Business Leader recently sat down with Helen Thompson, Managing Director EMEA at designer shoe brand, TOMS to discuss what having a B Corporation status means to a global company.
Why does being a ‘B Corp’ business mean a lot to TOMS?
Social impact has been engrained in TOMS since the beginning. Our mission, to use business to improve lives, aligns perfectly to the belief of B Corp, that business can be used as a force for good. As a certified B Corp, we are able to hold our existing commitment to giving, social, and environmental impact to a verified standard. We can work as a unified force with other likeminded business to shift the way business is done.
What made you want to have this accreditation?
We share common core beliefs with B Corp, so it was a natural fit. It can be difficult to communicate your commitments and impact as a business that prioritizes positive impact. Certification helps us quantify our efforts in a way that’s verified and understandable and communicate that to our customers. It’s also an incredible tool for us internally at TOMS.
Becoming a B Corp isn’t the end goal, it’s a certification that helps us to constantly push the boundaries of positive impact as business further in a measurable way. Joining a network of other likeminded businesses, leveraging incites, support, and together pushing the agenda of using business as a force for good forward.
Would you encourage other business to look into becoming a B Corp company?
B Corp is an incredible tool and community for businesses whether you are at the beginning of your positive impact journey, or like us have been on that journey since day 1. B Corp isn’t just a label but a tool to for all business to assess areas you excel at and areas you can improve, whether you actually become a B Corp or not.
Have B Corp changed the way in which businesses are ran?
TOMS’ mission has been the same since we began more than 13 years ago. B Corp has given companies like us the opportunity to join together as a community under one standard and acts as a megaphone to spread that message further. It’s an incredible platform to share the message and inspire others that business can be used for more than just profit, but an agent for positive impact and change.
Customers want to make better choices, and B Corp can help them navigate and support companies that they share those values with. At TOMS we believe it’s our responsibility to use business to positively impact lives. We believe that all businesses have the responsibility to use their resources and voice as a force for good. Thanks to other businesses and B Corps that share that belief, business leaders from across different industries are starting to see that raising environmental and social standards benefits everyone.