And the success of companies that have become B Corps – Pip & Nut, Ben and Jerry’s, KeepCup, Patagonia, Toast Ale and many, many more – is serving as additional proof that you absolutely can make money and grow a business, whilst also doing good for people and the planet. It’s a virtuous circle.
Benefits of certifying as a B Corp include:
It’s really no surprise that so many businesses are starting their B Corp journeys.
Of course, environmental impact lies at the heart of doing good business. And carbon offsets and removal are a key part of sustainability for many businesses.
If you’re working to become a certified B Corp, then incorporating carbon offsets into your planning can be hugely beneficial.
Firstly, carbon offsetting questions are specifically included in the environmental section of the B Impact Assessment that forms the bulk of the B Corp certification process:
This means that you can gain points in the assessment by incorporating the purchase of carbon offset credits into your sustainability plan.
Beyond that, though, carbon offsets and removal also have a role to play in terms of the wider mindset of becoming a B Corp.
Your B Corp journey shouldn’t just be about meeting the minimum points requirement. It should be about truly putting purpose at the heart of what your business does, digging deep to find the unique ways your company can maximise the positive impact it has.
This perfectly aligns with how we view carbon offsetting and removal fitting into business sustainability strategies – both requiring a long-term journey of continuous improvement, not to be seen as quick and easy fixes. The B Corp mindset is all about putting purpose at the heart of your mission; similarly, your climate journey is most effective when climate is integrated into the core of your business’s value proposition.
We’re well aware that sometimes offsetting is used as a get out of jail free card by businesses. It’s too easy to purchase cheap, uncredible credits and spin it around to make a big deal out of it in marketing campaigns.
It’s greenwashing in the purest sense.
But, carbon removal is essential to climate change mitigation – the IPCC's sixth assessment report (released April 2022) makes that crystal clear. And approached in the right way, carbon offsets and removal can maximise positive climate impact, and bring climate impact into the core of a company’s customer experience.
We want companies to start their climate journey by measuring emissions and looking for ways to reduce their own carbon footprint as part of a sustainability strategy. But this takes time. Purchasing credits for high-quality carbon offset and removal projects is a way to have immediate positive impact by supporting climate solutions, whilst you’re working on that wider plan.
Plus, even once a business has done the work of reducing their carbon footprint, there will still be unavoidable carbon emissions. Here, purchasing high-quality carbon offset credits offers a way to compensate for those remaining emissions.
Even further, opting to support high-quality projects encourages intersectional thinking. A feature of most high-quality carbon offset and removal projects is that they have co-benefits such as ecosystem preservation, educational opportunities, or supporting impoverished communities – so you’re likely to be providing positive social impact beyond just the carbon emissions, which is also key to your B Corp journey.
Carbon offsetting offers a way to integrate climate impact into your existing customer experience, making supporting climate solutions part of every customer interaction.
The most obvious example is by integrating carbon offsetting into your service at the point of payment. Every time a purchase is made, you can automatically incorporate carbon offsets. It could be that you offset the emissions of that purchase itself, from materials to production to transport. Or maybe you choose to contribute 1% of the cost of every purchase to carbon removal projects instead. Either way, it’s a simple way to embed sustainability into your company as an authentic part of every transaction, not just as an afterthought or one-off campaign.
Plus, you can also give customers the opportunity to have involvement in the offsetting – such as by choosing which offsetting project you support for their purchase. We've designed our API and no code/low code tools to do exactly this, and to make it quick and simple to implement.
Alongside exploring the role of carbon offsets in becoming a B Corp, here are a few other useful tips for getting started:
Taking a lot at what other B Corps are up to can be a really useful way to understand more about what B Corps really are, and what it will be like to go through the process.
We’d particularly suggest finding out what existing B Corps there are in your industry, and have a browse of any information they have about being a B Corp on their website – press releases, blog posts, sustainability strategies etc.
Alongside this, don’t forget that there’s a whole wealth of explainers, resources and FAQs on the B Corp knowledge base.
Becoming a B Corp isn’t a simple process. It involves a significant amount of time and work to get ready for certification, and will almost definitely need multiple members of the team working on it. It’s also a long-term commitment. Once you’ve become certified, you’ll then be reassessed every 3 years to ensure you’re continuing your good work and even making improvements. Being prepared for this is key.
Here are some suggestions:
Use the B Impact assessment to calculate your baseline, remembering that you need a minimum score of 80 to be eligible for certification.
Calculating your baseline will help you to understand all the different information and documentation you need to be gathering for the certification, as well as evaluating which areas of the certification you want to prioritise at your company on the journey to B Corp.
Interested in including carbon offsets and removal in your B Corp sustainability journey? We'd love to help you do that in the way that's best for your company. Get in touch and a member of the Lune team will get back to you to set up an initial chat.