In 2019, we achieved B Corporation (B Corp) certification, joining a community of businesses transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. Through certification, we committed to maintaining high standards for sustainability, social responsibility, and transparency throughout our business. Four years later, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve not only been recertified as a B Corp, but we’ve improved our scores. That speaks to our commitment to accountability, progression, and the growing B Corp movement.
I feel strongly that the way our business impacts the planet and our global snowboard community is equally as important as the design and quality of Burton products.
“All of us at Burton are very proud to be a part of the growing B Corp movement because it means our family-owned company is contributing to making business practices more equitable, socially responsible and transparent.”
What Does B Corp Mean?
B Corps are certified by the non-profit B Lab and are widely recognized as conducting their operations to high social and environmental standards with business models that balance profit with positive impact. B Lab was started in 2006 with a vision to make business a force for good. By 2007, 82 companies were certified as B Corps. Now there are nearly 8,000 Certified B Corporations across over 90 countries and more than 160 industries.
Being certified as a B Corp means taking part in a movement that is changing the rules of the economic game. Beyond certifying B Corps, B Lab also creates standards, policies, tools, and programs that shift the behavior, culture, and structure of capitalism. The hope is that collectively, the B Corp community can take lasting action on society’s most critical challenges.
How Did Burton Get Certified?
From how our business is governed, to how our workers are treated and paid, how we foster an inclusive community, our environmental footprint, and not least, how we interact with our customers, certification as a B Corp was a deep dive into every facet of how we conduct ourselves as a business.
B Corp Certification means that we’ve been verified as meeting B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact, that we’ve made a legal commitment to stakeholder governance, and that we’ve stepped into accountability and transparency by disclosing our record of performance in a public B Corp profile. At its core, being a certified B Corp means we’re committed to valuing the interests of all stakeholders across our business and operations: workers, customers, communities, and the environment.
What is Recertification?
Being a B Corp also means joining in a global framework of continuous improvement. As a B Corp, we go through the assessment and verification process every three years, demonstrating that we’re meeting B Lab’s standards. Since we first became a certified B Corp in 2019, B Lab’s standards and certification process improved, an ongoing progression with the input from expert stakeholders.
This time it took over a year to complete our recertification, but our dedication to the B Corp process and our values became clear when the numbers came back. We’re excited to share that our overall score went up 18% from the first time around. That includes the shift from being certified as a global brand in 2019, to being recertified at a regional level: an even closer look at our HR policies, facilities, and operations in North America, Europe, and Asia that we passed with high scores.
Putting people first means providing fair wages, sourcing products responsibly, and making sure everyone feels welcome in our community.
B Corp recertification is an important tool for accountability for every element of our values, and taking care of our people is, and will always be, a keystone for us. From safe working conditions throughout our supply chain, to ensuring factories meet high international human rights standards, we're actively investing in improving the lives of everyone Burton engages with.
In 2019 we became an accredited member of the Fair Labor Association—a three-and-a-half-year journey to achieving the highest standard for a systems-level approach to worker’s rights and social responsibility. In addition to maintaining responsible sourcing standards, we’ve made a clear goal for all Burton employees, contractors, and workers at major supplier factories to be paid a living wage by 2025.
We're minimizing our impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions, ensuring our products are healthy for our planet and people, and making products that last.
B Corps are evaluated on their stewardship of the planet, and for decades, we’ve chosen to take a path that minimizes our footprint, while creating a positive impact. From taking a serious look at the lifecycle of our products, purchasing environmentally preferred materials, sourcing 100% renewable energy for the North American offices and stores, and finding solutions to keep products in use longer, we’re taking steps toward being better stewards of the planet we all share.
Since becoming a B Corp in 2019, we’ve taken our sustainability efforts to a global level, setting carbon reduction goals aligned with the Science Based Target Initiative. In 2020, we conducted our first comprehensive global carbon emissions baseline, and set ambitious 2030 carbon reduction targets that cover greenhouse gas emissions from all our facilities, operations, and supply chains. Knowing that we need systems to protect the planet, we’ve taken an active role on positive climate policy, working closely with Protect Our Winters and several other organizations to influence lawmakers to take positive action on the climate crisis.
It’s our job to protect the future of snowboarding and help everyone enjoy the ride.
B Corps are responsible to everyone that their companies are involved in, and for us that includes the greater snowboarding community. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re going to make this a space that feels welcoming and safe for every and all riders. As part of our ongoing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) work, we’ve dedicated $300,000 over three years to increase BIPOC representation in snowboarding, and launched the annual Culture Shifters event to bring together BIPOC people from all walks of life and expand the culture of snowboarding.
We celebrated Pride by amplifying LGBTQ+ voices from employees and ambassadors on the importance of visibility in the outdoors, and partnered with The Venture Out Project, a non-profit organization that helps LGBTQ+ individuals safely experience the outdoors. Recognizing that coordinated JEDI efforts are the most powerful pathway toward lasting change, Burton played a founding role in establishing the Outdoor Diversity Alliance, a coalition of like-minded companies working to address systemic issues across the outdoors industry, and increase equity and inclusion.
Becoming recertified as a B Corp is a renewed dedication to our family-owned, values-driven philosophy. By showing that it’s possible to be successful and do right by the people and planet, hopefully we’ll inspire other companies to join us. And because there’s always more progress to be made, we’ve set out our 2025 goals alongside the B Corp framework. Snowboarding is all about evolution, and we’re always improving, too.