B Corp Certification
What are B Corps?
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
B Corps subscribe to the view that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and non-profits alone and that businesses should use their capacity to get things done, to contribute to the greater good.
The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The values and aspirations of the B Corp community are embedded in the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence.
The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation, which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
Why Consider it?
In short, Context, Expectations, and Sustainable Business Growth.
Context – As the world becomes more populous, urbanised and prosperous, demand for energy, raw materials, food and water is rising. In this context, business as usual will lead to increased competition for these finite resources, raise prices, restrict availability, stress supply chains and cause conflict. Business as usual will create a context in which every business will struggle to thrive. So, we need to change our paradigm, end the delusion that infinite growth based on finite resources is an intelligent strategy and evolve a strategy that is fit for purpose in the context of the 21st Century.
Expectations – The expectation on businesses today is evolving beyond just maximising economic returns to stakeholders. Businesses must understand, measure and manage the impacts of their decisions on society and the environment
Sustainability is increasingly the lens through which organisations are now judged, by their customers, employees, investors, governments and society.
Sustainable Business Growth – Early indications are that B Corporation status drives performance and growth. In a B Lab survey, UK B Corps reported average revenue growth of 14% year-on-year since launch in 2015. If your customers, employees or investors are suggesting sustainability is informing their choices, perhaps you should make yours accordingly? Is your organisation able and ready to have a change of mindset?
What do I need to do to get certification?
B Corporation status can be achieved by receiving accreditation from B Lab (a non-profit organisation). Certification requires a score of at least 80 (out of 200) against 5 areas of impact: Governance, Community, Workers, Environment and Customers.
The initial step is to complete an on-line assessment (B Impact Assessment). After completing this assessment, B Lab then assesses and verifies that your score meets the certification standards. As part of this process, you meet virtually with the B Lab team to submit any confidential documentation and to sense check your responses.
Certification needs to be renewed every three years and there is an annual fee, which scales with revenue and starts around £1,000.
How Act Sustainably can help you
- We start with a free consultation, to make sure that both B Corp certification and Act Sustainably are a good match for your needs.
- Next, we develop a proposal and outline a project plan to fit your needs, whether you’re looking for a hands-off project management approach (just to keep you on track) or a hands-on intensive approach (that includes research, documentation, and implementation), or something in between.
- Once, you commission us, we’ll work with you throughout the whole certification process, which typically lasts about 5-6 months, depending upon the size of your company, the complexity of your organisation’s structure, and your target certification date.
- After earning your B Corp certification, you can continue to work with Act Sustainably to improve your company culture, restructure your workflows, or work towards other certifications or schemes.
During this second phase of the partnership, the focus shifts from assessment to implementation and continual improvement.
In the past, we’ve worked with clients to measure employee satisfaction, achieve Carbon Reduce certification, develop Science-Based targets to achieve Net Zero Carbon, achieve ESOS compliance, deliver environmental training, improve supply chain engagement, and more.
To prepare you to renew your certification after three years, we’ll provide a re-certification roadmap and strategic, prioritised recommendations for improving your social/environmental impacts and raising your B Corp score over time.
Have a question?
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