B Corp certification means that Wildling Shoes is officially part of an international network of companies that have incorporated purpose-driven business practices and anchored high standards and strong values in their corporate bylaws. But what exactly does that mean and what’s behind all this?
Fair production conditions, ecological and innovative materials, renaturation projects, and New Work. If this sounds familiar, chances are you already know that delivering on these issues is a critical part of Wildling Shoes’ corporate culture. After all, we not only want to make really good minimal shoes, we also want to be regenerative on every level – and to continuously evolve in the process. And that – like so many things in life – works even better when you join forces with others who have similar aspirations. That’s where B Corp enters the picture.
Behind B Corp stands a global movement made up of companies that want to make the planet a better place. They have made it their mission to use their business model as a means to spur a transformation of the economic system. The name B Corp stands for “Benefit for all” (B) and “Corporation” (Corp). With its motto “Using business as a force for good!”, the movement aims to change the system for the better from the inside out. The more companies that join in, the more effectively we can work together to reimagine the economy – and to do so on a global scale. At B Corp, this is part of the “Declaration of Interdependence.” It states: “This economy comprises a new type of corporation — the B Corporation — which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.” That also means that B Corporations are required to formulate their articles of association, in other words, their so-called corporate purpose and business objective, in such a way that this fivefold benefit is anchored in them as a binding commitment.
The five pillars of certification
One example of that is compliance with the most stringent standards for transparency and ecological and social business practices. This is a way for companies to live up to their responsibility for ensuring a livable future. To make sure that happens, B Corp has established an elaborate certification process called the “B Impact Assessment.” As such, B Corp certification shines a light on every aspect of the company and is based on five pillars: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. For Wildling Shoes, an example of this is that the company’s performance is measured primarily in terms of its environmental and social impact. It means that we want to practice diversity and belonging in an active way and create the conditions necessary to achieve it. It means that we act in ways that conserve resources. And: It means that regular quality checks throughout the entire chain of value creation help ensure a product that is fairly sourced and fairly priced – so that Wildling shoes wearers as customers are valued the way they deserve to be.
On our B Corp certification landing page, we’ve put together a detailed information package for you that outlines how Wildling Shoes puts these pillars into practice as a company.
The next certification is always just around the corner
Does that sound a little complex? Maybe it is. Is it worth it? Absolutely. As a B Corporation, Wildling Shoes seeks to join other exemplary international companies, including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Ecosia as a global movement to help advance an ecological-social transformation, and to learn from and with each other. To make this learning and improvement process as dynamic as possible, B Corp certification has to be renewed every three years. To do so, companies need to retake the B Impact Assessment – and, according to B Corp’s self-imposed goals – that gets a little more challenging every year. We’re already looking forward to the challenge and will continue to keep you posted about our projects for ecological and social justice!