From the very earliest days, I knew that I wanted Bee’s Wrap to be a different sort of business. I founded Bee’s Wrap in my home, experimenting with solutions for storing food that cut down on waste and single-use plastics. Very quickly, though, I began exploring another kind of innovation: I wanted to build a business that championed the environment, enriched the lives of employees and my community, and asked, at every turn, “How can we do things differently?”
I approached this question with a certain degree of freedom. Because I’d come to Bee’s Wrap without a traditional business background, I didn’t have a roadmap for how business “should” be done, and instead had some utopian ideas about what a business could be. I wanted to make a product that radically changed the way individuals think about food, waste, and single-use plastics.
I also wanted to build a workplace where decisions are made after first asking, “What’s the best way to do this?” I wanted to create a company where coworkers took pride in their work, and were supported in their lives at and beyond the workplace — where our footprint on the earth is small, but our impact on the lives of each other, and our customers, was lasting.
Happily, there’s a growing community of businesses that also want to do things differently, that believe business can be a force for good in the world, for environmental stewardship, and for community building. Many of these businesses are B Corps.
Today, I’m happy to announce that Bee’s Wrap is now a Certified B Corporation®. After taking inspiration from B Corporations in our earliest days, we began pursuing our B Corp certification in earnest last year. In joining this community, we continue to publicly voice our commitment to do right by people and the planet, and to continuously improve the way Bee’s Wrap exists in the world. Consider it another step on our path to make those utopian ideas a reality.
Certified B Corporations use business as a force for good, solving social and environmental problems in a way that’s good for people and the planet. Certified by the B Lab, an international nonprofit overseeing the network of B Corps, these companies must meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Today there are more than 2,700 B Corps in 67 countries. In earning our B Corp certification, we’re thrilled to be joining the likes of Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and King Arthur Flour on the B Corps roster — not to mention the hundreds of lesser-known companies making enormous strides to better business.
B Corp Certification evaluates more than a product or service: It also looks at a company’s impact on workers, customers, community, and environment. B Corp Certification means a company is committed to: verified performance, as assessed by the independent B Lab; legal accountability, in the form of amended legal governing documents to require the balance of profit and purpose; and public transparency.
We’d already embraced many of the ethics of B Corp community: taking care of our employees, carefully evaluating the impact of our ingredients on people and the environment, and giving back locally and nationally. Going through the B Corp assessment provided a valuable tool for us to see where, as a rapidly growing company, we could do better, formalize our systems, and protect the values that have been part of Bee’s Wrap since the beginning.
We also appreciate the third-party validation that communicates what we do and why we do it. We hope that the “B” stamp on our packaging will communicate and affirm our values to our customers.
Our B Corp application required a deep dive into the way we do business, and the process provided us with an opportunity to celebrate our successes and identify the places where we want to grow. We learned that we’re already doing a lot of things right, including: responsibly sourcing our ingredients, using all parts of our ingredients and product, and consciously creating a product that limits waste — specifically plastic — going to landfills.
With volunteer days for our staff, and our giving through 1% for the Planet and the Bee Cause, we earned kudos for giving back and civic engagement. Our strong corporate culture provides employees with abundant training, opportunities for growth, job flexibility, and funding for professional development. We’re woman owned, and our lowest paid hourly worker is paid more than 25 percent above the local minimum wage.
Now, in part with B Corp’s help, we look to the future. As we work on continuously improving the way we do business, we intend to incorporate a full 360-degree feedback review process for our entire team. We’re working hard to do more proactive giving, and have formed a Giving Committee to oversee our donations of products, time, and money in more ways than ever before. We’re beginning to advocate for social and environmental justice in a more public way, and have teamed up with one of our local representatives to lobby for a plastic bag ban in Vermont. We’re also working with our local utility, Green Mountain Power, to further increase the amount of power we receive from renewable resources.
All this to say, as we celebrate our B Corp certification, I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has done, and I speak for us all when I say we’re energized to continue on our path. The utopian ideals I envisioned for Bee’s Wrap in those early days are, increasingly, becoming the stuff of reality. And I can only hope that in the years to come, this way of doing business — honoring people and planet in addition to profit — will be the bar we all must meet.
Founder and CEO