In June 2019, Wehl became a Certified B Corporation®! We earned this B Corporation certification after a couple of years of hard work! We’re so pleased to have achieved this standard and excited to be joining a global community of purpose-driven businesses.
You may be wondering, what is a B Corp™?
B Corps™ are corporations that use business as a force for good. They are different from many businesses, because instead of being solely driven by profit, they are also driven by purpose! In fact, in the articles of incorporation of every B Corp™ is a statement that indicates the corporation will consider other stakeholders, the community and society to inform business decisions.
B Lab, which certifies B Corporations, refers to B Corps™ as having met the “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” Inc. calls them “the highest standard for socially responsible businesses.”
What do B Corporations believe?
As a new B Corp, we are joining a community that believes as we do:
- “That we must be the change we seek in the world”
- “That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered”
- “That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all”
- “To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.” – Source: B Lab
Our B Corp™ Journey
Joining the movement of “using business as a force for good” was something we wanted to do from the beginning! It just made sense to us as inspiring wehlness and spreading good are part of our mission and the reason we started Wehl. Our journey to become a B Corp™ took a couple of years and was no easy feat. Starting the application process in our very early start-up days took extra time and resources, but it was important to us to set up Wehl Inc. properly right from the beginning – prioritizing socially responsible business standards and procedures.
We obtained Pending B Corporation status in December of 2017 while Wehl was still in beta testing. At the time, we were a new start-up still building and testing our social platform for wellness. Thankfully, B Lab had a “Pending B Corporation” program which gives early-stage companies the opportunity to complete an initial process and obtain the “Pending B Corporation” status. Achieving this status, and getting started as a B Corp early, was very important to us as it laid a solid foundation and helped us strategically set up other aspects of the business. We’d do it all over again like this and highly recommend this approach to other entrepreneurs who are starting out.
As a Pending B Corporation, we engaged with our community and continued to build off of our success in phase one of beta testing. We continued with a second and third phase of testing, making improvements in response to feedback, and further enhancing our policies and processes so that we could create a socially impactful business.
Once Wehl had gone live in January 2019, we began the process for full certification. Becoming certified is a rigorous process filled with hundreds of questions to review and respond to, along with numerous document submissions. It took a long time, and plenty of hard work and patience. We can attest that it certainly requires transparency and integrity to complete and has given us an even greater appreciation for other businesses that choose to become certified. We were really happy when we were awarded full certification in June 2019.
Why did we choose to become a Certified B Corporation®?
A number of thoughts guided our reasoning for pursuing a B Corporation® Certification:
- Since the beginning, we’ve always wanted to spread good online, offline and beyond – it’s an essential part of our mission and part of wellness, too. We want to spread good and help our fellow members on the Wehl platform and we want to encourage each other to spread good offline, too. Being a Certified B Corporation® helps to further demonstrate to our members and the public that we are serious about spreading good!
- Social support is powerful! We want to surround ourselves with like-minded people and organizations who are also committed to using business as a force for good. As we are a social community, we know the benefits of being part of a community and helping each other. Being part of the B Corp™ movement allows us to get and give support to others all the while learning from each other as we grow.
- Building a social platform for wellness is not easy and neither is building a socially responsible, purpose-driven technology company. It isn’t easy for any company to become a B Corporation and certainly none of the major social platforms are B Corps built for the purpose of using business for good. We believe companies in all sectors should be mindfully operating to “do no harm and benefit all” and technology should be no different. We aim to embody wellness throughout all aspects of our work from our internal organizational wellness to our Wehl platform and beyond. We want to not only be accountable to our members, but also be accountable to the highest independent standard for socially responsible businesses. We aspire to challenge the norms, forge a new path and stand up for our wellness – all the while, challenging ourselves to grow and improve.
- We’ve been committed to making an impact from the start and for us, that impact is improved health and wellness for individuals and the planet. We want to always do our best to measure and evaluate our impact and do whatever we can to continue improving health and wellbeing. We want technology to help improve our wellness not compromise it. We want to use social support to enhance our wellness and enable us to come together to spread good.
One aspect of being a B Corp and making an impact is committing to give back. It’s a big focus for us at Wehl and we’re excited to do it! At Wehl, we donate 12 % of our profits to local and international organizations that bring wehlness to people in need and the planet. We aim to support initiatives in each of six kinds of wehlness: Body, Mind, Spiritual, Work, Enviro, and Social.
When Wehl was still in beta testing, our first Spread Good Project prioritized gardening kits for First Nations communities in northern Ontario. This was a great success, and you can read about it here. This project emphasized Body and Enviro wehlness.
More recently, we’ve been funding girls’ education in Kenya – helping those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend school. Our sponsorship in this area is focused on Mind and Social wehlness and you can read more about it here.
Have you seen the B Corp™ logo?
You may have noticed the B Corp™ logo on certain products in health food and healthy lifestyle stores. It’s very distinct – a B with a circle around it. Keep your eyes out for it. Gradually, more and more companies are starting to realize that it makes good business sense to build a business that does good! We’ve been privileged to interview a few B Corps™ on our journey so far, and you can read about them here and here and here (thanks Encircled, Good Food for Good, and BeeKeeper’s Naturals!). Their stories helped to inspire us as we continued to improve Wehl and work towards full certification.
Support the B Corp™ Movement – Vote with your Online, Social Time
We are now one of just over a hundred B Corps™ in Ontario. Overall, we’re joining a global movement of nearly 3000 companies in 150 industries! We want to work together to create a future where using business as a force for good is not novel but the norm.
We encourage you to join the B Corp movement and “Vote Every Day”. As B Lab states, “You have a voice and power beyond the ballot box. By buying from, working for and doing business with B Corps, you vote for what you believe in”. With Wehl, you can now “vote” with your online social time too!
For more info about B Corps and to learn more about how you can vote every day, click here. If you’re interested, we’d be happy to connect with you to share more about us and our B Corp certification process, just send us an email.
Inspiring Wellness and Spreading Good, Together.
Building Wehl has been a challenging journey with many obstacles but we’ve committed to celebrating our big and small wins along the way. Becoming a B Corp has been one of our big wins to date! We’re excited to take this time to celebrate our hard work and this accomplishment but we know we’ve got a lot to do to keep becoming the best company we can be and keep spreading good along the way.
If you’re visiting Wehl for the first time, thanks for checking us out! If you’re already one of our community members, thank you so much for being part of our journey. We can’t inspire wehlness and spread good without you!
We invite you to join our social platform for wellness at Wehl.com!