Four years ago Skandinavisk was certified as a B Corporation with a score of 84.1. We’re a sensory brand with an ambition to inspire the world to live more Scandinavian. To live more in balance with nature, within society, and of the self.
Certified B Corporations are companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact, all by being intensely audited on the impact of their decisions on their people, their community, suppliers, customers, and the environment.
It’s a movement of people using business as a force for good and, because we thought we were using our own business for just that purpose, we wanted to know if we lived up to our mission.
In other words, get just 40% and you’ve passed.
Low bar, huh?
Piece of cake.
But the average applicant gets around 50 points and fails miserably.
While the average B Corp is sub-100.
Not even half marks.
And even the best B Corps in the world — the most radical and pioneering, like Patagonia — don’t get much more than 150.
So we scraped through with 84.1 back then and felt both relief and humility. And what I personally learned was the tremendous difference between how good you think you are — as a business, as a leader, as a person — versus how good you truly act.
And that difference was painful, to say the least.
Yet, at the same time, the foggy path of business responsibility became clearer.
That’s one of the main benefits of B Corp Certification: Knowing where you need to improve. Because the audit process exposes your guilty secrets, raises them all to the surface where they can’t hide, and— perhaps more importantly — also educates you about all the things you should absolutely be thinking about yet haven’t even crossed your mind.
Armed with this knowledge, we did something unprecedented.
We replaced our entire product collection less than a year later. Not because it wasn’t good (the old collection helped us certify after all), but because the process taught us how much better it could be.
Our Next Generation collection launched in the spring of 2020. Just as the pandemic did the same. The coincidence of timing nearly broke us. But we held our nerve once we realised that a seismic event like COVID-19 was obliging people to rethink their habits. And start making more sustainable choices.
Our Next Generation collection is more local, natural, organic, ethical and responsible. Since that 2020 upgrade, we’ve been improving it further. Because there is always another lesson to learn, another way to leave a lighter footprint.
We’ve grown our business by half since COVID-19 began. But, this July, we’ve also just learned the real value of a daring decision borne not of financial needs, but ethical ones. Because, after spending the past months recertifying to fulfill our three-year obligation to remain a B Corp, we’ve just received our new score.
That’s 30 points better than before.
Our unprecedented leap has been vindicated.
And, yet, the real lesson is there are still another 85 painful points to gain.
Which is pretty much the number of points we scraped together back when we first certified.
The job is never done.