All this month, we’ll be sharing stories related to B Corp’s “Vote Every Day” campaign. The second installment is from Associate Financial Advisor and Director of Operations, Kerry Keihn.

Happy B Corp Month! As an attempting-to-be-conscious consumer, I’m grateful for third-party certifications like B Corp designation that verify how responsible a company is.  In an age where socially and environmentally responsible businesses are being sought out, it can be hard to see through marketing gimmicks.  Even though that can be a challenge, it makes me so happy that there are finally multiple options to weed through when wanting to vote with your dollars!  It may make it harder to weed out the “greenwashing,” but the fact that those not-so-responsible options are being billed as responsible just means conscious consumers are finally being taken seriously enough to market to as a growing trend.

I remember as a kid going grocery shopping with my mother.  She was so excited when our local grocery store started carrying organic milk for the first time.  Even though absolutely no one in the house drank milk, she bought several cartons to use for baking in order to support that product (I may have formed a positive association with the experience of voting with money, since several desserts were made with the milk – a rarity).  When we were checking out, the cashier asked if organic milk tasted worse than “regular” milk.  Fast forward to present day, and there are now multiple organic dairy and non-dairy options to choose from, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve been asked in the checkout line how they taste compared to the “regular” variety.  With that has come the rise of the “all natural” advertising and other things made to sound organic, although they are not.

“As a consumer, you know that there is stringent third-party oversight to verify a B Corp is as responsible as it advertises itself to be.”

I think of B Corp certification to businesses as organic certification is to food.  All B Corps are ranked on how they impact their workers, community, environment, and customers.  You can easily look up any B Corp’s scores in each of those areas online.   As a consumer, you know that there is stringent third-party oversight to verify a B Corp is as responsible as it advertises itself to be.  Does the company talk about how they treat their employees? If they’re a B Corp, you’ll know your dollars are going to support an organization that provides at least a living wage likely with medical and retirement benefits, as well as fair paid leave options.  Does the company advertise that they are environmentally-friendly?  If they’re a B Corp, you’ll know that their environmental impact has been thoroughly analyzed.  Does the company say they are making a difference in the local community? If they are a B Corp, part of their certification is based on how many local venders they use and how they treat their customers.

The B Corp movement is a global one, and I’m so proud that the Asheville community is claim to multiple! Here’s the B Local Asheville + WNC page. It’s wonderful to see how many of us deeply care about voting with our dollars, and making sure that our money is going to organizations that truly align with us. Check for a B Corp logo the next time you shop!