May. 20, 2020 An inside look into the rigorous process of becoming a B Corp — and how the certification is reshaping business in America to benefit all.
B Corp wants to redefine what success in business means for society, shifting from a model centered around shareholders — those who profit from a company — to stakeholders — those who are impacted by a company.
B Corp measures businesses by whether they are good actors and deliver value to all. This means reckoning with the broader implications of business decisions and understanding their impacts beyond the bottom line. Over 3,000 companies worldwide are now B Corp certified, including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Allbirds.
Certified B Corporations balance purpose and profit. They are the gold standard for responsible business, demanding accountability toward a sustainable and inclusive economy. The rigorous certification process provides the highest standard of verified positive impact of a company.
Once approved, B Corporations are legally required to change their governing documents to consider the result of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
Portrait of Avocado’s family-owned farm in India.
Avocado Green became a Certified B Corp in May 2020, with high a score of 126.2 — well beyond the 80-point minimum threshold.
“Being a responsible company is built into the DNA of Avocado, so we always knew we wanted to become a Certified B Corp,” says Avocado Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder Mark Abrials. “We’re proud to join their movement of like-minded businesses that are paving the way for a better future.”
The process for Avocado to become a Certified B Corp took the better part of a year. Bri Decker, Avocado’s sustainability manager, oversaw the process.
“Now more than ever, companies need to re-frame their business models in order to benefit all stakeholders,” says Decker.
Avocado’s B-Impact Score included high marks in Community, Environment, and Workers categories.
The high score in Environment was a result of their commitment to wind and solar energy and their Climate Neutral certification. With Climate Neutral, the entirety of their carbon footprint is measured and verified, from raw material production and shipping to manufacturing and delivery. They reduce where they can and purchase offsets for the balance. Avocado is the world’s first mattress brand to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. In 2020, Avocado went carbon negative, offsetting more carbon than it generates.
Avocado’s sewing department family at their own organic California factory.
Avocado also scored well in Community because of their commitment to 1% for the Planet and their transformative mattress donation program. As members of 1% for the Planet, they donate 1 percent of their revenues to vetted nonprofits in an effort to address the interrelated issues of climate change, healthy food systems, land management, water resources, pollution, and wildlife diversity.
In April 2020, 1% for the Planet honored Avocado with their inaugural Pinnacle Award. Additionally, their sustainability team developed a nationwide network of over 1,000 nonprofit partners. As a result, 90 percent of returned mattresses and 100 percent of returned pillows are donated to shelters and others in need.
Avocado scored high points in Workers as result of their competitive wages, from the factory floor throughout the company, as well as extensive employee benefits, which include paid volunteer days and a free Headspace account and subsidized Classpass membership to encourage mental and physical well-being.
“We don’t think about Avocado as a mattress company,” says Avocado Chief Experience Officer and Co-founder Jay Decker. “We consider ourselves an environmental platform that just happens to make great organic mattresses and bedding products. To truly create change, we need collective action and accountability, and becoming a B Corp is a great way for companies to actualize their commitment to using business as a force for good.”
Avocado Co-founder Jay Decker planting an avocado tree in India.
Who are some of your favorite B Corps? Share with us on social @AvocadoMattress.