The B Corp movement wants to make business a force for good. This blog looks at the B Corp concept and how you go about becoming a B Corp company.
How did the B Corp movement originate?
The B Corp movement was established in 2006, when 3 friends based in the United States envisioned a different kind of economy, one that would make business a force for good. The aim of the movement is to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.
B Corp companies present with a new type of business model and put sustainability and a positive social impact at the heart of their mission. It's ultimately rejecting the concept of capitalism and its focus on profits (which many fear causes more harm than good) and concentrating on operating an ethical business that is socially conscious and sensitive to the environment. This '...new model moves from concentrating wealth and power to ensuring equity, from extraction to generation, and from prioritising individualism to embracing interdependence.' (bcorporation.net)
Rather than businesses working exclusively for their shareholders' benefit, companies who have achieved B Corp certification are purpose-driven and work for the benefit of all their stakeholders. The certification is granted by B Lab, a global non profit organisation which has offices in the US, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has a partnership in Latin America with Sistema B. Companies who are accredited, have demonstrated high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
What makes a business a B Corp company?
Whilst one aim of a B Corp business is to be profitable, it is not its sole aim. It has to demonstrate that social and environmental impact are priorities too. How a business considers the community and the planet as a whole is just as important.
What standards need to be met before certification is conferred by B Lab?
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 business' carbon footprint and its wider environmental impact on the planet. This also includes the sustainability credentials of the business: products, investments and 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.
Are you ready to be involved?
If you want to become a B Corp business, B Lab can assess your business' social and environmental impact, governance and accountability. If deemed to have met B Lab's high standards you will be provided with B Corp certification and designated a well-structured B Corp organisation.
It doesn't just end there. As part of its commitment to the B Corp cause, B Lab provides resources, networking opportunities and advocacy support to help your B Corp business grow and achieve a greater and more meaningful impact.
Rowdens can help you become a B Corp business
We'll be honest - it's 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 will support you in the accreditation process.
To become a B Corp business, you need to
Complete the B Impact Assessment, to measure your company's impact on its workers, community, environment and governance.
Get 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.