Yes, it’s true: The Honest Company is in the “business” of creating delight with exceptional products that help make the world a greater place: safe, healthy, beautiful, and happy for all. But ultimately, we’re on a mission to do so much more! Educating, empowering, and impacting the world in a positive way as a social enterprise is embedded in our DNA. Our founding charter puts a passionate focus on maximum social goodness, not only to promote social responsibility, but also to commit to a more sustainable planet.
So, it made sense that we proudly underwent the rigorous evaluation to become a certified B Corporation over two years ago. (Just 6 months after we launched!) B Lab, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization, ranks participating businesses on their treatment of workers, contribution to the community, and impact on the environment to create a framework against which companies can measure and track their social responsibility. As we look after people and planet, this assessment is a learning tool to evolve your business and add definition, rigor, transparency, and legitimacy to your work.
Scoring is on a 200 point scale, with transparency and accountability as key factors. Though any sum of points is a good thing, most companies land between 40 and 100 points total and a company must earn at least 80 points to qualify for certification. Our first time around in 2012, we finished with a score of 91...but we weren’t about to stop there! Now that we’ve completed the recertification process for 2015, we’re thrilled to announce that we earned an additional 16 points! This brings our new overall score to 107, which is 27 points above the median.
From the beginning, we wanted to show everyone--including a powerful community of over 1,200 corporations coming from 38 countries--that being a B Corporation means that we not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk towards one unifying goal.
We spread our efforts across many areas:
- Environment: We took a hard look at our sourcing, our product mix, and our carbon footprint to make improvements that have not only increased our score but delighted our customers. Our top-selling items are all made from sustainable, natural raw materials, including our 100% biodegradable wipes made from plant-based fiber. We also have continued our commitment to 100% renewable energy certificates for all of our Honest facilities and corporate travel to support clean energy and offset and actively minimize our footprint on the environment.
- Governance and Workers: We took great pains to be collaborative and supportive by enacting new standards and procedures to further protect our employees and stakeholders (who truly are the heart and soul of all that we do). For example, we rightsized the standard of living compensation for all Honest employees and created a stronger diversity policy to capture our core values of equality, equal opportunity and inclusion.
With everything we do, we acknowledge the work that still needs to be done - we’re still passionate about building processes, plans, and projects to be even better. But jumping 16 points in just two years wasn’t easy. So, how does it all add up? Here’s a look behind the numbers:
What We’ve Been Up To
As a mission-driven company, our efforts are twofold. We’re committed to making products that are safe, effective, and affordable, while minimizing our impact on the physical environment; we also want to support, educate, and inspire our community of members and fans. After all, we’re in this together!
We’re happy to say that 100% of our revenue comes from products that use less toxic materials than market alternatives. But we can always do more. Since our initial certification, we’ve worked on reducing the waste created by our products while creating benefits for our consumers. Take the launch of a concentrated refill option for all of our spray cleaners, for example. When our members opt for the concentrated version, we cut our greenhouse gas emissions for that product by 75%, reduce water consumption by 74%, and 77% less fossil fuel consumption.
We’re even happier to include everyone in the Honest ecosystem in our mission as a B Corporation. Thoughtfulness is something that we expect of all our partners. With the introduction of our Collective lifestyle items, we work with like-minded companies to create safe, eco-conscious, and responsibly manufactured goods. In one of our many collaborations, we’ve made accessories with Piece & Co., an organization that creates beautiful textiles while providing sustainable employment opportunities for collectives of women artisans worldwide.
As we grown in numbers and reach, it’s important to stay vigilant because everything we do is amplified that much more. Despite continual expansion to accommodate our Honest family, our office space remains up to green building standards and is entirely run on energy from renewable resources. We’re always investing in everyone under our (green) roof because they’ve invested so much in us. Every employee is entitled to 100% health care coverage and full-time employees are also granted stock options.
Where We’re Headed
From day one, we’ve been dedicated to using our business as a force for good. We’re all about continual improvement, so we recently revamped our social responsibility platform (“Social Goodness”) in support of this goal, defining our long-term goal of supporting whole child development for children ages 0-3 and transforming early learning, child care, and educational environments with safe, healthy cleaning products, access to nutrition education and healthier foods, and more training and education for child care center directors.
With 60% of moms returning to work within 6 months of giving birth, young children are spending a great deal of time in child care environments in the most formative and crucial years of life. And with only 4% of public funds going to early education, there is a great opportunity to improve. Through our partnerships with leading organizations like Food Corps, the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai and the American Sustainable Business Council, we are dedicated to ensuring that all children starting from the earliest, most critical years have access to safe, healthy learning environments so that they can grow up to thrive and pursue their dreams.
We’re continually working towards further increasing the plant-based materials (and packaging) where applicable - like our diapers. We’re also pursuing Cradle to Cradle certification for a number of our products, as well as enrolling in certifications for our products in the USDA Bio-Preferred and Safer Choice by EPA programs. We’re looking forward to earning LEED certification for our offices, which would benefit both the environment and our employee’s health.
Being a B Corporation inspires us to celebrate the achievements that make Honest what it is and to explore the possibilities for what we can be. This third party certification is a valuable metric and a good reminder that some of the most important things we make can also be the hardest things to measure. We’re so proud to be a part of the B Corp family and benefit corporate movement; we can’t wait to put our goals into action and set an example for what it means to be a better business. (We’ll see you back here in two years for an update!)
Images via B Corporation.