The B Corporation (B Corp) certification means the company must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
The certification was granted by B Lab; a non-profit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems initiated the certification.
“We’re delighted to join a group of like-minded business owners who support and set a new standard for values-driven business practices,” said Andrew Stoloff, owner of Rubicon Bakery.
Rubicon Bakery was established in 1993 as a non-profit social enterprise by Rubicon Programs. It employs people from prison, the streets or with a history of substance abuse and operates a ‘no questions asked’ hiring policy. The fundamental aim is to give employees a second chance, the company said.
The wholesale baking company specializes in natural, premium branded and private label goods produced from scratch using all-natural ingredients. Products are sold in independent grocers and Whole Foods throughout California, Washington, Oregon and the Rocky Mountain States.
Social mission ensured
Rubicon Bakery shifted from a social enterprise to a for-profit bakery business three years ago following a sale. Since then, the bakery has seen an estimated 400% growth and an additional 100 full-time employees have been hired.
At the time of the sale, B Corp Certification was identified as a way to guarantee that the bakery would continue to fulfil the non-profit’s social mission to provide employment opportunities for the hardest-to-employ, Rubicon said.
By being certified as a B Corp, the company’s social enterprise platform is written into its corporate governance.
“This is particularly fitting because the bakery was started as a non-profit social enterprise,” Rubicon said.
B Corp network
The global network of B Corporation Certified businesses is growing – now comprised of 680 businesses from 60 countries and 24 countries.
B Lab said: “By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.”
B Lab noted that Certified B Corporations differ from US Benefit Corporations.
The latter is a legal status administered by the state and does not need to be certified, it said.