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Ben & Jerry’s Becomes a B Corporation

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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3:58PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Go Ben & Jerry’s!!!

4:33PM PST on Nov 27, 2012


11:29AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

Unilever now owns Ben & Jerry?!?

6:05AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

11:56PM PST on Nov 6, 2012

what is a B corporation

3:33AM PST on Nov 5, 2012


5:54PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

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

2:10PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Good for them.

12:24PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

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

10:20AM PST on Nov 4, 2012


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