As a business professional, you may have noticed the increasing importance of social and environmental responsibility in business. Consumers want to buy from (and skilled talent wants to work for) companies aligned with values that contribute to a more just and sustainable world. This desire is so strong that it spurred a trend of socially just businesses and a way to measure that commitment.
Once niche, terms like Triple Bottom Line (TBLs), Social Responsible Businesses (SRBs), and Community Interest Companies (CICs) are now ubiquitous. Their increased use has sparked the need for ways to measure and communicate efforts by corporations to balance profit and purpose.
Among all the designations and certifications, one of the most popular ways for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to a more fair and inclusive economy is to acquire a B Corporation status.
Today there are more than 6000 B Corps in over 150 industries and 80 countries. It’s worth noting that the number of B Corps has been growing rapidly since the certification was first issued in 2006 by B Lab. The number of B Corps has grown by over 20% annually in the past few years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years — as is the number of individuals who want to continue their education with a degree that shows their commitment. Antioch University’s new MBA is the answer.
But first — let’s take a look at social justice and what it means in today’s business world.
Business in the Age of Social Justice and B Corps
A socially just business leader prioritizes people, not profits.
Of course, profit is important — without it, a company couldn’t remain in business. At the same time, profits can’t be earned at the expense of employees, consumers, or the environment either. So, B Lab created the B Corporation Certification to recognize businesses that take social responsibility seriously — and treat people and the planet as important as the return on their investments.
For a business to receive B Corp status, the highest honor for socially just businesses, the company must take a test that proves it prioritizes:
- Economic equality
- Racial equality
- Gender identity acceptance
- Environmental sustainability
Additionally, B Lab’s B Corp certification promotes transparency and accountability. This requires companies to make their B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive report of their social and environmental performance, publicly available on the B Lab website. This level of transparency and accountability ensures that companies are held accountable for their commitments to social and environmental responsibility. It also ensures that companies are not just making claims of being socially responsible but also proving it through their actions and decisions.
This Brand Was One of the First to Earn B Status
One of today’s companies winning the Socially Just Business race is Ben & Jerry’s, which became one of the world’s first Certified B Corps known for its dedication to social justice and devotion to ethically and sustainably sourced, high-quality ingredients. Another good example is Sprout Social, which takes socially just business to a whole new level, taking care of its people with a strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiative and honoring consumers with its Ethical Conduct pledge.
What Does Earning Social Just Business Status Mean?
So, why is a certification or standardization of such caliber crucial today? Such certifications provide a benchmark for companies to measure their impact on their workers, community, and environment. Most importantly, these certifications set a solid standard for socially responsible business practices.
These standards allow consumers and employees to easily identify companies that align with their values and make informed decisions about where to spend their money and where to work. It is important to note that B Corp certification is not the only way organizations are pursuing social justice, but it is a respected standard for measuring a company’s impact on its stakeholders.
If you would like to create a more fair and inclusive economy, consider an MBA from Antioch University. Our flexible program is designed for today’s business professionals who want to make a difference in the world and work for like-minded SMEs and organizations.
What could an Antioch University MBA mean for your career?
Advantages of an Antioch MBA
The Antioch MBA takes a unique approach to social justice by focusing on experiential learning and hands-on projects. On top of reinforcing the university’s vision for a globally transformative education fostering innovation and inspiring social action, this social justice MBA program also allows students to apply their knowledge to real-world issues and make a tangible impact in their communities.
Antioch’s MBA program not only focuses on finance, marketing, and business-related areas of knowledge but also teaches students the science behind resource management, ecological processes, and environmental sustainability.
It’s how Margie McClain earned her non-traditional MBA and found her way to becoming a field representative for Oceana Inc., an international marine conservation organization. One of our Online MBA program alumni, Jesse Lore, also cited how the program made an impact on his career, “they gave me the inspiration to start thinking more broadly about our organization, what our purpose was, and how that purpose could apply greater in society.”
By offering an MBA program with a specialized focus on social justice in the corporate world, such a program reinforces the university’s long history and commitment to justice. Ultimately, the program prepares students to become the socially responsible business leaders needed in this new, forward-thinking era of sustainability and corporate social justice.
Empowering Graduates to Drive Social Change in the Business World
Today’s consumers demand companies prioritize social and environmental responsibility over profits. As a business leader, you need the right tools to focus on cultivating a climate of social responsibility, incorporate it in everything you do, and be the spark that ignites a more just society.
As an MBA student at Antioch University, you’ll learn the varied approaches to corporate social responsibility and how to apply them in the business world. With a focus on equality and sustainability, a social justice MBA prepares students to become forward-thinking business leaders equipped to address the challenges of the modern business environment.
Antioch University believes in educating leaders and changemakers to fuel positive, progressive change in the world. Since our founding in 1852, we have remained at the forefront of social justice, inclusion, and equality. Our campuses span coast to coast, offering campus-based, online, and low-residency programs that prepare those determined to win victories for humanity for meaningful careers. To learn more, visit antioch.edu.
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