B Lab EU: Hi! It's good to meet you! And thanks for the amazing branded water bottles you've produced for the Summit. Tell us briefly who you are and what your company does. Klean Kanteen: A leader in BPA-free, stainless steel drinkware and food transport, Klean Kanteen is family owned and operated, with distribution in 40-plus countries worldwide.
With environmental stewardship and fair labor central to the company’s philosophy, Klean Kanteen is in Business for Good™. A 1% for the Planet member, Klean is committed to donating at least 1% of net revenue to qualified nonprofit organizations focused on environmental work, and has donated over $2.7 million to date. In 2012, Klean Kanteen proudly became a B Corporation.
B Lab EU: Why did you decide to become a B Corp? Klean Kanteen: B Corp certification offered a couple of key benefits that drew us in back in 2011. First, B Lab offered a third party standard via the B Impact Assessment (BIA) that allowed us to measure our performance against a rigorous, objective definition for social and environmental business practices.
Second, B Corp certification offered consumers verification that their purchases support business practices they value. The consumer doesn’t have to take the company’s word for it, and they can easily identify companies who consistently apply these shared values by looking for the B logo.
B Lab EU: What does being a B Corp mean to you? Klean Kanteen: Being a B Corp means operating according to a rigorous third-party standard for responsible business that Klean and its stakeholders can rely on to yield prosperity and benefits for our customers, employees, community, and the environment.
B Lab EU: Have you seen business benefits of being a B Corp? Klean Kanteen: Customers looking to purchase from socially or environmentally responsible businesses have a way to identify us in the marketplace because we’re a certified B Corp. We’ve attracted many new customers over the years, especially other B Corps, because of our certification.
We’ve participated in a number of marketing collaborations with other B Corps to help build consumer awareness around the certification and what a customer can expect when voting with their dollars for products and services delivered by B Corps.
We also enjoy large candidate pools when hiring at Klean, and many folks comment on our social / environmental reputation and B Corp certification that drew them to our company.
B Lab EU: What are you looking forward to most about the 2019 Summit? Klean Kanteen: Especially to meet other like minded people and companies. To get new inspiration by hearing their stories and to inspire others with our stories. After every Summit we have so many good new ideas which we can use in our business. Besides that the Summit is also the best occasion to further build our network.
B Lab EU: What are your plans for the future to use your business as a force for good? Klean Kanteen: The last couple of years have been about building the operational capability to enable goal setting for numeric, non-financial targets that address social and environmental issues material to our business, many of which will also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A few areas we’re keen to pursue include: 1) advancing our use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to guide new product design and improve existing designs, 2) exploring ways to make recovery and recycling of Klean products at end of use (EOU) easy and sensible from financial and environmental perspectives, and 3) getting aggressive around GHG emissions.
We need to close the remaining measurement gaps and challenge ourselves to get to 100% renewable.
B Lab EU: Thank you and look forward to seeing you at the Summit!