Economy

Here Are 5 Unique Companies You Want To Work For

Have you ever heard of B corps? Benefit Corporations (or B Corps) are businesses committed not only to making money but also to making a positive impact on the world.  B Corps, which are certified by nonprofit B Lab, can be found in various industries, so chances are, there's a B Corp company in your field of choice. Here are a few of them you might want to consider working for:

1. Ben & Jerry's

In 2012, B Lab added the ice cream purveyor, which is active in the fair trade movement and dedicated to sustainability, to its certified B Corps list. 

"More consumers and customers want to see more social mission in their companies," Rob Michalak, the global director of social mission at Ben & Jerry's, said at the time. "In turn, [the social mission] creates more loyalty to those companies, and that loyalty creates deeper, long-term relationships between consumers and companies ... We need to work together to find out where we're heading so that it's truly a sustainable society and so that there's less want, less social and economic injustice, and true environmental stewardship."

When Ben & Jerry's first opened in the late 1970s, their mission was to foster a "new corporate concept of linked prosperity," which is a dedication to the well-being of all involved with the product and not simply the employers. According to Ben & Jerry's website, the linked prosperity applies to "suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike."

"We're linked," Jeff Furman, Chair of the board of Ben & Jerry's, said in late 2013. "When we go into a place and do business, we're coming into a community. They're not just customers ... they're more than that ... It sort of came from the old days when we had a salary ratio that said no one at the top of the company could make more than seven times what anybody else made." 

Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen voiced support for raising minimum wage, explaining that higher wages should help consumer goods businesses like Ben & Jerry's.

"There is only so much Chunky Monkey one rich guy can eat. For Ben & Jerry’s to succeed, we need more than one ice cream buying rich guy. Raise the minimum wage and everyone can have a scoop."

2. Method

Method

The eco-friendly cleaning product company has been B Corps-approved since 2007. The company was born in 2000 when two childhood friends expressed an interest in creating green cleaning products that don't smell bad. Method produces glass cleaner, multi-purpose cleaners, hand soap, and laundry detergent, among other things.

Method bottles are also manufactured from 100 percent recycled plastic, and more than a quarter of shipments go through biodiesel trucks. The company also offers paid time off if workers want to do community service. 

Last month, Method co-founder Adam Lowry told The New York Times that the company chose to use clean energy -- a windmill and solar arrays -- to power its new factory in Chicago even though the local utility's coal energy would have been cheaper.

“If our only mandate was the cheapest costs now, we’d have made a decision to use coal-fired energy,” Lowry told the publication. “But climate change is the biggest environmental challenge we face, and financially, in seven to eight years, we’re going to be in a much better position because we’ll be getting cheaper energy.”

3. Warby Parker

Lifestyle brand Warby Parker produces reasonably priced, high-quality glasses. The company also gives money to nonprofits that teach people in developing countries to perform eye exams and sell glasses at a reasonable cost.

"Instead of donating [glasses], our partners train men and women to sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices, which allows them to earn a living," the Warby Parker website states. "More important, it forces our partners to offer glasses that people actually want to buy: glasses that fit with local styles, look good, work well, and make the wearer feel incredible."

4. NextSpace

The co-working space company offers employees more than 30 vacation or sick days per year, and their offices provide extensive composting and recycling stations. 

NextSpace co-founder Ryan Coonerty created the co-working space to promote collaboration in communities. There are currently nine NextSpace locations across California. 

"We formed NextSpace six years ago because we saw a need for the community to come together," Coonerty told KSBW last month. "We can not only make sure that people have the skills to continue to compete in a global economy, but that we make sure that less [prosperous] populations are getting those skills and training too so they can raise their incomes and also live in this community."

5. The Honest Company

Honest Company co-founder Jessica Alba

In 2012, Jessica Alba and business partner Christopher Gavigan started The Honest Company, which is dedicated to offering a broad range of eco-friendly, non-toxic household items from diapers to cleaning products.

"Parents get a lot of advice about what to feed their children and how to baby-proof their home, but many are still completely unaware of the toxic risks posed by everyday basics, like diapers, home cleaners, body washes, and laundry soaps," Gavigan wrote on The Honest Company website. "Yet, there's growing consensus that some chemicals used in these products are linked to chronic diseases like asthma, ADHD, and even cancer."

Three years ago, Alba told People that she started Honest to give parents more options for eco-friendly products. 

“I created Honest because I was extremely frustrated trying to find safer, eco-friendly products for my family that actually worked,” she told the publication. "Before, I was actually layering two diapers together on [my daughter] to try to prevent overnight leaks. With the Honest diaper, we all sleep better!"

According to B Lab, The Honest Company office uses 100 percent renewable energy sources. The company also gives employees the option of receiving full health coverage, and all workers get stock options.