In today’s society, consumers are increasingly looking for businesses that prioritise social and environmental responsibility. Many companies are now recognising this need and are taking steps to integrate purpose and profit to create a better world. One such approach is to become a Certified B Corporation™.
So, what exactly is a B Corp, and who is behind it? B Lab, a non-profit organisation, is the force behind the B Corp movement. B Lab was founded in 2006 by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy with a mission to redefine business success. Their vision was to create a community of businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The B Corp certification process involves a rigorous assessment of a company’s practices in areas such as governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. To become a Certified B Corp, a company must score at least 80 out of 200 on the B Impact Assessment. This assessment includes more than 200 questions about a company’s practices, including the use of renewable energy, the diversity and inclusivity of its workforce, and its transparency in supply chain management.
The B Corp certification is not just a one-time achievement but rather a continuous commitment. Certified companies must recertify every three years and demonstrate that they are continually improving their social and environmental impact. As part of the certification process, companies also sign a legal agreement that requires them to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, including workers, customers, suppliers, communities, and the environment.
B Corps are not only focused on the bottom line but are also concerned with creating a positive impact in the world. In the B Corp community, businesses share knowledge, resources, and best practices to improve their impact and create a better future for all. The B Corp community has grown to include more than 4,000 companies in 77 countries, across 153 industries. B Corps are diverse and include both large and small businesses. Some notable B Corps include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Body Shop.
Overall, a B Corp certification is a powerful tool for companies that want to demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. By meeting rigorous standards and signing a legal agreement, B Corps are held accountable for their impact on all stakeholders. The B Corp movement is gaining momentum as more companies recognise the importance of integrating purpose and profit to create a better world. As consumers, we can support this movement by choosing to do business with companies that are Certified B Corporations.