B Corp - What is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations (B Corps) are a new form of businesses that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. They are fully committed to using business as a force of good in the world.
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B Corps are different to traditional businesses because they:
- Meet higher standards of verified environmental and social performance
- Meet higher legal accountability standards
- Balance profit and purpose.
These performance standards are comprehensive, documented and verified by the nonprofit B Lab.
Even though a B Corp is considered to be like any other traditional limited company, the B Corp status is awarded if it has demonstrated that it benefits all of their stakeholders and not just their shareholders. B Corps are therefore driving the global change in redefining business success and building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Governments and nonprofits cannot solve society’s most challenging problems alone. B Corps can help resolve these problems by working towards reducing inequality and poverty, whilst improving environments and communities, and creating more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
Through the power of business, B Corps can use the principles of profit and growth as a means to a greater end, creating positive impact for their employees, communities, and the wider environment.
B Corp Certification is unique. It's the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.
To become a certified B Corp, a business must complete a B Impact Assessment. This evaluates how the business model and operations of your company impact your employees, community, environment and customers. The assessment considers the impact your business has on all stakeholders.
Holding a B Corp Certification demonstrates that your business meets the highest standards of verified performance. It shows that you conduct your business in socially responsible ways, from the supply chain and input materials, to the charitable work and employee benefits you offer.
B Corp Certification does not just demonstrate that your company is a force for good in the world right now; it also proves you are committed to considering stakeholder impact for the long term as this is built directly into the company's legal structure.
Who can certify as a B Corp?
It's possible to register for B Corp Certification regardless of your company’s size. Sole traders and limited companies are equally eligible. The questions that you need to answer on the B Impact Assessment in order to meet the performance requirements the certification demands may differ however, depending on the size of your company.
Why certify as a B Corp?
As a business, when you receive B Corp certification, you become a part of a community of business leaders who share the belief that through business, social and environmental problems can be overcome.
Having the B Corp seal on your product, website, marketing material or business card immediately demonstrates that your company is a verified leader in terms of positive impact. This certification may make individuals favour your company over a competitor.
Throughout the globe, people increasingly want to do business with individuals and companies that they trust. The B Corp status is therefore important for attracting socially-aware customers and employees. More and more of the workforce decide where they want to work based on the positive impact that their work can create and how well the employer treats their team. The B Corp Certification verifies a company’s values and therefore helps a company to attract mission-aligned talent.
Maintaining B Corp status requires work. The B Impact Assessment is a powerful tool that can help a company set goals for improvement, generate more valuable social and environmental impact, and track the company's performance over time.
Moreover, it can protect the company's mission. It guarantees that the company is built on a strong legal foundation, and this framework protects its social objectives from being skewed by changes to leadership or how its capital is raised.
A company must update their assessment every three years in order to maintain their B Corp certification. This process helps to verify that companies who have become certified B Corps are continuing to engage in high level impact initiatives, even as the business develops or changes. Recertification enables companies to set new improvement goals against the most up-to-date standards and assess their performance over time.