1. What is a B Corp?
B-Corps are a community of change-makers and business leaders using business as a force for good.
What is a Certified B Corporation?
Not to be mistaken with a legally incorporated Benefit Corporation, B Certified Corporations (B-Corps) are companies who have passed an extremely detailed and in depth self-assessment called the B-Impact Assessment (BIA) that is operated by the non-profit B-Lab. The BIA assesses 5 key impact areas of a business:
Many of the questions asked on the BIA are directly or indirectly related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In order to become a Certified B Corporation, companies must pass the BIA with a minimum score of 80/200 points (the median score for ordinary businesses is 50.9).
What is Murphy’s Naturals doing through the B Corp Movement?
That’s why at Murphy’s Naturals, we’re incredibly proud and grateful to be among the growing B Corp community using business as a force for good. We truly value Doing Others Good and have made it our mission to help you Celebrate Nature and Inspire Good through quality natural products. We use the B-Corp impact framework to help our business grow and actively pursue change for people, planet, and profit.
The B-Corp certification has inspired us to think about our impact and create long-lasting, sustainable solutions to address issues such as climate change, wealth inequality, and pollution. It’s the reason why our plastics are 25% post-consumer recycled, reducing the amount of virgin plastics produced, and why we continuously optimize our operations and packaging to have the smallest environmental impact possible. (Environment)
The principles of the B-Corp Certification are embedded in the way we treat our hardworking team. All full-time employees are offered healthcare benefits, PTO, child-care leave, stock options, and more. We’re committed to their health and vitality. (Governance and Workers)
Part of being a B-Corp is constantly evaluating how we can do better and increase our positive impact. In the near future, our goals are to use fewer plastics and move towards biodegradable packaging to provide customers with more opportunities for less wasteful and more sustainable purchases. (Environment, Customers) We’re also looking to deepen our partnership with local community members, so that we can help others succeed and strengthen our beautiful city of Raleigh, NC. (Community)
How do B Corps impact customers?
All of these reasons are why it’s so important for consumers to be aware and conscious of how they’re spending their dollars. You have the decision making power to purchase products that are Doing Others Good. Your support is what helps us continue to produce quality natural products that are good for you and the planet. It’s also what helps us support our local and global community members and be an active participant in their success.
What it all boils down to is this: The B-Corp Certification is our promise to you. It holds us accountable for our actions and allows you to feel good about your purchase. B-Corps are the gold standard for sustainable business practices and we’re excited to be a part of the movement.
2. B Corp Breakdown: Community
You’ve heard us say before that we are passionate about “Doing Others Good”. One of the ways we hold ourselves accountable is to evaluate how our operations, partnerships, and giving back are making a positive impact. With the community impact assessment as a tool, we have the opportunity to measure what we have done and how we can continue and increase our impact “Doing Others Good”.
What is the community impact section of the BIA?
The community impact assessment is a section that carries a hefty weight. It consists of 66 questions - the most out of any other section - that shines a spotlight on how our business’s sourcing, civic engagement, diversity, and philanthropy. For example, as the community assessment goes through a company's supply chain, there will be questions related to the entire chain of events, from the extraction of raw materials to production and distribution of finished products.
There are many working pieces to a business, some that may seem invisible or insignificant, that all have the potential to carry momentous impact. Simple decisions like choosing suppliers who ensure equitable wage and working conditions, as well as commit to social and environmental practices, help better the communities where those suppliers are located and set standards to others within our industry to do the same. Not only do our operational decision impact Murphy’s internal communities, they carry implications to positively impact those beyond the Murphy’s community as well.
What is Murphy’s community impact vision?
Key collaboration has fostered many proud and long standing partnerships with different suppliers and organizations both globally and locally. We are a proud member of the 1% For the Planet family and donate 1% of our annual revenues to support environmentally focused organizations. In addition, we give a second 1% to support local organizations in our community - that’s a total of 2% of annual revenues donated! We engage our team in the process by asking them to participate in the selecting and donating to a list of nonprofits working on issues that matter to them!
We’ve also partnered with Bee Downtown, a Durham startup, to place and maintain 5 beehives on our roof that will boost the honeybee population and improve the urban landscape for future generations to come. In 2020, our bees produced over 150 pounds of honey!
As we look towards the future, we hope to refine and expand our partnerships with existing suppliers. We source Andiroba oil, a key ingredient in our bite relief soothing balms (link products), from 100% Amazonia - a Brazilian Certified B-Corp in the Amazon Delta. We are proud to work with them because of their conscious social and environmental efforts in preserving the Amazon Rainforest, along with its indigenous people.
We are also working towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment - one that is reflective of the diversity in our local communities. As we continue to grow, the community assessment will help us improve on multiple levels to impact more people throughout the business.
Customer’s Call to Action
One of the best ways to begin “Doing Others Good” is to start local. Find what purpose driven companies are by you and make sure to support them. A simple search through the B-Corp Directory will surely help you find what you’re looking for. If you want to directly impact your local community members, then shopping with small businesses is a great way to do so!
Additionally, volunteering or donating money to organizations in your community are extremely impactful to local causes. If you have the means to donate money, then make sure to do your research through a website like GiveWell that conduct background research on charities to ensure your dollar makes the most impact. Make sure to look into local non-profits that are doing on the ground work in your area.
Small actions can make a big difference. We’d love to see how you’re Doing Good in your community, so please tag us on social media (insert social) with #DoingOthersGood and keep us updated!
3. B Corp Breakdown: Customers
The customer impact assessment is a fairly recent addition to the B-Impact Assessment, but an extremely important one. Your satisfaction with Murphy’s Naturals products is top of mind for us and we are always striving to improve your experience. We use the customer impact section as a tool to better support you.
What is the customer impact section of the BIA?
The customer impact section details best practices to engage with customers to provide a valuable experience. This can include offering product warranties, having feedback and complaint mechanisms available, and adopting ethical marketing principles. The purpose is to evaluate how companies are valuing their customers in their business practices.
What is Murphy’s customer impact vision?
We want you to feel confident that whatever you purchase at Murphy’s Naturals is good for you and the planet. At the end of the day, your satisfaction is the most important measure of our success. We understand that one of the keys to your satisfaction is transparency.
Therefore, one of our new initiatives coming in the Spring of 2021 is implementing new software to allow customers to write and read reviews on the website. We hope this will help you make an educated purchase decision that will leave you feeling reassured and confident with your choice.
Last but not least, we have a complete ingredients glossary to help you better understand the purpose behind each ingredient in our products. All of our ingredients are Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning that they have not been tested on animals. We hope having this glossary will simplify your shopping experience and be a fun learning tool!
Customer’s Call to Action
As we continue to grow and develop new products, we want to hear from you. Every person has a different product experience whether that be with the design or use, so we want to improve based on your feedback. We believe that there is always room for progress, so please let us know how you are doing and how we can do better! (*insert contact info)
4. B Corp Breakdown: Environment
Businesses and individuals alike share the responsibility of ensuring a healthy and habitable environment. We must engage in collective action in order to combat the irreversible damage to our planet that will come with rising global temperatures. This is why the environmental impact section of the B-Impact Assessment is crucial in helping us assess our progress and identify our shortfalls when it comes to combating climate change.
What is the environmental impact section of the BIA?
The environmental impact section consists of 31 questions related to environmental impact and management, energy and water usage, as well as land consumption, in order for businesses to identify the areas where they are doing well and pinpoint the areas that need improvement. The goal of this section is to gain a better understanding of the environmental impact a business has and set goals that will help minimize its overall carbon footprint.
The environmental assessment highlights how all of our decision making throughout the organization can make an impact. From the small things like the types of light bulbs we use or the kinds of volunteer events we participate in, to the larger and more challenging tasks like alternative packaging solutions and operational efficiency - these are all moving pieces that work in tandem to become a business that’s good for the planet.
What is Murphy’s environmental impact vision?
Rooted in our mission statement is to Celebrate Nature. Part of Celebrating Nature means being environmental stewards in helping to preserve and conserve nature as best we can. Ultimately, this means reducing waste, being conscious of our consumption patterns, and being mindful of the companies we support to help prevent the dangers climate change will pose on our most susceptible communities - BIPOC, homeless, essential workers, indigenous peoples, etc.
To strengthen our commitment to environmental stewardship, we are taking vital steps to combat climate change. Our vision for the future is to implement a detailed tracking plan of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to become Carbon Neutral Certified. Additionally, we’re in the process of obtaining a Plastic Neutral Certification with an innovative company called rePurpose Global. Similar to a carbon-neutral certification, achieving plastic neutrality means offsetting our plastic output by collecting that same amount of plastic waste from our oceans. We’ve decided to partner with rePurpose Global because of their commitment to helping marginalized waste workers earn a more stable income through incentivizing the collection of low value plastics (LVP).
Achieving plastic neutrality is one step of the way, but we hope to ultimately reduce our total plastic output. Murphy’s Naturals, along with numerous other purpose-driven brands are on a mission with Grove Collaborative to go Beyond Plastic by 2025. Through this collaborative effort, we hope to spark an industry movement that will prioritize intentional and environmentally friendly packaging. We’ll be looking to increase our post consumer recycled content, gearing towards refill options, and switching to biodegradable and compostable packaging where applicable.
Customer’s Call to Action
When thinking about your role in combating climate change, remember to start small. The issue is overwhelming, but if you look from a perspective of ability, rather than inability, then you’ll feel more motivated and inspired to make small habit changes that will lead to big compound effects.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of easy-to-do items that can help you on your journey:
- Start with where you live: Our homes can emit large amounts of greenhouse gases based on how much electricity, water, and food we waste. It’s important to be mindful of how we’re consuming these resources and to make small, but significant changes that will minimize its impacts. Electricity is often generated from burning non-renewable energy sources like coal, oil, or natural gas, so be sure to turn off lights when not in use, and unplug any electronics that are infrequently used. Changing your light bulbs to LEDs will drastically cut your energy consumption down by 75% (U.S. Dept of Energy), and they will last longer so you spend less money in the long run. Consider hanging your clothes to dry, rather than putting them in the dryer - it’ll make your clothes last longer and the planet will thank you!
The water in our homes is freshwater, which comprises just 3% of all the water on Earth (The 71 Percent). With that in mind, water is an invaluable resource that should be carefully conserved. By shortening your shower by just 2 minutes, you can conserve 10 gallons of water (Boston University), or approximately 300 gallons in a given month!
Lastly, give composting a try! Food waste is the largest category of waste that ends up in municipal landfills (EPA), where it releases methane - a potent greenhouse gas. Try to avoid food waste by preserving food in the freezer before it goes bad. So along with being mindful of how much food you’re buying and bringing into the home, consider starting your own compost bin or use a service like CompostNow to divert waste from landfills.
- Reuse and Bring Your Own: Plastic bags and other single-use plastics are taking up space in landfills, rarely recycled, and damaging marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Approximately only 9% of plastics are recycled (UN) and it takes hundreds of years for plastic to break down - often resulting in microplastics that are difficult to recover and likely to be mistaken for food by wildlife. In order to prevent adding to plastic pollution, swapping out single use items for reusable alternatives is an effective way to do so.
For instance, we can skip plastic bags by remembering to bring our own cloth bags to the grocery store that can be used over and over again. We can also swap plastic straws, food wrappers, and drink bottles for reusable alternatives, too! There are many metal and bamboo straws on the market, as well as beeswax food wrap that can be washed and reused to preserve leftovers. Reusing soap bottles and dispensers by purchasing refill options is another effective way to reduce your overall plastic consumption.
You may be thinking, will this really make an impact? The answer is yes - drink bottles, food wrappers, grocery bags, straws and stirrers, etc. are the most common types of plastic waste found in the environment (UN). By doing your part, you can help prevent plastic pollution and inspire others to do the same - remember, a little bit goes a long way.
- Think before you buy: Ask yourself these questions before making a purchase:
- Is this something I really need?
- Does this company reflect my values?
- Is this company aware of their impact?
Practice conscious consumerism by being mindful of not only the items you’re purchasing, but also from who you are purchasing from. Consider shopping with purpose driven companies with accredited certifications like B-Corp, Carbon Neutral, Fair Trade, etc. to make the biggest impact with your dollar. Browse through the Mission Brand Alliance or the B-Corp Directory to find companies that will help you make a difference.
5. B Corp Breakdown: Governance
Our mission to “celebrate nature and inspire good” is fundamental to who we are at Murphy’s Naturals. We are challenging the notion of “business as usual” and rising to the standard of “business as a force for good”. In order to be a force for good, the governance assessment ensures that we have policies and practices in place to preserve our mission for future generations of leadership.
What is the governance impact section of the BIA?
This section explores the different mechanisms in place to ensure transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement. As we grow, it’s important to stay true to our values and continuously improve by gathering feedback from our community. By having systems and policies in place that allow for continuous improvement, we’ll be able to better serve our community, teams, planet, and customers. The governance assessment analyzes these practices and how we can improve them for longer, sustainable impact.
What is Murphy’s governance impact vision?
We believe in the value of transparency and through that, we have published our very first “Doing Others Good” report - our take on the social impact report (*link report). Inside, you can learn more about the mission and purpose of Murphy’s Naturals, and why it is so important to our founder, Philip Freeman, to instill these values within the company. We also provide an overview of our giving throughout the year, so you can learn about the different organizations we donate to and the important work they are doing in our communities.
Additionally, good internal governance is crucial for a growing team. Within the past year, we’ve appointed our first group of Board of Directors. As the highest level of oversight, the Board is crucial for reviewing key business areas. Their guidance is important in making sure we stay on track to meet our social and environmental goals, as well as hold us accountable on company policies listed in the Code of Ethics and Employee Handbook.
We’re excited about the progress we’ve made so far, but we’re even more excited about the road ahead. We want to further engage our team with social and environmental education and training to help them make more environmentally minded decisions. We plan to set sustainability targets with the team to implement initiatives like carpooling, composting, or incentivizing purchases from local vendors that can further our collective impact.
Customer’s Call to Action
We believe a little bit can go a long way. We want to gather more feedback from our stakeholders (community, suppliers, customers, etc.) about our social and environmental performance. It’s important to us that we engage a diverse group of stakeholders so that we have a more holistic understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. If you have any ideas or feedback for us, please drop us a line - we’d love to hear from you!
6. B Corp Breakdown: Workers
The Murphy’s Naturals team is a group of dedicated, passionate, and hardworking individuals that are committed to making a difference. They are the backbone of our company - without them, we would not be where we are today. As a certified B-Corporation, we believe in taking care of our workers by always placing health, safety, and overall well being as top priority.
What is the worker impact section of the BIA?
The worker impact section consists of 47 questions that target how we contribute and promote positive impact for our workers. Positive impact includes paying a living wage, providing health insurance, opportunities for professional development, and more.
The worker assessment is a way to benchmark our performance, note our strengths, and improve on our shortcomings. We care deeply about the health and safety of our employees and want to do our best to provide them with an equitable work environment. The worker impact section paves a way for us to help our teams grow and succeed.
What is Murphy’s worker impact vision?
As a certified B-Corp, we are committed to using business as a force for good. That means doing the best we can to ensure the financial and personal success of our employees. We understand that the minimum wage in most states is not sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers, so that’s why we pay everyone on our team a living wage. In addition, we also provide full time employees with healthcare, supplemental health benefits (like dental insurance, life insurance, etc.), and provide over 25 days of paid time off!
We also help our team members plan for the future with 401k accounts that allow them to save for retirement. We wanted to have an even greater impact on the financial success of our employees, so we announced an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in October 2020. An ESOP is a way to share ownership or stake in a company with its employees. This is a way of sharing the company’s success with our workers because it is due to their hard work and dedication that we have come so far. Having an ESOP is especially impactful for many of our employees who may fall into historically marginalized demographics as a way to help them mobilize out of cyclical poverty and/or institutional bias.
In the future we have plans to continue supporting our employees by providing programs for continuing education, professional development, and extended health benefits. We know getting a degree is expensive, but we don’t want it to be a barrier for someone looking to go back to school. We hope to offer tuition assistance programs to support our employees who wish to seek higher education. We also want to provide more opportunities for professional development that will enhance our team’s collective knowledge and impact. This could include attending courses and earning certifications or general on-site training to better assist with one’s tasks.
Additionally, Murphy’s Naturals currently commits to covering 80% of healthcare premiums for all full time employees. We’re hoping to go one step further by offering full healthcare coverage. We’re also seeking more opportunities to support our employees with children by developing on-site child care facilities, or through providing supplemental child care benefits. We don’t believe starting a family should hinder one’s career growth, so we will support our employees to the best of our ability. The health and wellbeing of our teams will remain a priority for us as we continue making strides to further our employee impact.
Customer’s Call to Action
More action needs to be taken to ensure workers across the country are supported by living wage standards. We can do our part to help increase the minimum wage by signing petitions and contacting our state representatives. If you want to learn more about the living wage in your state, check out MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for more information.
Another impactful way to support fair labor and wage practices is by being mindful of the companies you support. Look for third party certifications like Fair Trade Certified, B-Corp Certified, or local living wage certifications to make informed purchasing decisions. Remember: you can make an impact with your dollar!