Ben & Jerry’s Becomes a B Corporation

Written by Sami Grover

From partnering with Greenpeace to build a climate-friendly ice cream cooler through converting all flavors to Fair Trade to converting ice cream waste to energy, Ben and Jerry’s has a significant history of impressive good-for-the-world business initiatives.

And yet skepticism persists. Ever since Unilever purchased the company, Ben and Jerry’s have had to face accusations of “selling out”. So how does one ensure that the mission of a company persists, even after it has been purchased by a larger entity that is beholden only to its shareholders?

Ben and Jerry’s has just announced they are becoming an officially certified B Corporation. In fact, they are the first wholly-owned subsidiary to earn that seal of approval—and as such, they’ve had to pass a whole host of additional requirements that independent B Corps do not need to meet:

As a wholly-owned subsidiary, Ben & Jerry’s has met additional transparency requirements to earn its B Corp certification, making its full B Impact Assessment and relevant excerpts from its governing documents visible to the public at Highlights of Ben & Jerry’s B Impact Report include: 45% of its cost of goods sold go toward investing in and supporting small scale suppliers through the Caring Dairy program; 100% of its U.S. pint containers are made with FSC-certified paperboard; and its lowest paid hourly worker receives 46% above the living wage.

What’s fascinating about the B Corporation movement—which now includes entities including ETSY and Patagonia—is not that it is about businesses who are committed to doing good. We’ve seen mission-driven businesses around for years. Rather, it’s the notion that businesses can institutionalize their good-for-the-world nature in a way that makes it very hard to backtrack or reneg on the pledges you make.

This is particularly important when applied to businesses who can be, or have been, bought by others.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: roboppy/flickr

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Alice Almeida
Alice Almeida2 years ago

Go Ben & Jerry’s!!!

Sarah M.
Sarah M.2 years ago


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin3 years ago

Unilever now owns Ben & Jerry?!?

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Krysti Schwab
Past Member 3 years ago

what is a B corporation

Giana Peranio-paz


Irene J.
Irine J.3 years ago

well hopefully they won't mess up down the road, with the way everything operates, you always got to have your eyes open and not trust anyone

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.3 years ago

Good for them.

Sharon W.
Sharon W.3 years ago

Fantastic! I am really happy that there are some companies left that both produce very good food and act in an ethical way.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago