LAS VEGAS — The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), held Sept. 18-21 in Las Vegas, was flush with educational opportunities. QuickBITES sessions provided attendees with industry learnings in a shorter 20-minute format than IBIEducate. Among those presentations, Jordan Winter, creative director of Commercial Baking, focused on Certified B Corporations: for-profit companies that balance profit and purpose.

Winter broke down the definition of the certification, its benefits and how close businesses might already be to certifying, in her presentation “Are You a B Corp and Don’t Know It?”

On the Revent Celebrity Stage in the RBA (Retail Bakers of America) Bakers Center, Winter walked the audience through what it means to be a B Corp: including the legal standard that’s required for how they positively impact their employees, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.

According to Winter, there are currently more than 5,500 B Corps across more than 80 countries and 150 industries, with notable B Corp brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia. As more consumers — especially those in Gen Z — vote with their dollars for more purpose-driven companies, a B Corp certification could provide consumers with a greater insight on a company’s values and practices. Additionally, companies can use this certification to tap into a worldwide network of like-minded organizations.


“B Corps are a global community and they love to work together and help each other out,” Winter said. “Being able to network with other companies that have similar missions and values can be huge.”

To see how close companies are to the certification, Winter shared the five impact categories that are included in the B Impact Assessment: a three-step process that provides the data companies need to assess their own company; compare results to other companies in the same sector, region and size; and improve on those results through improvement opportunities and best practices.

“We all know that happy employees are employees that are more productive and have a more positive presence,” Winter said. “If we can build this workplace culture where everybody feels like they can show up authentically and fully supported at work, that’s going to lead to positive outcomes.”

The scoring in the Workers category focuses on key necessities for a well-supported workforce, including offerings such as healthcare, retirement and paid time off. While it may not be feasible for some smaller retail bakeries who may have smaller operations or higher numbers of part-time workers, Winter recommends employees look into how they can best invest in their employees.


Yonkers, NY-based Greyston Bakery is known for its open hiring practices and employee resources, stands out as an exemplary B Corp in the baking industry for its core mission.

The Community category focuses on how companies give back to the areas in which they operate. Marion, OH-based Wyandot Snacks, which has focused on meeting hunger in its community through donations and volunteer work among other efforts, reflects a positive example of a B Corp dedicated to supporting its local stakeholders.

The other categories — environment, customers and governance — look into additional aspects of a company not directly related to its workforce. Bakers are already blazing a trail in the environment sector through LEED certification for production facilities, as well as the ENERGY STAR certification, promoted by a partnership between the American Bakers Association’s (ABA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“ABA provides great resources for bakeries to become more energy efficient, so we’re getting a lot of thought leadership in that area,” Winter said, explaining that any bakery — whether a small retail operation or large commercial bakery — can take small steps to improve in that category.


Whether it’s evaluating environmental practices and climate impacts, or the quality of a company’s engagement and stewardship with its customers to its overall mission and ethics, all of the categories in the B Impact Assessment dig deeper than the bottom line and at the core of how a company is built.

Winter, pleased with the turnout at her presentation, emphasized that this certification and its impacts expand further than the company itself.

“Most people understand the urgency of transforming the world of business into a force for good, but it can be hard to know where to start,” she said. “We’re in a rapidly changing world, especially with the pandemic and climate change, which is like a double-edged sword.”

As attendees continue to walk the Las Vegas Convention Center halls, Winter shared her hope that her QuickBITES presentation further educated people on how B Corp Certification can impact companies for the better.

“While people are more aware of social and environmental issues now, people can drain their energy by just trying to keep up rather than actually getting ahead of the curve,” Winter said. “B Corp Certification gives structure to these ideas and meets companies where they’re at, with solid ideas for how to innovate and improve. I’m excited to spread the word because it’s an easy starting point for positive change.”