In 2020, Sunday Riley joined the worldwide community of over 3,500 certified B Corporations (aka B Corps), including brands like All Birds, Bombas, Prose, and S’well. 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 can determine whether a company is just “talking the talk” regarding their claims of 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 incentivize 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 company’s impact on its employees, community, customers, and environment. The company must get at least 80 out of 200 points yearly to maintain its 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). In addition, annual fees are involved, which depend 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:
Plastic neutral: Since September 2022, we’ve officially been a plastic-neutral brand. Through our partnership with Clean Hub and Green Worms, we’ve collected over 34,000 lbs of plastic before it ends up in the sea. We are committed to picking up 114,690 lbs of plastic by September 202
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 and donated $500/day to charities benefiting Australian firefighters. This 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 the pandemic, and organizing a 5k run to raise almost $30,000 for beauty professionals financially impacted by COVID-19.
In 2022, we planted nearly 3,800 trees in the Amazon rainforest, India, Australia, and California. Since December, we’ve planted 500 trees as part of the Forest Fire Recovery plan and anticipate planting 25,000 trees through this program by the end of this year.