Trash and Stash is looking to become the first junk removal service with a B- Corp Certification

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How Our Junk Removal Business is Becoming a Force for Good.

The Journey to B Corp Certification.

We’ve started the process. It’s a difficult one, but we’re committed to seeing it through. And as far as I can tell, when we reach this goal, we’ll be the first and only junk removal service in the world to have it.
 
We’re working on getting certified as a Benefits Corporation (B Corp) by B Labs.

"Certified B Corporations are businesses that do more than make a profit. B Corps prioritize people and our planet in everything they do."

There are over 2,000 certified B corps in the US and Canada, some with familiar names. Companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Toms and New Belgium Brewing.

Trash and Stash signature Patagonia overalls.

Status Update: Certified (3.27.24)

We are proud to announce that we’ve earned our B- Corp certification. We’re the first US- based junk removal company to earn this designation and only the 2nd in the world. It was a difficult but rewarding process. We learned a lot about ourselves and are better for the experience. Our final point total was much lower than our initial submission which demonstrates how rigorous the process is. It also means we have a lot of opportunities to improve as we work towards recertification in 2027.

Keep up with on-going efforts to balance purpose with profits here.

What's it Take to Get Certified as a B Corporation?

There are 5 categories that need to be addressed as part of the B Corp certification process.

Governance: Companies need to adopt a legal framework that enables them to balance profit with purpose, and they need to have practices in place to ensure that their social and environmental goals are integrated into their decision-making processes
Workers: Companies need to create a workplace culture that supports their employees’ well-being and development, including fair pay, benefits, and opportunities for growth.
Community: Companies need to consider the impact of their operations on the communities in which they operate and take steps to support and engage with those communities.
Environment: Companies need to assess and minimize their environmental impact, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving resources, and minimizing waste. To be good stewards of the circular economy.
Customers: Companies need to consider the impact of their products and services on their customers and take steps to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and meet high ethical standards.
B Labs B Corp Certification

The truth is we’re already doing a lot of this in our regular business practices. We take great care of our people (staff and customers). We give back to our community with programs like our 2nd Life Resale Program and our Give and Save Promo. We work really hard to keep as much as possible out of the landfill. The B Corp process though is forcing us to document, commit to and improve these efforts. It’s an accountability system.

How to Get B Corp Certified?

The process to get B Corp certified by B Lab involves several steps, including:

  1. Take the B Impact Assessment: The first step in the certification process is to take the B Impact Assessment. This assessment is a comprehensive tool that evaluates a company’s social and environmental performance across the 5 categories.

  2. Meet the performance requirements: Companies need to achieve a minimum score of 80 out of 200 on the B Impact Assessment to be eligible for certification. This score indicates that the company is meeting the performance standards set by B Lab in terms of its social and environmental impact.

  3. Meet the legal requirements: To become a B Corp, companies also need to meet the legal requirements for a Benefit Corporation or another recognized legal structure that allows them to pursue a social or environmental mission in addition to making a profit. This requirement varies by state and country.

  4. Verification and review: After a company submits its assessment and legal documentation, B Lab conducts a verification process to ensure that the company’s claims are accurate and transparent. B Lab may also request additional documentation or information from the company. Once verified, the assessment is reviewed by a third-party Standards Advisory Council to ensure that the company meets the performance standards set by B Lab.

  5. Sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence: The final step in the process is for the company’s leadership to sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence. This document is a statement of values that reflects the company’s commitment to using business as a force for good.
South Carolina flag on trash and Stash uniforms

Once a company completes these steps, it becomes certified as a B Corp and can use the B Corp logo on its website and marketing materials. The certification is valid for three years, after which companies need to re-certify to maintain their B Corp status.

We’re early in the process. We’ve completed the assessment. The first time through it, we answered the questionnaire based on our current practices. We did not reach the 80 point threshold.
 
We then met with and interviewed a number of existing B Corps in the Carolinas. The B Corp community has been an extremely kind, helpful and welcoming group. Eager to share their experiences and advice on the B Corp mission and process. This reaffirmed our commitment to the process and helped with direction. We then filled out the assessment again. This time with all the changes we can reasonably make and document. We now have a path to B Corp certification. We know what we need to do to score enough points.

Trash and Stash Mission Statement:

Trash and Stash relieves stress by removing junk. We make it easy for people to responsibly get rid of the clutter and the anxiety it causes.

Vision:

We’re the most eco- friendly, most- considerate, most responsive, easiest to use junk removal business in the greater Charlotte area. We make it super simple for people to do the right thing with their stuff. We make junk removal cool.

The nice thing about the B Corp process is you can tailor your approach so it’s consistent with your company’s mission and vision. There are some categories and strategies that are more relevant to our business and our beliefs than others. The B Corp certification process allows us to pursue points in those categories and deprioritize others that are less relevant to us. This means the B Corp Certification process is not political. There’s no agenda and the organization does not speak for us. We’re sincerely doing what we believe in.

I don’t know how long this certification process is going to take. We know where we’re going, but we now need to create and document the processes and systems to get there. The things we’re currently doing may not be as impactful as we thought. We need to record and document better. We may need more time and better execution to advance to the levels that qualify. Regardless, the process of B Corp certification will make us better in both the short and long term.

Why Is Getting Certified as a Benefits Corporation Important?

As consumers become more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on society and the environment, businesses are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practices. One way companies can do this is by becoming a B Corp, a certification granted by B Lab, a non-profit organization that assesses a company’s social and environmental performance.
 
B Corp certification is not just a badge of honor for companies that have made a commitment to responsible business practices. It also provides a roadmap for companies that want to improve their social and environmental performance. B Corp certification helps companies benchmark their performance against other like-minded companies, identify areas for improvement, and track progress over time.

The Local Circular Economy

Charlotte is doing a lot to become a leader in the circular economy. We excited to play a small role. Here’s more about the Charlotte Sustainability Scene.

Charlotte NC and the circular economy
B Corps are leading the way in using business as a force for good. By considering the interests of all stakeholders, B Corps are helping to create a more sustainable and equitable economy. They are demonstrating that it is possible to run a profitable business while also having a positive impact on society and the environment.
 
B Corps are also helping to build trust with consumers. In today’s world, consumers are increasingly looking for companies that share their values and are transparent about their impact on society and the environment. By becoming a B Corp, companies can signal to consumers that they are committed to responsible business practices and are willing to be held accountable for their impact.

Why is B Corp Certification Important for Junk Removal Services?

We started Trash and Stash to make a difference in our community. To help people “fight vapid consumerism in our ever- increasing disposable world.” To help people simplify their lives. To provide simple solutions to complex “stuff problems.” To “think local, act local” and make a positive impact on the people around us.
 
To this end, B Corp Certification makes sense. We’re committed to balancing profit-making with social and environmental impact. We believe that our business can be a force for good, and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our impact on society and the environment.

For example, as a junk removal business, our goal is to keep as much out of the landfill as possible. We’ve implemented a recycling program with the goal of recycling or donating over 50% of the items we remove. We also partner with local charities to donate usable items, such as furniture and appliances, to those in need.

Trahs and Stash van in line with dump trucks
Trash and Stash recycling metal at Rock Hill scrap yard
Certificate/ receipt from e- waste recycling delivery
We’re committed to treating our employees fairly and providing them with opportunities for growth and development. We pay our employees a living wage, offer benefits, bonuses and opportunities for training and advancement.
 
We’re also committed to being transparent about our impact on society and the environment. At the very beginning, we published weekly sales reports to our social media platforms. We publish blogs like this to share info and keep us accountable.
 
That said, this is one area we’ll need to continue to develop. We need to come up with better accounting processes to track our efforts. Then, we’ll start publishing annual impact reports that details our performance on various social and environmental metrics. Reports on our carbon footprint, waste diversion rate, and employee satisfaction.

What We Get. A Marketing Return on Our B Corp Status.

By becoming a B Corp, we are differentiating ourselves from our competitors in North and South Carolina. We are demonstrating to our customers that we are committed to responsible business practices and that we are willing to be held accountable for our impact on society and the environment.

Giving Challenge totals

We believe that our B Corp certification will help us attract and retain customers who share our values and are looking for a junk removal company that is committed to making a positive impact. It will also help us attract and retain employees who are passionate about our mission and want to work for a company that shares their values.

We’re pursuing B Corp certification because it’s important to us. It’s also a potential marketing tool. The fact that we have environmentally responsible disposal practices and contribute to local charities is meaningful to our customers. We earn a lot of business from people who believe in these goals.
 
The truth is, lots of phone calls from customers start with the words, “my stuff’s not junk.” What are they really saying? I think it means they don’t want their stuff thrown away, even if they don’t need it anymore. It feels wrong. It feels wasteful. We agree and these are the folks we want to work for. Everybody wants to do the right thing. We want to make it easy for people to responsibly dispose of their junk. All they need to do is call us to feel confident that their stuff is being handled properly. The certification establishes trust and holds us accountable to the promise we’ve made.

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.
Special offer

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Photo of Isabella Santos

Give & Save

Get 10%* Off junk removal & moving help when you donate $25 or more to the Isabella Santos Foundation. Help increase the survival rate for kids with rare pediatric cancers.

*Up to $100 discounted from Junk Removal & Moving Help total.

Picture of Cameron Ungar

Cameron Ungar

Junk removal was not my first career choice. It was my best choice though. I used to run events for a living. I did that for almost 15 years until a global pandemic launched me into the junk removal business. I’m an expert in operations, team building & creating incredible customer experiences. And... I love helping people simplify their lives.

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