Consumers have more power than they may realize to determine the direction corporations take when it comes to social and environmental issues. A 2018 Nielson study found that 73% of consumers “would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.” Consumers speak with their wallet, and companies are listening. Consumers, in turn, are rewarding brands that prioritize the health and prosperity of people and the planet. According to a 2018 research report from Cone Communications, consumers feel deeper connections to purpose-driven brands:
88% would buy a product from that company
75% would try an entirely new product line from a company they already support
66% would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from that company
57% would pay more for a product from that company
So how does a company that is doing right by its people and the planet get the word out to these belief-driven buyers? More and more brands are turning to certifications such as B Corp, 1% for the Planet, Leaping Bunny, or Forest Stewardship Council for their businesses, products and packaging as a way to authenticate their efforts to lessen their environmental footprint.
Certified B Corporation
Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances people, the planet and profits. Companies choosing to become certified B corporations join a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good. There are over 3,300 certified B corporations in 71 countries.
Certified B Corporation is the only certification that quantifies a company’s entire social and environmental performance. Companies wanting to certify have to complete an extensive assessment that looks at everything from how their company’s operations and business model impact workers, community, environment, and customers to corporate governance and employee benefits.
1% for the Planet
Founded in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is based on the notion that because companies profit from the resources they take from the earth, they should do more to protect those resources. 1% for the Planet has over 2,000 members in over 45 countries. 1% members give 1% of gross sales to approved nonprofit partners.
A 2019 survey conducted by 1% found 28% brand awareness among consumers surveyed, a growth of nearly 5x since 2013.
45% of younger adults, ages 18-34, are aware of the 1% brand
46% of consumers say seeing the 1% logo on a product would positively influence their purchase
59% of younger adults, ages 18-34, see the 1% brand positively influencing their purchasing decision
Forest Stewardship Council
The FSC trademarks provides “a guarantee to consumers that the products they buy come from responsible sources enabling consumers to choose products that support forest conservation, offer social benefits, and enable the market to provide an incentive for better forest management.”
Founded in 1996 to make “cruelty-free shopping” less confusing for consumers, the Leaping Bunny logo is the internationally recognized gold standard for animal-friendly products. The logo gives consumers confidence that the products they are purchasing didn't harm animals and also makes it easy for a consumer to choose products that prioritized animal welfare.
The above certifications are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to certifications that speak to a company’s values and priorities. Consumers continue to demand more environmental and social responsibility from companies, and a growing number of companies are recognizing the value that trusted third-party certifications can bring to their brand.