B Corps – this way forward

12 March, 2024

4 mins

What is a B Corp and why would you choose to shop with one?

Have you heard? There’s a growing global movement to use business as a force for good, and over 8,000 companies (including Pathfinder) are leading the way. As Certified B Corps we meet high standards for social and environmental impact, set and verified by B Lab. Every year during March, our community joins together to celebrate everything it means to be a B Corp. This year, we’re showing the world how we are always growing our impact - because B Corp certification isn’t a destination, it’s an invitation to join the journey towards supporting better business and we want to bring as many people along for the ride as we can.

Avoiding greenwashing – the power of the B

We are aware that a growing number of consumers attempt to shop in earnest, wanting to purchase socially conscious brands that advocate for the environment. But in a world awash with greenwash it can become an infuriating pursuit for the truth – what exactly do these “green” labels mean? As Gemma Rasmussen from Consumer NZ pointed out in her talk at an NZTE webinar on greenwashing - many companies make their own labels up.

Avoid vague, misleading terms such as nature inspired, environmentally friendly, planet conscious, biodegradable, green, better, and natural. Trademarking of words like earth or eco as part of branding are also considered greenwashing, according to Gemma. This is where Certified B Corps come in.

You may have seen the black capital B on better-known brands like Patagonia, Eco Store, Sharesies and Allbirds. From a purchasing perspective, knowing whether a company is a B Corp or not could be a powerful game-changer if you strive to be a conscious consumer.

So, what is a B Corp and why would you trust one?

Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Unlike other certifications, B Lab’s Impact Assessment is unique in that it measures a company’s social and environmental impact holistically, considering various stakeholders. Obtaining B Corp certification is not easy, it requires a high level of transparency as well as social and environmental performance. B Corps are recognised globally as leaders in the movement for economic systems change.

As a consumer, if you see the B Corp logo on a product or service you can trust that a company has met strict standards for accountability, transparency, and performance in areas such as employee benefits, supply chain practices, and charitable giving. This means that the business operates in a way that benefits all stakeholders, not just its owners and shareholders.

As one participant of a recent study into the consumer motivations to purchase from B Corps puts it: “When I know that a product is B Certified, I trust how it was made. Instead, if a product mentions that it is eco-friendly, I have to ask someone to make sure that the product is really eco-friendly. If I know that it is B Certified, then I will quickly trust the product.”

Obtaining B Corp certification and the future of our planet

Pathfinder obtained B Corp certification in April 2023 and was the first NZ fund manager to do so.

“It wasn’t easy” says CEO John Berry. “It required a high level of transparency as well as social and environmental performance. It is not simply about what we will and will not invest in as a fund manager. It is about our purpose and touches every part of our business.”

But the upside is clear, with an intensifying climate crisis and widening social chasms the B Corp community know that it’s going to take an urgent recalibration of what it means to do good business in an ever-changing world. These changes are not just about maintaining a certification; they’re about transforming an economy that is no longer working — for people, for communities and for the planet.

B Corps agree to uphold the Declaration of Interdependence, which states:

That we must be the change we seek in the world.

That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.

That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.

To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

Retaining certification – the journey

Remaining a B Corp requires an ongoing commitment. Each company is required to update its assessment every three years. It requires continually striving towards self-betterment by stipulating that companies must ‘set improvement goals against the most-up-to-date standards and benchmark their performance over time’, recertification and the degree of honesty which it incites allow businesses to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers and clients.

“Internally it’s something that our team values because it gives them a sense of working for something that’s beyond just money. Externally, it’s a great conversation with our investors to show we value more than just money” says John Berry.

So, how can you find B Corp certified companies?

Search here to buy from, work with, or learn more about Certified B Corporations around the world. Find a B Corp (

Look for the B-logo. B Corp’s usually wear the B Logo proudly.