Image courtesy of Danone.com
Business owners often seem to face the dilemma of choosing between making a profit and making a positive social and environmental impact. What if there was a way that you could make money while doing good? It is possible to achieve your financial goals while adhering to your values! Corporations are being recognized for doing just that and becoming B Corp Certified!
What are B corporations?
B Corporations, also referred to as B Corps, are corporations that are dedicated to improving their social and environmental performance. B Lab, the non-profit behind B Corps, defines certified B corporations as
“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.”
In order to become a B Corp, companies must undergo a certification process to measure their current social and environmental performance, as well as commit to considering their impact in the long term.
B Corps are unique, as they commit to including the consideration of all stakeholders in their legal organizing documents. This means that they are legally responsible for the impacts their business decisions have on anyone who may be affected by the actions of the company. This not only includes employees, but customers, the environment, and the local community in which the business operates.
For more information about the legal requirements of being a B Corp, make use of this legal requirement tool.
Why Become a B Corp?
Not only does becoming a B Corp allow you to run your business in a way that is financially, socially, and environmentally responsible, but it also holds you accountable. Businesses with values such as these tend to attract talented employees who align with your goals. And of course, branding yourself as a business that is B Corp certified helps you stand out as a company that does good not only for themselves, but for others! This helps to attract your true fans and customers!
B Corp Assessment
If you are interested in transforming your business into a B Corporation, you need to find out if your business is eligible for certification. There are two online assessments that you can take in order to find out your eligibility. The short 30-minute assessment will give you an idea of your business’s potential as a B Corp, while the full online B Corp assessment takes two to four hours to complete.
Upon completing the full B Corp assessment, you will be provided with a “B Score” that rates your company’s performance as a social enterprise. You must score at least 80 points out of 200 in order to be eligible for certification. The best thing about these online assessments is that they are free! Take some time to see how well your business is performing!
Once you have completed the assessment, the verification process to finalize a company’s score can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months.
While the certification process is free, certified B Corporations pay an annual fee in order to be able to use intellectual property such as the B Corp logo. The annual fee differs from company to company due to a variety of factors. Check out the full pricing schedule on the certification page on the B Corp website.
If being an environmentally and socially conscious business appeals to you, look into obtaining a B Corp certification. Not only could you gain access to new market share, and have an added level of accountability, you can also gain direction on setting the right course for your business for purpose AND profit!
As a Consumer
Keep your eye out for businesses that are B Corp Certified so that you can spend more of your money in ways that align with your values. We all need to consume, and we can find ways to be more mindful in our consumption patterns. The B Corp Certification is a tool to help us be a bigger part of the change we want to see in the world. Plus, it just feels good knowing that our money can help be a part of a greater vision for society and the environment!
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