Conventional wisdom dictates that businesses have to choose between making a positive impact and making money. B Corporations, however, are changing the narrative and proving that profit-making businesses can be a force for good.
UBQ is a certified B Corporation
Certified B Corporations™ are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified environmental and social performance, legal accountability, and public transparency to balance purpose and profit.
In 2018, UBQ Materials became a certified B Corporation with an overall B Impact Assessment (BIA) score of 92.5. The median score for all businesses who complete the assessment is currently 55, and certification requires at least 80 points. Now, our score has risen to 108.8, which reflects years of hard work from team members across the company.
Every year, B Lab recognizes the B Corps that have achieved the highest verified scores in the five impact areas evaluated on the BIA:
In 2019 and again in 2022, UBQ was selected as Best for the World for the environment. This distinction is currently awarded to those companies that are among the top 5% of B Corps in that category.
What Does it Mean to be a Certified B Corporation?
When a business decides to apply for B Corp certification, it indicates its commitment to meeting rigorous social and environmental standards.
At UBQ, we have redefined what success means. Rather than a “profits at all costs” approach, we use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. With every product that uses UBQ, we are making a better and cleaner world.
By converting unsorted waste into UBQ™, a sustainable plastic substitute, UBQ Materials is preventing waste-related emissions, landfill leachate, and other environmental harms as well as helping to build a circular economy. With UBQ™, manufacturers can discover a new use for waste, reduce demand for fossil fuels, and protect our soil, groundwater and biodiversity for future generations.
For every 1 ton of UBQ™ produced, 1.3 tons of waste are diverted from landfill, and up to 11.7 tons of CO2eq are prevented.
In line with our B Corp values, the UBQ conversion process was designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The process uses zero water and produces zero effluents.
As passionate as we are about enabling environmental solutions, we know they must go hand in hand with social sustainability. We believe harmony between humanity and the environment is not just desirable, but also achievable. We are committed to making environmental materials that can replace petroleum- and wood- based inputs without generating an additional economic or social burden on the poorest sectors of society.
This commitment extends to the health and safety of the broader community. Poorly managed waste contaminates the air, soil, and water, which can cause health issues. In addition, waste is often exported to developing countries, spreading the problems to other communities. By providing a cleaner, more local alternative to polluting waste treatments, UBQ helps to safeguard the wellbeing of those near and far.
We do all this with a team that is extremely diverse. Nationalities from across the globe are represented, as are all major religions. At UBQ Materials, we work together to develop solutions for some of the world’s most intractable problems. We do this while maintaining a safe and inclusive workplace and culture and promoting a work environment in which all individuals are treated equally, with respect and dignity.
The Sustainable Development Goals and B Corps
The SDG framework is a useful tool for corporations and organizations to develop their own internal sustainability goals and understand how they can be a positive force moving forward. As a UNGC signatory, UBQ is committed to the principles of the SDGs, and our work actively supports many of the goals such as Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Advancing Corporate Environmental Responsibility
The B Corp movement continues to gain momentum as more business leaders recognize the importance of prioritizing environmental impact. Corporate commitment to sustainability is no longer a “nice-to-have” but an integral part of business models that embrace sustainable practices. For companies that have achieved B Corp certification, environmental sustainability is central to their mission, and they regularly monitor and report on their carbon emissions to maintain their certification status.
Regardless of a company’s size, it can make a meaningful difference by implementing initiatives such as energy efficiency programs or natural resource conservation plans. Engaging with experts, customers, and suppliers in the field can also provide valuable insights into the most effective strategies for reducing negative environmental impacts. Today, business leaders have access to a wealth of tools and resources to ensure that their operations are both ethical and profitable, while also contributing towards a more sustainable future. By making a commitment to environmental responsibility, businesses can create a positive impact for themselves, their stakeholders, and the planet.
Achieving Social Impact Through Business Model Innovation
In recent years, businesses have increasingly turned to business model innovation as a means of creating positive social impact. One particularly noteworthy standard in this regard is the B Corp certification, which sets exacting criteria for businesses in terms of environmental and social performance, accountability, and transparency. By attaining B Corp certification, companies demonstrate their dedication to sustainability and maximizing positive social outcomes.
The B Corp standards are particularly effective in promoting lasting environmental and social sustainability. For example, by diverting waste from landfills and incineration and repurposing it into a sustainable plastic substitute, UBQ not only helps manufacturers decrease the carbon footprint of their final products, but also benefits neighboring communities by fostering a cleaner environment. Such innovative business models not only enhance the bottom line of the business, but also have the potential to create far-reaching and long-lasting benefits for local communities and the broader ecosystem.
To B or not to B: Becoming a Certified B Corp
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, also known as SDGs, are 17 interlinked goals designed to be a ”shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet”. The SDGs make it clear that we need to think globally and act locally. What do we want our world to look like in 2030 and beyond, and what steps can we take to make that happen?
At UBQ, the SDGs have been a roadmap to developing our own internal sustainability goals and understanding how we can be a positive force and help improve life around the world. As a certified B Corp and a UN Global Compact signatory, UBQ is actively supporting and contributing to many SDGs, with a particular focus on the following: