Sunday Riley officially joined the worldwide community of more than 3,500 certified B Corporations (aka B Corps), including brands like All Birds, Bombas, Prose, and S’well, in 2020. Whether this is the first time you’re hearing about a B Corp, or you want to know a little more about what it means, we want to give you an opportunity to learn how to shop smart and better.
What is a B Corp?
It’s a certification, just like Fair Trade or USDA Organic. The B Corp movement started in 2006, when three friends and entrepreneurs, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, founded B Lab with the belief that businesses can be profitable and do good for their employees, their communities, and the world around us. Unlike traditional corporations where financial profit is the top (and maybe only) priority, B Corps are for-profit corporations that also use the resources they have on hand to make a positive impact on the world around us. It’s completely voluntary for a company to decide to get graded by the B Lab. Under this process, the B Lab determines whether or not that company is meeting the utmost standards of creating purposeful jobs with a commitment to reduce inequality, sustain the economy, and better the environment. The first 82 B Corps were certified in 2007.
Why does it matter?
As a consumer, you’ll be able to identify whether a company is greenwashing — a term used to describe companies that use potentially misleading language that makes it sound like their brand is sustainable, healthier, recyclable, etc. Basically, since B Corps are verified by a third party, you’ll be able to determine whether a company is just “talking the talk” in regards to their claims on doing good.
For the company, it ensures that they’re held accountable for social and environmental best practices (and attracts like-minded customers that find this important). Becoming a B Corp could also be an incentive for top-tier candidates who want to work for a company with a unique purpose and drive. It also helps to give current employees a North Star by providing a central mission and vision that’s embedded in the company culture.
How does a company qualify?
The B Lab first uses its B Impact Assessment to measure the impact that the company has on its employees, community, customers, and environment. The company has to get at least 80 out of 200 points every year to maintain their B Corp status. After legally qualifying for the B Corp, submitting documentation, completing a background check, and performing an on-site review, the process can take many months from start to finish (for Sunday Riley, it took two years). There are annual fees involved, which depends on how much revenue the company brings in) to maintain their B Corp status.
How do Sunday Riley’s values fit into a B Corp?
More details about Sunday Riley’s commitment to sustainability and the community can be found here, but below are some of the highlights:
Reduce packaging waste: We have redesigned our packaging to be greener. This includes switching the EVA foam trays in our product packaging to recycled pulp board, switching to eco-friendly inks (like soy), and using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) materials for boxes.
Zero Waste Oil Process: Every Sunday Riley oil is produced using a Zero Waste Oil Process. While the seeds we use to press our oils can contain as little as 10% of the material needed, the remaining 90% never goes to waste. The byproduct is ground into a seed powder and put into various nutritional supplements and plant protein forms for animal and pet use. Any inedible seed material is then used in agricultural processes for fertilization so that these nutrients are back into the ground they were grown.
Become more energy efficient: Sunday Riley purchased carbon credits that offset all of our freight shipments. Carbon credits, according to Investopedia, are permits that allow the company that holds it to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases to help offset the carbon footprint when an e-commerce product needs to be shipped. We also group freight and shipments together, to reduce our carbon footprint and ship by sea instead of air whenever possible.
Hold suppliers accountable: In addition to sourcing ingredients in the most environmentally conscious way, suppliers and contract manufacturers are evaluated on sustainability and human rights metrics. We purchase the most sustainable ingredient options possible from environmentally responsible suppliers. Our ingredients are sourced predominantly from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Our products are formulated, mixed, bottled, and boxed in the U.S.
Commit to volunteer and donation opportunities: As a company, we offer paid Volunteer Time Off. In 2019, we matched customer and employee donations to the Amazon rainforest as well as donating $500/day to charities benefiting Australian firefighters. This has included donating $50,000 to the NAACP in 2020, partnering with It Gets Better, organizing rescue pet adoptions, donating bikes to children in need for Christmas, donating 20,000 KN95 masks to hospitals, donating 4,000 jars of C.E.O. cream to healthcare workers during Covid-19, and organizing a 5k run to raise almost $30,000 for beauty professionals financially impacted by Covid-19.