20 Jul 2022

Why B Leaders are leading the shift

By Olivia Hill
Purpose fuels passion

As a B Leader, I’ve undergone rigorous training on all things B Corp, the global movement for business working to be a force for good. B Leaders are independent advisors for companies looking to certify as a B Corp or use its framework for their sustainability and social change strategy. As a sustainability analyst at Seismic, I’m one of 10 B Leaders on the team, helping some amazing companies like innocent drinks and Sipsmith Gin on their B Corp journeys. Here I tell you why B Leaders are so valuable and why the training keeps me so motivated to lead the shift.

What is a B Leader?

B Leaders logo

In order to ensure the movement for B Corp certification reaches as many businesses as possible, B Lab (the charity behind B Corp) needs to educate and train individuals who can help businesses certify. To do this, B Lab runs the B Leaders training programme to upskill an internal champion or an external consultant with the necessary knowledge and methodology to accompany businesses through the B Corp certification journey.

By taking part in the training you join your local community of B Leaders, which plays a key role in delivering B Labs’ ambition to create a global movement of businesses working to be a force for good.

The training is a deep dive into all aspects of what it takes to support a company through the B Corp certification journey, covering the following learning objectives;

  • Navigate the B Impact Assessment (BIA) tool and its core functions
  • Understand the different approaches to certification
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders on the journey towards certification
  • Leverage new insights on how to communicate the positive impact of your company
  • Connect with a community of like-minded B leaders, gaining access to meaningful relationships, best practices, and lessons learnt
  • Define clear steps for your continuing journey as a B Leader

How do B Leaders add value to businesses looking to certify?

Many businesses take the first step of signing up to the BIA (B Corp’s assessment tool) and attempt to explore it in-house. This can be a hugely powerful insight for many businesses looking to understand how to better their social and environmental impact. However, due to the complexities of the assessment, we often see examples of team members unable to dedicate the time required to explore it in full or who are simply stumped by how the questions are written or how best to capture the operational activity of the business. Utilising an external consultant who has gone through the B Leader training can act as your very own B Corp assessment translator.

“Seismic has been an integral part of embedding our B Corp efforts and our certification success.”
— Karina O'Gorman, European Head of Force for Good, innocent drinks

B Leaders provide ESG advice through a B Corp lens

B Corp Certification is not the only focus of a businesses’ drive to explore the B Corp assessment. Did you know that over 200,000 companies are using the B Corp assessment as a strategy framework, and of these just over 5,000 have certified as B Corps?

We utilise our deep knowledge of the platform and apply this as a holistic ESG framework. Amplifying the power of the B Corp assessment beyond certification not only enables a sustainability strategy to be built on extremely solid foundations but also sets the business up for opportunities for continuous improvement before, during and after certification.

Team discussing a project
“B Corp rises to the top of the list as a way for a company to demonstrate their strong commitment to being a responsible business.”
— Amy Bourbeau, Cofounder and Chief Impact Officer, Seismic

What did the B Leaders course teach me?

Central to the B Leaders training, and B Corp as a movement is the vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet. This is a global culture shift that moves businesses from 20th-century shareholder primacy to a 21st-century stakeholder capitalism view that requires both investors and businesses to look beyond financial returns and take responsibility for their social and environmental impact. To do this, B Corp focuses heavily on the power of the community to advocate the B Corp assessment as a framework for change. B Leaders play a crucial role in driving this message and the importance of the internal B Corp community to champion this global culture shift.

It also practically taught me a huge amount of detail on the B Impact Assessment itself, and some useful tips on how best to assess valuable social and environmental practices. I’ve also come away empowered as an expert on all aspects of B Corp and I’m super excited to help as many businesses as possible on their B Corp journeys.

Most importantly, the B Leader training highlighted to me the power of change possible for any type of business, whether you are a founder of a start-up or the head of sustainability at a billion-pound revenue business, the possibility to enable change and lead the shift, via the B Corp assessment, is enormous.

The internal community of B Leaders provides hugely valuable insights and learnings and through our direct contact with B Lab we are given the latest information on the BIA, which is upgraded every 3 years, alongside advice and resources that are only available to B Leaders. This keeps B Leaders’ knowledge at the forefront of everything to do with the assessment, so as the experts of all things B Corp we can lead your business effortlessly through the process so you don’t have to.

What can a B Leader do for you?

If you would like to get advice from a B Leader to support your B Corp journey or broader ESG strategy, do contact me or one of our expert B Leader colleagues at Seismic.

B Leaders are positioned to provide an expert guide on how to act as your BIA translators and with 10 B Leaders in the team at Seismic, we are Europe’s largest team of B Corp experts. We’re lucky enough to have the UK’s first ever B Leader, Amy Bourbeau, as our Cofounder, who now works in partnership with B Lab to train future B Leaders like me. Our deep knowledge of the BIA will benefit any business looking to pursue certification or wanting to use B Corp as a framework for their ESG strategy and use it as a roadmap for change.

Meet Seismic’s B Leaders

“The team that founded Seismic have been actively supporting B Lab’s mission for many years – from training hundreds of B Leaders across Europe and the UK to helping shape the B Corp Way programme, to tirelessly supporting a number of B Corp communities across the region.”
— Katie Hill, CEO B Lab Europe