B Corps (benefit corporations) use the power of business as a force for good to solve social and environmental problems. As social/environmental change makers, B corps make a difference while still making money.
B Corp certification signals to consumers that your business is committed to doing business and doing social good – by voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and overall social/environmental performance. (It’s the Fair Trade equivalent of coffee.) Certified B Corporations have another advantage over non-benefit corporations by gaining access to a portfolio of services and support.
Over 1,600 businesses across 42 countries have already joined the global B Corp movement. Collectively, B Corps are creating a new kind of company that serves society and shareholders, creates higher quality jobs, passes laws across the country, and improves the quality of life in the communities they serve.
B Corp Certification Process
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab. To receive certification, a firm must:
- Have an explicit social or environmental mission.
- Have a legally binding fiduciary responsibility to take into account the interests of workers, the community and the environment as well as its shareholders.
- Amend its articles of incorporation to adopt B Lab’s commitment to sustainability and treating workers well.
- Complete the B Impact Assessment and receive a score of at least 80/200.
- Sign the B Corp Declaration.
- Pay an annual fee of $500 – $50,000, based on revenues.
- Biannually complete a B Impact Report (a lengthy questionnaire that measures social and environmental impact) which is made available to the public.
- Meet B-Lab’s comprehensive social and environmental performance standards.
B Corp Benefits
By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.
Becoming a B Corp yields significant benefits:
- Access to B Analytics: the world’s largest database of verified social and environmental performance data for private companies; impact data of Certified B Corps; and GIIS Rated companies and funds.
- Grow Your Network: when you become a B Corp, you’ll gain access to the global network of over 1,300 like-minded corporations who hold similar values as you. This means more support, more thought partners, and potentially more customers.
- Reach a Wider Audience: the B Lab organization has a strong social media presence. Every time you mention B Corporation on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, your organization has the potential to be seen by almost 82,500 followers.
- Strengthen Your Reputation: as a leader and innovator in your field, you can strengthen your reputation even more by proudly displaying this third party badge of social/environmental performance excellence.
- Impress Your Investors: use your impact reports and ratings to impress investors and funders – as more investors and donors care about a dual bottom line of profit and mission, you’ll show them that you’re ahead of the curve and have a certification to prove it.
- Awards: Attaining B Corp certification puts you in the running to be honored as a Best for the World Honoree – who doesn’t want that claim to fame?
Becoming certified is easy, and B Corp Certification will strengthen your status as a leader that’s doing good work for the community. As more and more millennials place a heavy emphasis on purpose — which determines both where they work and spend their money — your business may need to “sweeten the pot” to recruit and retain top talent, as well as to earn their loyalty as consumers. In short, you’ll need to model being the best in the world and the best for the world.