Bigelow Tea, the U.S. specialty tea market leader, announces that it has become a Certified B Corporation, joining more than 2,700 companies worldwide that are committed to using their businesses as a positive force for social and environmental change.
Cindi Bigelow, third-generation president & CEO of the family-owned company which manufactures “Constant Comment”® and more than 150 varieties of tea, said corporate social responsibility has always been a core business value for Bigelow Tea.
“Being certified as a B Corp officially recognizes a commitment that has been part of the company’s DNA since it was founded by my grandmother Ruth Campbell Bigelow 75 years ago,” Cindi Bigelow said. “Our purpose has always been about much more than making profits. We’re committed to good citizenship, ethical business practices, accountability and transparency, protecting the environment, sustainability and supporting our communities.”
In order to be certified as a B Corp (B stands for “benefit”), a company must undergo a rigorous assessment of its business practices and meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance in addition to expanding its corporate responsibilities to include the interests of various stakeholders. The certification process is conducted by B Lab, a nonprofit organization that measures how a company treats workers, suppliers, environment and the community.
“Bigelow has always been a pioneer in helping people conceptualize how companies can use business as a force for good. Certifying as a B Corporation and registering as a CT benefit corporation ensures the company stays true to its mission as it continues to demonstrate leadership in the midst of growing impatience with the old ways of doing business,” according to Andy Fyfe, Business Development, B Lab. “They now join a community of 2700+ B Corps, across 150+ industries, operating in 50+ countries around the world meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability.”
B Lab certifies and supports a growing global community of more than 2700 Certified B Corporations in over 60 countries and 150 industries. They share a commitment to making business a force for good worldwide.
Bigelow Tea leadership completed an extensive impact assessment report administered by B Lab that required hundreds of hours of research and documentation, showing how the company met the established objectives in specific areas that include governance, employees, environment, community and consumers.
Bigelow has long prided itself on its environmental, sustainability and community programs, including charitable initiatives centered around the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, an annual road race that has contributed $1.7 million to local non-profits over the past 31 years.
“We were very excited to discover that by doing the things that had been written into our mission statement more than 30 years ago, we were already meeting the requirements,” Cindi Bigelow said.
“To me, ethical leadership means thinking about the long term and ensuring we are doing the right thing for our future. It means constantly working to create an environment of pride and making a difference every day so we all feel motivated to be the best we can possibly be,” she added. “Being certified as a B Corp redoubles our long-standing efforts and helps everyone understand that we need to take corporate responsibility extremely seriously.”
Certification as a B Corp is a natural progression for Bigelow Tea, which in 2017 registered with the State of Connecticut as a Benefit Corporation, thereby designating corporate social responsibility as a core business goal. Being a Benefit Corporation legally codified the company’s commitment to all its stakeholders. It also established the company goal of using the business for a general public benefit to create a positive impact on the environment and society.
“First registering as a Benefit Corporation and now becoming a Certified B Corp was something I truly felt captured the spirit of our company — a company that is inspired by more than just making a profit,” Cindi Bigelow said. “Clearly, we need to maintain strong profitability, but we should never lose sight of the fact that we also need to focus on doing good things with the power we hold inside this company.”
As a Certified B Corp, Bigelow Tea will continue to monitor and improve its performance in these strategic areas and release regular reports to its stakeholders and the public.
About Bigelow Tea Company
Based in Fairfield, CT and 100% family owned, the Bigelow Tea Company pioneered the specialty tea category nearly 75 years ago. The three-generational company, founded by Ruth Campbell Bigelow in 1945, takes pride in its heritage and successful growth from a one-product, entrepreneurial venture into America’s leading specialty tea company. Producing 2 billion tea bags annually, the Bigelow Tea line includes more than 150 varieties of Flavored, Traditional, Green, Organic, Herbal, Decaffeinated and Wellness teas – including its flagship specialty tea flavor, “Constant Comment”®, an all-time American favorite.
In 2003, the company purchased and restored the Charleston Tea Plantation, preserving the 127-acre American tea garden located on Wadmalaw Island, just south of Charleston, South Carolina as a working tea farm. It is here where hundreds of thousands of ancestral tea bushes that go into the making of Charleston Tea Plantation teas are grown and cultivated without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides. The Charleston Tea Plantation has become a “must see” destination for more than 70,000 travelers from around the world who visit annually to learn how tea is grown and harvested, and sample products made from tea grown on the premises.
Bigelow Tea products are available online and in grocery and natural stores nationwide. Please visit the website to learn more, www.bigelowtea.com and join Bigelow Tea in social media by joining the #TeaProudly community on all channels.
About B Corporations
Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. To date, there are more than 2,700 B Corps in over 150 industries and 64 countries around the world.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Their initiatives include B Corp Certification, administration of the B Impact Management programs, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation. B Lab’s vision is of an inclusive and sustainable economy that creates a shared prosperity for all.