Lulu is excited to announce that we have re-certified as a B Corp with an Impact Assessment score of 86 points out of 200. That’s 6 more points than our initial certification in 2016!
This prestigious certification is awarded to for-profit companies that uphold the highest level of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. These companies don’t just talk the talk. All certified B Corps are vetted by the non-profit, B Lab, and must achieve an Impact Assessment score of at least 80 out of 200 points.
You may be thinking “80 points? That’s it? I hope you’re graded on a curve.” These points are awarded for going above and beyond industry norms. Know that, as of today, no company has ever achieved a perfect score.
We didn’t just pass our assessment and earn 6 extra points this year. Lulu was also randomly selected for the highest level of verification with an on-site audit. This included a tour of our facilities, reviewing the Impact Assessment, and private interviews with B Lab and three randomly selected Lulu employees to share their thoughts about the Lulu workplace experience.
For perspective, out of 2,482 B Corps worldwide, 250 of those will participate in the 2018 site review process.
How did we do it?
Lulu’s print-on-demand business model not only helps content creators avoid the hassles of stocking books, but it’s also incredibly sustainable. Since we print-on-demand, there is never any warehousing of books, cutting down on emissions from storage facilities. Likewise, our print partners are the best of the best with a 0.5% defect rate, meaning there are very few books printed by Lulu that don’t end up in the hands of readers. In 2017 they actually beat that number with a 0.4% defect rate!
In 2017, we moved to a newer, more efficient building. While we loved our historic Hillsborough St. office, the Davis Dr. building is far more energy-efficient. Not only is it easier to cool and heat, but it has environmentally preferable features like double-paned windows, motion-activated light switches, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats. On top of that, our new building drastically reduced our utility bills by nearly $50,000! Wowza.
Lulu participated in North Carolina State University’s B Corp Clinic, a program that pairs companies seeking B Corp certification with undergraduate and graduate students from North Carolina universities. You may remember the Clinic from our initial certification in 2016.
This year, our student team analyzed Lulu’s Impact Assessment, calculated our greenhouse gas emissions, and provided suggestions for improvement. With their help, Lulu formalized several aspects of our business operations by creating written policies including an Environmental Purchasing Policy and a Charitable Contributions Policy. Formalizing policy may sound like a bit of a snoozefest, but it really does matter! It ensures that all employees are aware and guidelines for upholding the policy.
Finally, Lulu continues to offer employees three paid days to volunteer with an organization they’re most passionate about. In 2017, Team Lulu contributed 250 volunteer hours, donated 30 hours of facilities use to local nonprofits, and contributed over $100,000 in charitable giving.
Customers are becoming more thoughtful and sometimes a bit skeptical about their purchases. We embrace the skeptics because we know our business is built on a solid foundation of doing good. The third-party certification verifies that we really do live by our words.
There’s no greenwashed veneer. Being a certified B Corp helps prove authenticity.
Similarly, there’s an ever-expanding global movement of companies using their business to do good. Lulu recognizes that we make up a humble portion of the global economy. However, by working with other mission-locked companies, we can move the dial on making all businesses not only best in the world, but also best for the world.
How to celebrate with Lulu
- Follow @luludotcom on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to stay up to date on our B Corp journey
- B Corps in the Wild- tell us your favorite B Corp brands. You can find B Corps near you, here: https://www.bcorporation.net/community/find-a-b-corp
- Join the B The Change newsletter https://bthechange.com/
Sheridan is Lulu’s Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach. She is an author advocate, B Corp Champion, friend to all cats everywhere, and a clog aficionado.