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Why more big consumer health companies should become B Corps

Sponsored: Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America’s new B Corp certification enables millions of people to take part in the growing global movement for positive change.

Lady shopping for medicine

A woman examines healthcare product information and ingredients. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

This article is sponsored by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America.

B Corporations, better known as B Corps, are leaders in the global movement for an equitable, sustainable future. 

Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America – the maker of brands such as Allegra, Dulcolax, Icy Hot, Unisom and Xyzal – recently became the first, large consumer health B Corp. But what gives a multinational company like ours the right to talk about social impact and sustainability?

To start, becoming a B Corp isn’t just something our company thought to pursue overnight. We made a calculated decision years ago to ensure our efforts to make healthcare simple and accessible also enabled our millions of customers to take part in transforming business as a force for good. The rigorous, three-year certification process to show we meet high standards of social and environmental performance is just one step on our ongoing journey to champion better self-care for a healthier society and planet.

We aspire for our journey to help influence the greater consumer health business ecosystem to join the growing B Corp community.

Healthy people need a healthy planet

Health is no longer a set of symptoms to be treated in isolation — our health is inextricably linked to the world around us. In the water we drink, the air we breathe, the warmth of our sun and the social injustices that shake us to our core. That’s why we are honored to be part of the B Corp community and excited to show how profit and purpose can go hand in hand.

So far, we and our brands have made important progress on our social and environmental goals — from reducing our carbon footprint and cutting down waste to sourcing more responsibly and supporting the wellbeing of communities where we do business. For example, we are working to eliminate approximately 35 tons of plastic packaging per year by removing plastic windows from Allegra, Nasacort and other product packaging.

Multinationals as global change agents

While small and medium-size businesses make up most of the B Corp community, an increasing number of multinational companies such as ours — with more than $1 billion in annual revenue — are becoming certified B Corps. And it’s actually more difficult for a larger company to certify than a smaller one because we are rightfully held to stricter standards, deeper verifications and more requirements.

Due to our size, scope and greater influence on the economy, big companies have an important role to play in driving global, systems change at scale. Even though only around 1 percent of the more than 7,000 B Corps across the globe are multinationals, we represent a substantial portion (28 percent) of the B Corp workforce.

This achievement is much more than a milestone or badge of sustainability accomplishments. It’s helping us understand and improve our impact and the impact of the industry at large. B Lab’s rigorous process enabled us to take a meaningful look at what we were doing and where we could deepen efforts, making us a stronger team and a better, more purposeful business all around.

We hope to inspire our peers in consumer health — both large and small — to join us in championing this rigorous sustainability certification to accelerate a global movement for positive change.

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