By Ariel Schwartz
B Lab's nearly six year-old certification program for B Corporations (companies that meet high social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency standards) is growing rapidly. As of November 2012, approximately 650 companies have achieved B Corp status; 12 states have recognized the model so far. That means B Corp's annual Best for the World list is only getting more competitive.
The 2013 list, released today, features the 10% of scorers on the B Impact Assessment, a sustainability management tool that examines a company's effect on the environment, workers, and community. This time around, B Lab broke up the list into segments: the top mid-size businesses, small business, and micro-enterprises.
Some of the mid-size businesses with at least 50 employees are familiar names; a few made the cut last year as well. They include solar home leasing company Sungevity, Afghanistan telecommunications provider Roshan, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program called Journey Healing Centers, and d.light, which makes solar lighting.
In the small business category (between 10 and 49 employees), B Lab lists some lesser-known companies, including the Bay Area Medical Academy, investment advisor Trillium Asset Management, and affordable hearing aid company Delight Hearing Aid.
The micro-enterprise category (0 to 9 employees) has more winners than either the small or mid-size business categories--it's probably easier to keep a triple bottom line when you don't have a large organizational structure. Winners include food company Alter Eco, biodiesel company Piedmont Biofuels, and publisher Little Pickle Press.
The winners span industries and countries (there are 25 represented). And while there are of course some solar and biodiesel businesses in the mix, they're far from the majority. B Lab's member companies are proving that a triple bottom line is possible in any sector--whether you're starting a body care company (like W.S. Badger Co.) or a home care company (like mid-size winner Home Care Associates of Philadelphia).
The full list of winners, along with a detailed B Impact assessment for each company, is available here.
Copyright 2013 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.