B Corp sustainability is becoming an increasingly popular topic but what does B Corp mean?
This was one of the questions that Great Lengths asked Valentina Ciurlante, who represents the B Corp Movement in Italy.
During our interview, we talked about the positive energy that is created when awareness is used constructively. Her first encounter with the world of B Corp companies was during a trip to South America. Once back in Italy, she decided to embark on a professional path to promote that same ethical philosophy in her home country.
Eventually, her research led her to Nativa, Italy's first B Corp, a country partner for B Lab and one of the movement’s founding companies in Europe. Nativa aims to promote the B Corp philosophy in Italy and guide Italian companies towards a positive impact.
So, getting back to our first question, what is a B Corp?
B Corporations, are companies certified by B Lab that intend to change the way we do business. They aim to define a new type of company, where the purpose is not only to generate financial profit for shareholders but also to make a profit for the benefit of people and the environment, using a more responsible, sustainable and transparent approach.
The B Corp certification represents the company's brand awareness, which is promoted internally in order to improve results and stimulate further growth; and externally, to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to join the network.
How can a company become a B Corp?
To get certified, B Corp companies must be assessed by B Lab, a non-profit network that measures their performance according to a universal yardstick: the company's positive impact on society and the planet.
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is the assessment tool used to measure, compare and improve a company’s performance.
A company that scores between 80 and 200 points is awarded a certificate of excellence that confirms its compliance with the highest standards of social and environmental performance.
The BIA is also the tool used by the United Nations to measure the company’s performance on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
What does a B Corp do?
The B Corp philosophy is based on the principle of interdependence, which means going beyond the boundaries of corporate competitiveness to share knowledge and technical expertise, making them available and a benefit to all.
This is the philosophy on which the B Corp Beauty Coalition movement was founded in 2021. It is an alliance of international B Corp companies specializing in the beauty segment that have decided to join efforts to enhance quality standards by using their business as a positive force for change.
'Beauty for Good' is the mission promoted by the B Corp Beauty Coalition to improve social and environmental practices and raise customer awareness towards more ethical consumer choices.
Great Lengths, too, recently joined the B Corp Beauty Coalition, becoming the first sustainable hair extensions B Corp to promote a new, more responsible and conscious beauty model.
How does a B Corp work?
Certified B Corp companies are required to set internal goals and track the progress of their quality standards over a three-year cycle. In the meantime, they must follow specific working groups to achieve an annual objective in collaboration with other B Corp-certified businesses through communication campaigns to promote projects and initiatives.
#UnlockTheChange is the Italian communication campaign created in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown period to 'unlock the change' and raise people's awareness about the achievements made by Italian B Corp brands.
The first Italian B Corp report was released on 21 February. This document illustrates the results of the Italian B Corp community, the activities it carried out in 2021 and the commitments for 2022 regarding joint initiatives such as #UnlockTheChange, #UnlockGenderEquality, #UnlockNetZero and #UnlockEducation.
In conclusion, what does it mean to be a B Corp?
You become a B Corp to aspire to a better future, where more and more companies compete positively, not only to be the best in the world but to be the best for the world.
Great Lengths firmly believes in this sustainability philosophy. Behind the company's name, in fact, is the quality of premium hair extensions, made with the care and dedication of creative talents using their knowledge and passion.
Thank you, Valentina.