5 B-corps that prove manufacturing food doesn’t need to destroy the planet

Krista Greenaway

Krista Greenaway

two cows in close embrace

5 B-corps in the food industry show us how to run a successful eco-conscious business, below!

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B-Corps in food, why? 

What is the biggest cause of climate change? Answer- Carbon emissions. What factors produce the most carbon emissions? Agriculture (11%), transportation (15%), and manufacturing (12%). All of which are linked to food production. 

Emissions from food production accounted for 16bn tonnes a year of CO2 from 2012 to 2017. The figures are even higher today. Successful B-corps within the food industry have put their foot down. Building businesses that show us combating over-consumption, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the planet are not sacrifices to either profit or ROI.

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What is a B-corp?

Certified B-corps are businesses that balance both purpose and profit. To earn the status they are required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

Once these areas have been assessed and passed a minimum score of at least 80 across all impact areas, companies are awarded official B-corp certification and ranked out of a total score of 100. It’s a badge of social and environmental honour for businesses to don, with less than 5,000 companies across the globe currently being B-corp registered.

Why the food industry is causing so much damage to our environment

This is a long and tedious topic to discuss since there are endless elements to the food industry that cause tremendous damage to the environment.

As we all know, food is vital in keeping us alive and so if we fed the 7.9 billion people on Earth, that’s 23.7 billion meals on average per day.

Here’s just a few summary points on what damage is being done to the planet due to the food industry:

  • Animals produce large amounts of CO2 that are released into our atmosphere daily.
  • Animals, and the crops that feed them take up huge areas of land space which damages landscapes and causes deforestation.
  • Animals and the crops that feed them drain water resources.
  • Third world countries with minimal food resources are being denied crops because they are fed to livestock first as this is a more valuable asset.
  • Manufacturing and transport produce high levels of CO2.
  • Manufacturing uses high levels of energy.
Rude health brand range of granolas

5 b-corps that prove manufacturing food doesn’t need to destroy the planet

1) Rude Health

It’s unlikely you haven’t stopped dead in your local supermarket to wonder and gawk at the brand that is Rude Health. Their brightly coloured range of plant-based milks and breakfast foods rarely go amiss on the food aisle and are known for being incredibly healthy and delicious. 

What many don’t know, however, is that rude health is a registered B-corp. After 16 years in business, and a long 3 month auditing process from the B corporation, Rude Health was finally awarded a well deserved B-corp certification. 

Why then, was it so important after 16 years for Rude Health to become B-corp certified?

Anyone that is familiar with the B-corp certification process is aware it is no easy feat. Not only is it incredibly rewarding for brands to finally be approved by the B corporation officials, it is a certification that credits social and environmental procedures of the business.

Rude Health’s impact areas:

  • Workers – flexible working policy and enhanced maternity and paternity leave.
  • Suppliers-  ingredients with exceptional environmental credentials sourced from reliable suppliers.
  • Customers – high quality ingredients meeting green-lit nutritional requirements.
  • Environment- packaging is made from 88% renewable materials, office runs on 100% renewable electricity. 
  • Community – 5% of annual profits to charitable causes each year.
Bol foods B-corp: japanese rainbow salad
2) Bol Foods

Bol Foods have been on the market since 2015 when they set out to make good looking plant-based meals healthy, delicious and nutritious.

The company has grown rapidly over the past 6 years, providing hearty meals and drinks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of which helps the planet and the people. 

What’s most substantial about Bol and their journey is they weren’t originally a plant-based brand.

Bol were keen advocates of meat, fish and dairy in their products, but after careful revision decided to go fully plant-based to reduce their environmental impact and to offer better, more sustainable nutrition to their audience.

Graze B-corp box
3) Graze

Remember Graze box? They were once seen across all TV screens, striking us as one of the first companies to offer prepared food straight to your door. Their mission is and always has been to offer healthy, better-for-you snacking.

Graze offers subscription boxes filled with snacks personally tailored to you and your dietary preference. They also sell their products online and recently launched in all major supermarkets across the UK. They have done fantastic work over the past 14 years, having over 100,000 weekly sign ups in their first few years, and even set up a HQ in New York to reach their American audience by popular demand. 

Graze impact areas:

  • Workers –  Training schemes available to farmers and processors in Vietnam on improving their social and environmental practices.
  • Suppliers- Use local suppliers and sources from the UK where possible. Enforced a global supplier code of conduct. 
  • Customers – Reduced 160 tonnes of sugar in their snacks, increased volume of protein and vitamins across all products for healthier snacking.
    Environment- Waste goes to where it’s of most use – paper to paper mills, plastic to be made into new packaging and food waste to composting and anything that can’t be recycled or composted goes for use as fuel to create electricity for local housing. All electricity supplied to factories and bakeries is now 100% carbon neutral and comes from renewable energy sources.
  • Community- Published a Modern Slavery Statement of Conformity that is consistent throughout the business and it’s practices.
4) Fuel

Fuel was one of the first breakfast brands to make healthy, protein-packed breakfast granolas made with better health in mind. They started their business 8 years ago back when breakfast cereals predominantly consisted of rice Krispies, coco pops and muesli as your healthy choice.

As of 2021, Fuel became a registered B-corp after making consistent changes to their company over just 1 year. Their popular range of granolas and on-the-go instant oats and breakfast drinks not only come in 100% recyclable packaging, but they also hold second place behind Weetabix in the Breakfast Drinks market worth £24m in the UK alone.

Ella's kitchen baby food B-corp
5) Ella’s Kitchen

Another popular supermarket brand a part of the B-corp community is Ella’s Kitchen. Their mission is to provide children with delicious food that contains the best quality ingredients and betters their relationship with food during key development stages. 

As one of the UK’s most loved baby food brands, it may come as no surprise that Ella’s Kitchen is one of the best-rated B-corps in the whole of the food industry. They scored an incredible 94/100 which has increased year by year due to their continued social and environmental efforts. 

Ella’s Kitchen has been a certified B-corp for 6 years and continues to make incredible social and environmental impacts across the globe. 

Ella’s Kitchen impact areas:

  • Workers – providing training schemes and grants for employees every year, diversity and inclusion reviews to create a balanced workplace and give opportunities to overlooked minority groups. 
  • Suppliers- Choose and encourage selected suppliers to follow their “B the Change Partner Programme” (a custom version of the B Corp Assessment) to help supply chain partners understand more about their social and environmental impact.
  • Customers – Never make a product that is more than 22.5g sugar per 100g (which is the red traffic light threshold). Follow set product category-specific targets that aim
  • to be best in class for salt and sugar for all our NPD.
  • Environment- Waste goes to where it’s of most use – paper to paper mills, plastic to be made into new packaging and food waste to composting and anything that can’t be recycled or composted goes for use as fuel to create electricity for local housing.
  • Community – involved with multiple partnerships with like-minded brands to better social impact as well as hands-on volunteer projects.
2013-B-Corp-Retreat-Banner

Conclusion 

B-corps are awarded for their significant environmental and social efforts. It’s not impossible for great brands to make environmentally and socially conscious efforts throughout all elements of their business knowing the breakdown of key impact areas courtesy of the B-corporation.

With the food industry causing such huge environmental and social damage, it’s time that more companies join the B-corp community.

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