B Corp companies are a new type of business model that aims to make business a force for good. This means putting sustainability and a positive social impact at the heart of your mission.
In a world where capitalism is increasingly being seen as the root cause of many of the world’s problems, the B Corp concept aims to revitalise the idea of what a business can do, and the good that can come from running an ethical, socially conscious and green enterprise.
Does this sound like the kind of idea you’d like to embrace? Here are a few pointers around what being a B Corp means, and how your business can move towards these goals.
What makes a business a B Corp company?
A B Corp business is a type of for-profit company that prioritises social and environmental impact alongside financial return. In other words, making a profit is no longer your sole aim. Instead, part of your vision is to be a force for good in your community and the wider world.
B Corps are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organisation that monitors B Corp certification. A company will need to meet rigorous standards of:
- Social performance – looking at how the business interacts with society and how it can use its time, resources and influence to help those in the local and global communities.
- Environmental performance – measuring your carbon footprint and your wider environmental impact on the planet, plus the sustainability credentials of the business, your products, your investments and your suppliers.
- Accountability – a B Corp business is held accountable to a higher standard of performance, transparency and impact. This helps drive systemic change and create a more responsible and sustainable economy.
- Transparency – B Corps must publicly report their impact data on the B Impact Assessment, a document that’s available to the public. This provides stakeholders with a clear understanding of the company’s impact and helps increase accountability.
What is B Lab’s aim for the B Corp movement?
B Lab’s mission is to use business as a positive force for good. Its aim is to dismantle the view of Western capitalism as a destructive force and to show that businesses can provide employment, take care of their communities and pursue a goal beyond financial profit.
If you want to become a B Corp business, B Lab can assess your social and environmental impact, governance and accountability – and will provide certification to companies that meet its high standards for a well-structured B Corp organisation.
B Lab provides resources, networking opportunities and advocacy support to help your B Corp grow and achieve a greater and more meaningful impact. In essence, B Lab serves as the steward of the B Corp movement. It drives systemic change through the creation of a new type of economy that balances purpose and profit to help you do more good.
Talk to us about about evolving into a B Corp
Becoming a B Corp is a rigorous process. But if you have a higher vision for your business, it’s a great way to demonstrate your commitment to social and environmental impact, transparency, and your overriding accountability to your employees, customers and wider communities.
If you think this could be a positive step for your business, we can work with you to start your evolution into a B Corp.
To become a B Corp business, you’d need to
- Complete the B Impact Assessment, to measure your company’s impact on its workers, community, environment and governance.
- Get the company certified by B Lab, by meeting strict performance standards around your social and environmental impact, transparency and accountability.
- Change your legal structure to become a Benefit Corporation, a new structure that requires companies to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders
- Agree to recertify your B Corp every three years, to ensure that your organisation continues to meet the standards set by B Lab.
- Report publicly and transparently on your impact data, using the B Impact Assessment and ensuring this report is available publicly to all stakeholders.