What is the Sistema B?
The B Global Network of B Lab and Sistema B organizations is a unified group of global, regional, and national companies that grow, engage, and mobilize their B Corp communities, ecosystems, and partnerships, reshaping their local economies to prioritize people and the planet.
The Sistema B is an organization that takes responsibility for engaging, promoting, and locally advocating the entire B Movement in Brasil and Latin America. It has been a partner of B Lab since 2013, playing a vital role in a global movement where people utilize businesses to construct a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy for both people and the planet.
To see the global network, check the map here.
What is the B Corp Certification?
B Corp Certification is a validation that an organization adheres to specific standards of transparency, responsibility, sustainability, and performance, all with the overarching goal of creating value throughout its network. The process of obtaining B Corporation status commences with the completion of the B Impact Assessment, a confidential and online tool provided by B Lab, free of charge. Once a company achieves a score of over 80 points, out of a possible 200, on this questionnaire, it becomes eligible to initiate the certification process with B Lab. Grupo SOMA, for instance, scored 85.1.
What does being a Certified B Corporation mean?
A Certified B Corporation is deeply committed to the sustainable growth of its business, prioritizing the well-being of people and the environment while adhering to strong governance practices. These companies not only seek profit but also have social and environmental objectives. They are legally bound to make decisions with a focus on the long-term impact on society and the environment. B Corporations aim to excel in making a positive impact on the world rather than just striving to be the best in the world.
How many companies have achieved the B Corporation certification?
There are over 400 companies in Brazil and 1,500 in Latin America. These companies have a unique business approach, balancing purpose and profit, and they consider how their decisions affect their employees, customers, suppliers, the community, and the environment. Globally, there are now more than 7,000 certified companies.
In the fashion sector in Brazil, there are seven organizations with the B Certification, and with Grupo SOMA's certification, there are now ten brands.
What are the criteria for obtaining the B Corp certification?
This international seal evaluates companies across five dimensions: governance, employees, customers, community, and the environment. It scores their good practices and encourages ongoing improvement in management. As we are dedicated to this movement, we are now a part of the B movement.
Apart from the dimensions, the B Corp certification also evaluates impact business models. What are they?
Impact business models are projects or programs within the organization that generate a specific positive outcome for one or more of their stakeholders through their product or service. To qualify as an Impact Business Model, it must meet specific criteria: specific, tangible, measurable, enduring, and remarkable.
Grupo SOMA applied for the Certification with three Impact Business Models: the FARM + Yawanawa partnership, the Value Chain Development project, and the Tecendo Sonhos project.
What's the significance of the B Certified seal on products?
We're witnessing a new wave of consumer awareness regarding how they choose products. Thanks to advancements in technology, sustainability, and brand loyalty, today's consumers actively seek out responsible products. The B Certified seal on products helps customers identify those made in line with the best socio-environmental practices by companies that integrate business development with human and planetary well-being.
For consumers, it represents a company's commitment to making a positive environmental and social impact, being more responsible and transparent, and considering all stakeholders in decision-making. It empowers consumers to make more informed and conscious purchases as they gain an understanding of the entire value chain behind the product or service offered.
Why is FARM Rio considered a Certified B Corporation?
FARM Rio is recognized as a Certified B Corporation because Grupo SOMA has completed the entire B Lab certification process, demonstrating its commitment to best practices in five impact areas and providing the necessary information for additional transparency requirements associated with the Impact Assessment tool. Since October 2023, all of its brands have been certified as B Corporations with a score of 85.1.
What was FARM Rio's journey to becoming a Certified B Corporation?
In 2016, we participated in the Rio+B event, initiated the first Business Impact Assessment (BIA), and began strengthening our impact projects.
In 2020, during the Caminho + B, we completed the BIA for the second time and developed an Improvement Plan.
In 2022, we applied for B Corp Certification and conducted the third BIA, based on 2021 data.
In 2023, we underwent the Certification compliance process and completed the fourth BIA, now with robust 2022 data.
Does FARM Rio believe that profit and positive impact can go together?
Yes, FARM Rio has transformed its love for nature into a commitment to sustainability and an ESG strategy deeply integrated into its business approach. Our core pillars — culture, people, circularity, and nature — demonstrate our dedication to making decisions that balance positive socio-environmental impact with profitability.
Now that FARM Rio is a Certified B Corporation, what are our responsibilities to maintain this certification's validity?
Our commitment is to continue actively engaging in our socio-environmental responsibility agenda. We aim to identify potential areas of improvement and implement plans to ensure that our commitment to generating positive impact is integrated into all company processes and areas. Furthermore, we pledge to undergo reevaluations and recertifications by the B Corporation system whenever required in the coming years, alongside Grupo SOMA.
What happens to FARM Rio or Grupo Soma if any lapses or practices inconsistent with B Corp certification are identified?
There are two key oversight bodies—Brazil's integrity committee, working in line with the B Corporation System's deliberative council, and the Standards Advisory Council (SAC), which reviews critical cases that may have arisen during the activities of B Corporations. Suppose it's determined that Grupo SOMA or one of its brands doesn't comply with B Corporation Certification for any reason. In that case, the issue will be brought before these bodies, which will investigate potential misconduct by the company. If confirmed, B Corporation Certification may be suspended until the company reinstates the good practices that initially led to its certification.
Does FARM Rio have transparency about its supply chain and suppliers?
We're glad you asked because now we have a partnership with Open Supply Hub to make public our map of Tier 1 apparel and shoe direct suppliers, audited by a third-party certifier company following the SMETA standards, and you can check it out in our Transparency page. Several passionate people create our pieces before they reach your wardrobe, and there are at least 20 stages, from the print's creation to product development to its final destination: you.
Our efforts toward full transparency in everything we do lead us closer to our suppliers and allow the process of monitoring every step of the production chain. In this process, we have specific product and supply chain monitoring initiatives to improve ethical trade while acting fairly, responsibly, and sustainably through long-term, honest relationships.
FARM Rio supply chain monitoring initiatives:
- We are members of Sedex - Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data which offers an internationally recognized audit program, the SMETA, following standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI).
- Our Tier 1 direct suppliers are audited by a third-party certifier company following the SMETA - Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit standards, contemplating the SMETA 4 Pillar Audit that covers Labor Standards, Health and Safety, Environmental Assessment, and Business Ethics.
FARM Rio product monitoring initiatives:
- Our products are tested by certified laboratories, in line with our SOP FARM (standard operating procedures) created based on the international regulations REACH - Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals in Europe and FTC - Federal Trade Commission in the United States to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks associated with the use of chemicals.