What is a B Corp?
B Corporations (B Corps) are businesses that act in ways that benefit society as a whole. What defines them is their belief that the purpose of a company is not just to generate profit, but also to do social and environmental good.
To become a B Corp, companies have to meet rigorous criteria proving their positive impacts on the planet and people around them.
Why did we become a B Corp and why does it matter?
In 2019, Fresh Prep became a Certified B Corp.
We decided to become a B Corp because we know businesses can make a big difference in the world. In becoming a B Corp, we made a commitment to act with courage to disrupt traditional ways of thinking and challenge the status quo.
Instead of purely focusing on creating the best products for profit, we seek to solve the problems that exist within the food industry with realistic and creative solutions.
True to our commitment to using business as a force for good, we are dedicated to helping people feel confident that their personal investments and choices are contributing to a better world.
Q&A with Husein Rahemtulla, Co-Founder and COO, Fresh Prep
Q: What does being a B Corp mean to you?
A: We’ve always believed that business has a higher social purpose beyond simply profit. The B Corp assessment gives us a framework to measure Fresh Prep’s success as we scale as a company.
Fresh Prep’s Articles of Incorporation were amended in 2019 to include a section that legally requires us to consider the impact of our decisions on employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment as well as shareholder value. This ensures that these considerations are embedded into the DNA of our company and will continue to be over time.
We believe that social and environmental responsibility are not only harmonious with business interests but can also often strengthen them. Fresh Prep has developed several conscientious practices, such as donating to local community organizations, paying well above minimum wage for entry level positions, maintaining accountability for post consumer collection of packaging, and having a large percentage of women in management roles among many other initiatives.
Using the framework and guidance from B Corp, we’re continually focused on building on these and developing new initiatives to benefit our stakeholders.
Q: What did the Certification process consist of and how long did it take?
A: The certification process consists of a couple stages. First, there’s the assessment where you answer close to 200 questions relating to 5 categories: Governance, Environment, Customers, Community and Workers. Once you’ve completed the assessment you can see your score (questions have points allocated to them depending on your answer.)
The second part is an audit of your assessment where you work with a B Corp auditor to provide evidence for your answers to ensure the point total is accurate. If you’re still above the B Corp threshold score after the audit, then you’re considered certified! For us the total process took just over a year.
Q: What was the reason you decided to go for B Corp certification? Were there any other B Corps that inspired you?
A: One of Fresh Prep’s core values is to ‘Nurture the Future.’ The B Corp framework helps in keeping us accountable so shorter term interests never come at the cost of sacrificing our vision and impact on society. There were quite a few companies we had long admired that are B Corps: Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Tentree to name a few. It was our goal since founding to become B Corp certified, so we were excited to join great company when we completed ours in 2019.
Q: If you could choose one main benefit to being a B Corp, what would it be?
A: It’s a great filter for people who align with the goal to do good. That includes potential employees, who get excited about working at a place that wants to have a positive impact and potential customers, who want to ‘vote with their wallet’ and choose to spend with a business that has values similar to their own.
Behind the ‘B’
Actions speak louder than words. By striving to meet the criteria set by B Corp, organizations commit to not only caring for the planet, but putting it first in processes and decisions. They signal that they are willing to go the extra mile to protect the environment and their workers, customers and other stakeholders.
So how is Fresh Prep going that extra mile?
To tackle plastic waste, we deliver in reusable cooler bags with reusable ice packs and package many of our meals in reusable meal kit containers. Any soft plastics are collected and recycled through our partnership with Urban Impact. Carbon emissions from delivery are offset through OnFleet, our delivery software.
By sourcing ingredients and products for our menus from BC and Alberta, we’re supporting the communities we live and operate in. To address food waste and hunger, we’re proud to partner with Vancouver Food Runners, donating the equivalent of 47,847 meals in 2021.
We want to make a positive difference in the lives of our customers and work hard to satisfy their need for convenient yet sustainable meal kits. Our easy-to-follow recipes are developed by professional nutritionists and chefs. Ingredients are always high quality, including antibiotic-free, local poultry and sustainably-sourced seafood. We deliver ingredients pre-cut with no hidden shipping or service fees.
Our workers take care of our business, so we take care of our workers. We encourage them to become involved in their communities and offer paid volunteer time to enrich the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens. We provide employee access to mental health practitioners through our benefits program.
A good plan goes a long way. That’s why at Fresh Prep transparency and accountability in the way we run the company are baked into our business model. Being a B Corp means our promise to be better for people, communities and the planet is locked in, regardless of any future change of management or ownership. We look to lead responsibly. Our Co-founders believe business performance must be measured by the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
The ‘B’ in B Corporation stands for “beneficial”: for customers, employees, suppliers and the environment.