessment in four different areas- governance, workers, community and environmental impact. It’s completely acceptable and normal to score higher in some departments than others. It really all goes back to your mission statement- your business’ why statement. Why are you in business, who or what are you specifically serving? Honor that why and put emphasis on it with your sustainable practices. You’ll find greater impact by honoring what you’re really passionate about more so than doing a little bit here and there. Always go back to your why. 

We can’t reiterate enough how valuable the B Lab’s Impact Assessment is, so whether you want to dip your toes in the certification, or full-fledged get it done by the end of the year- start now and we promise you will be better off than you were yesterday. Be the change!

Are you going through the B Corporation certification process? Feel free to reach out to us to share your story, collaborate on your assessment, or just build a stronger community. 

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