From day one, we knew Saalt would become a B Corp. We say knew because this wasn't just a pipe dream or goal we hoped to someday achieve. We believe in using business as a force for good is the vision statement we chose to plaster across our office wall-the measuring stick we turn to in every decision we make. The B Corp's standard of conscious capitalism in every aspect of business is exactly what we wanted for Saalt-from sourcing products responsibly, measuring supply chain sustainability, committing to honesty and transparency, and giving back to create meaningful impact.
Well, we have an exciting announcement we've been at the edge of our seats to share (can we get a digital drumroll?!)...
We did it!
As of June 2019, Saalt has been accepted into the B Corp community! Not to toot our own horn, (ok, just a little!) but in just a year and a half since our launch in February of last year, we have worked hard to grow our business mindfully-not just in our sustainable menstrual cups, but in our workplace as well. This is a momentous turning point for our company because we are now part of a movement aimed at evolving the way capitalism and the economy works. Inc. magazine called the B Corp Certification the highest standard for socially responsible businesses.
What it Means
Becoming B Corp certified is no small feat. Ask Patagonia, Ben and Jerry's, Etsy, Warby Parker, and Seventh Generation among other household brands who helped blaze the B Corp trail. It requires a passing grade on a difficult and meticulous assessment that details the specific, actionable parameters a business must follow just to be considered. For example, B Corps are legally required to address the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders. Since a B Corp's legal language lists the environment, staff, and business partners as direct stakeholders, B Corps have a fiduciary (legal) responsibility to consider the impact business decisions have on everyone involved. This means we have to choose partners carefully and consider workplace conditions for not just our own company, but for those we do business with as well.
How it Benefits Saalt's Workplace
We've found our commitment to the B Corp standard to be a huge win for our workplace and company culture. It attracts passionate and talented employees who want to be involved in meaningful work with greater social impact, and working mothers make up a large part of that highly-capable talent pool. But to tap into that pool to employ Saalt's primarily female staff has required some out-of-the-box thinking:
As women, we can take the lead in exploring creative solutions to help solve the unique needs of women and mothers in the workplace. The high cost of childcare, for example, is one of the biggest barriers for mothers who want to work, and many struggle with the decision to send their children to daycare. Because we have many young mothers on our team (myself included), we addressed this early on by offering a free on-site preschool three days per week with two preschool teachers. Our employees love being able to see their children during the day in a positive learning environment, and it's been instrumental to our team's success because we've been able to tap into a pool of amazing female talent who otherwise may not be in the workplace. -Cherie Hoeger, Saalt Co-founder
How it Benefits People & Planet
The B Corp model breaks down conventional wisdom on business operations and uses a new system for thinking about corporate responsibility-cue the Triple Bottom Line. Instead of thinking about one bottom line-profit, this model is based off the three P's-people, planet, and profit. The system entails redefining a company's commitment to people by ensuring high standards for workplace transparency and fair wages, to the planet by requiring a reduction on carbon footprint, and for profit by continuing to succeed and thrive in the business world. If before, ‚Äòbusiness as usual' meant maximizing revenue no matter the cost, now it means creating long-lasting positive business tactics that are aimed at a greater good for everyone. Imagine the change that could be made if this became the standard business model for all. Pretty amazing right? Robert Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and Nobel Laureate, explained the positive change it brings:
The B Corp movement is, to me, a product of a general improvement in our understanding of economic behavior. Through greater appreciation of the real motives that drive and excite people, B Corporations provide a significant new opportunity for investors. I think they could make more profits than any other types of companies. -Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University
What You Can Do
Mindful customers have led industries to create entirely new frameworks to demonstrate they are doing their best to be inclusive, transparent, environmentally conscious, and using their profits for a greater purpose. This creates a chain reaction for good, because with the force and influence that for-profit businesses carry in the world's economy, you can create a lasting movement that reaches far and wide. Customers have proven their strength-they've proven that they care enough about where their products are sourced and how a company treats their employees to shed light on those who don't and supporting those who do.
You as a customer have a direct impact on this amazing global shift, and we at Saalt thank you for caring and supporting companies that are striving for positive change. Without you, the momentum to make industrial changes would not exist! And this new method of business could invariably change the world as a new wave of entrepreneurs choose to adopt B Corp standards.
We would love to see more aspiring entrepreneurs embrace their influence to do good through this triple bottom line approach. We really believe the B Corp standard is the way of the future. There is so much every business can do to maximize their social impact while simultaneously decreasing their environmental footprint. In industries where disposable products offer far more profit, we hope new entrepreneurs will instead choose better health for their customers and our planet.
While there is still so much more we can do, that too is part of the culture of the B Corp movement. We look to continually improve ongoing relationships with current and future suppliers and partners that will help us make additional progress in the next year, like sourcing from factories who use only certified renewable energy and who support their workers by paying for them to attend college. The future is bright and we couldn't be more proud to be a part of an international community that is dedicated to creating change. -Jon Hoeger, Saalt Co-founder
Check out https://bcorporation.net for a full list of B Corp certified companies.