2 Jul 2021

Why Become a B Corp?

By Harry Foreman
B Corp is a global movement for businesses who want to change society for the better and fix our planet. The world’s social divides are deepening. We are facing a climate crisis of dwindling wildlife populations, rising global temperatures and an ocean filling with more plastic every year. We need to find a better way of doing things to secure our future.

What is B Corp?

B Corp is a certification which provides a framework for businesses who want to be part of the solution. Certified B Corps are a community of businesses inspiring a seismic shift towards balancing people, profit and planet. With just 100 companies being responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is more important than ever for businesses to step up their impact. Our B Corp blog here explains more on the importance of B Corp certification for business sustainability.

How does B Corp Work?

To gain certification requires a rigorous assessment process. The B Impact Assessment (BIA) examines all aspects of a business in order to understand the impact on all stakeholders – from customers, to employees, to suppliers, to the environment. The B Corp movement is a growing community of like-minded businesses who are using the B Corp certification process to implement positive changes in all these areas of their business. If you want to gain B Corp certification, find our more about our B Corp Services, we support businesses at each stage of their certification journey.

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B Corp is a credible movement

B Corp is a movement that has already made a positive difference to more than 500 businesses and 28,000 employees in the UK. Over the last 5 years the UK B Corp movement has been joined by the likes of Danone, innocent drinks and Jamie Oliver Group,and is growing faster here than anywhere else in the world.

How do you certify as a B Corp?

To become a B Corp requires businesses to pass rigorous standards relating to social and environmental performance. The assessment reviews hundreds of business practices, each worth points. In order to certify a company needs to successfully perform enough of these practices to pass the 80 point threshold, which is a tough task. The average score of a typical non-B Corp is around 50 or 60 points; bridging that gap to meet the 80 point threshold can take months of planning and implementing improvements.

No more green washing

It is this rigorous assessment that gives credibility to the B Corp certification. It means it can be considered genuine proof of a company’s commitment to implement better social and environmental business practises. It’s an impactful way of showing your customers that your business is committed to people, planet and profit. Every B Corp has their assessment results published online, so there is no hiding behind vague attempts at green-washing.

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What does B Corp mean for you?

So why should your business care about what B Corp is? Maybe you feel a responsibility to leave things better than you found them? Perhaps you are looking for something to guide you to being a more sustainable business? Maybe you see the growing consumer shift towards more socially and environmentally minded companies? Or do you recognise the world needs a movement like B Corp to force a seismic shift in how we do business?

Whether you want to do your part to heal the planet or make society a kinder and fairer place for all, sometimes knowing where to start in all this can be a big question, and one that leaves a lot of businesses confused as to what they can do to make a difference. What is certain is that simply carrying on as we always have is not good enough. Businesses’ reputation are on the line and we must act now to ensure they end up on the right side of history.

Changing consumer attitudes

Consumers are increasingly using their buying power to switch to businesses that have a greater focus on positively impacting society and the environment. Businesses that fail to address their impact on the planet are at risk of falling behind and failing to ensure their long-term resilience. For businesses to stay relevant they need to respond to the generational trend of moving away from companies that fail to take action. The B Corp certification offers a framework for businesses to implement change and demonstrate to consumers they are committed to having a positive impact.

Employees are demanding more

Employees are also expecting more of their employers and are increasingly seeking work with companies that have purpose. A 2019 B Corp Community Survey found that of the B Corps that recruited in the last 3 months, over 70% had candidates mention B Corp in the interview process. It’s clearly an effective way of attracting interest from a generation looking for meaningful careers.

It’s also a great way of retaining talent too. A significant part of the B Corp assessment is focussed on how employers treat their employees. It asks how you manage employee representation to promote diversity and inclusion; what benefits and training do employees have access to; how satisfied is your workforce? Companies with stronger credentials are more likely to attract and retain the best talent.

So what now?

If you want to be part of the global movement of businesses who believe there is a better way of doing things, then B Corp can give focus to this process.The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is the questionnaire the certification is based on and is a good place to start. It looks at every aspect of your business and asks you to answer 300+ questions on how you are performing.

If you need support in understanding  where to start and how B Corp can fit into your business, we’re here to help. B Corp is something we live and breathe. Seismic is made up of  a team of experts and trained B Leaders, who care passionately about growing the movement and helping businesses to have a positive impact. We’ve worked with all sorts of companies, helping them through the certification process, so if you want to find out more, check out our services, or send us an email at [email protected].

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