Making your vote count
Your dollar has a lot more power than you think. Your purchases have a direct impact on the success of a business. Because they simply cannot exist without customers. According to the 5WPR 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 83% of millennial consumers are buying from brands that align with their values. What if all consumers started focusing on a businesses’ values rather than the products themselves? We might not want to give them our business and that choice may impact the production of their products.
Some say if we consume less, businesses will produce less but that’s not always the case. The Coca-Cola Company has committed to reduce their plastic waste, but they also landed themselves in the number one spot on the 2021 Top 10 Corporate Plastic Polluters list. Let’s suppose I spent $2000 on Coca-Cola products last year. If I decide to boycott their products I represent less than 0.00000005% of their revenue since they made over 38 billion dollars in 2021. I don’t think they would miss me. But if I apply this same principle to a small business or a few small businesses, our buying habits might be able to hold them accountable and influence them to do the right thing. Voting with your wallet works if you focus your attention on where it can make a difference.
So how do we know if a business focuses on triple bottom line? Well, there is a certification for companies that are doing exactly that!
A B Corporation certification is a private credential for businesses that focus on their social and environmental performance. Not only does this certification require businesses to be transparent about their actions, it also requires businesses to make a legal commitment to accountability. Internal and external stakeholders are evaluated to make sure their framework is fair, equitable, and inclusive of all.
Businesses apply to go through a very meticulous certification process and are evaluated on the B Impact Assessment Tool. The tool examines, monitors, and improves a businesses’ impact based on five categories; governance, workers, community, the environment, and customers. Businesses must receive a verified minimum score of 80 out of 200 in order to qualify for the certification. Since not all businesses are the same, factors such as industry, size, ownership are all taken into account and addressed uniquely.
If we start spending money on products from brands that align with our values, we can uplift those who are committed to more than just making money. Buying from companies with certifications like this means we are supporting fair wages, safe working conditions, improved equitable and sustainable economies, and engaging others to improve their impact on people and the planet!