What Is a B Corporation and Should You Apply for Certification?

Running a business comes with perks – the freedom to make important decisions with speed and agility, being your own boss, and the list goes on. But with great power comes greater responsibility. As consumers and businesses become increasingly environmentally conscious, entrepreneurs now need to be more mindful of the impact their business makes on society. One way to show that your business is committed to sustainability and social responsibility is by getting certified as a B Corp.

A B Corporation is NOT for everyone. It’s not something to do lightly. It’s my understanding that it takes a LOT of effort to go through the grueling certification process. Also you’ll need deep commitment to the values of the B Corporation standards.

What is B Corp?

B Corps are businesses that are certified as meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. They aim to balance profit and purpose, creating value for stakeholders beyond just shareholders. To become a certified B Corp, businesses have to go through a rigorous assessment process to prove their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. You can check out the details of B Corp certification here.

Why do companies do it?

There are several reasons. For starters, it’s a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract like-minded customers. It’s also an excellent way to attract and retain talent, especially young professionals who are increasingly drawn to employers with a strong social and environmental mission. Additionally, it can help businesses improve their operations, as the certification process can highlight areas where they can do better in their environmental and social impact.

Do Your Customers Care?

But before you decide to go through the certification process, it’s important to consider your customers and whether they care about your social and environmental impact. If your customer base is mostly concerned with convenience, price, and quality, getting B Corp certified may not be worth the time and resources. However, if your customers are passionate about sustainability and social responsibility, becoming a B Corp could be a competitive advantage for your business.

What’s The Process Like?

So what’s the process to get certified as a B Corp? It starts with the B Impact Assessment, an online tool that evaluates a business’s impact on workers, customers, community, and environment. The assessment covers everything from employee benefits to energy use and supply chain practices. After completing the assessment, businesses must meet a minimum score and verify their responses with supporting documentation. Once they pass the certification process, businesses must recertify every three years to maintain their status as a B Corp.

Becoming a certified B Corp is a significant commitment that requires time, effort, and resources. But it can also be a valuable way to show that you prioritize social and environmental responsibility and make a positive impact on the world. Before deciding to get certified, consider your customers and whether they value social and environmental responsibility. If they do, getting certified could be an excellent way to differentiate your business and attract new customers.

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