From the moment Ben and Jerry tied the '&', Ben & Jerry's has proven that it's possible to run a successful business whilst doing some wider good for our world too.
This may make us unusual, but it certainly doesn't make us unique. There are lots of companies who share our values springing up all over the place and we're glad to see it - we're in good company!
Here are just a handful of businesses that we admire for proving you can make a profit and a difference!
Item number 1
Time to talk cobblers! In particular, let's talk Timpson, the high street chain that repairs shoes and cuts key up and down the country. Under boss John Timpson, this family-run business has become a phenomenal force for good.
Leading the way when it comes to employing ex-convicts, Timpson proides a much-needed second chance to those who are often shunned by prospective employers. And John's son, James Timpson, is continuing his father's good work by offerring unemployed people free dry cleaning for job interviews. The company philosophy? "If you treat people well, it is blindingly obvious that they will do a good job."
Item number 2
Further along the High Street, another household name knows that the sweet smell of success goes beyond the bottom line.
Lush, the natural cosmetics retailer, has a commitment to corporate responsibility that isn't just skin deep. Along with an ehtical buying programme and a refusal to test products on animals, the Poole-based company has also taken a stand on a range of social issues, from tax avoidance to road protests. As a result, Lush clients don't just look and smell good - they're clean-handed customers!
Item number 3
Patagonia's cool, colourful clothing is a must-have for outdoorsy types. But the Californian company also takes the high road in other areas...
Since 1985, the company has given 1% of the money it makes from sales to environmental groups, raising a cool $70 million in the process. Patagonia has also gone that extra mile to ensure its factories give a fair deal to their workers, and have the lowest-possible impact on the planet.
Item number 4
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle Mexican Grill has a whole new recipe for setting up a fast food chain - one that doesn't leave a nasty taste in the mouth.
With close to 2,000 restaurants worldwide, the chain is proving that big doesn't necessarily mean bad thanks to its commitment to "food with integrity". In particular, that means buying food from farms rather than factories. It's a policy that initially costs Chipotle more money, but which the company believes pays off in several more important ways, beyond the fact that fresh ingredients just taste better!
Chipotle also insists that the meat it serves comes from animals treated with compassion. All of their livestock must be raised outdoors, and the company even lays down minimum space requirements for its farms. In short, it's a chain with a heart as a well as a brain!
Item number 5
What could be more blissful that eating chocolate? The answer - eating Divine Chocolate!
This virtuous venture removes at least some of the sin from indulgence thanks to its ownership structure. Unique among British chocolate companies, Divine Chocolate is 44% owned by cocoa farmers in Africa, giving the farmers of Ghana's Kuapa Kokoo agricultural cooperative a way of selling directly to chocolate-lovers in the UK and USA... We think that sounds like a sweet deal!
Have you survived these Ben & Jerry’s woes and lived to tell the tale? Congratulations! Tell us all about it in the comments below!