We’ve been a proudly certified B Corp organisation since 2017. Our B Corp commitment guides the way our business operates in every respect, from how we value and treat our stakeholders (workers, customers, community, and environment), to how we grow and evolve our business. It also demands that we regularly analyse our business practices and continually improve how we operate to have a positive impact. One of the driving forces behind this continuous analysis and improvement is the B Corp recertification process which must be undertaken every three years.
We’ve just finished our B Corp recertification and are delighted to say we’ve added a whopping 23 points to our score! From 80 points to 103 points. So as part of B Corp month and the ‘What’s behind the B’ campaign, we’re sharing three ways we’ve improved our B Impact score.
B Corp Recertification: How we improved our B Corp Score
1. Formalising Procedures/Commitments and Best Practice
As an organisation that has and is, growing quite rapidly since we were first certified back in 2017, part of our continuous improvement has been to formalise many of our processes and procedures. Being a smaller team, as many small teams do, we’d previously made do with a more casual approach.
But having implemented more formal procedures around things like HR polices, has given more structure to our organisation, ensures we are compliant with legislation, guarantees best practice and also provides us with an extra tool to communicate our values and expectations for team members on how we operate. Result: Improved Governance, Workers, and Community scores.
We also committed to a Science-Based Target and had this validated through the Science-Based Target initiative. We have been certified carbon neutral since 2017 under Climate Active but we wanted to take this commitment further. Science-based targets are the gold standard of net zero targets as they are aligned with science and our commitment demonstrates we are taking positive action in reducing our emissions to preserve a 1.5C degree world. Result: Improved Environment score.
And lastly our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has been the driving force behind our development of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and the creation of our RAP working group. We are delighted to say our RAP has recently been approved by Reconciliation Australia and we are soon to launch our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Result: Improved Community score.
2. Expanding our Impact
Understanding the clear intersect of human rights issues v the environment and the synergy with the overarching mission of our business to strive for a sustainable future, we launched our Human Rights division in 2020. We’ve been assisting organisations with their responses to modern slavery, and broader human rights issues and ESG strategies to create positive outcomes for our clients. Result: Improved Customers score.
More broadly our business has also grown. In contrast to many industry trends from the past few years we’ve seen a clear and rapid growth trajectory. The new momentum for action around climate change is certainly an influence, but we also believe our business model as a B Corp and a force for good has helped drive our growth. And it’s not just us, some studies have shown B Corps revenue growth to be nearly 20% higher than the national average. The upside is that it’s not just great for our business, but also the increased and wider impact we have through our clients – reducing emissions, being more sustainable and having a greater positive impact while lessening the negative impacts. Result: Improved Customers score.
3. Measurement and Tracking
We are in a business where data is the backbone of our everyday work. We’re not just doing analytics and reporting, we’re dealing with greenhouse gas inventories, audits, statistics, modelling, trajectories and research every day. And when it comes to the business of being a B Corp of balancing people and profit, we realised our measures of success are not just in the financial data or targets that we have but, also the data in our non-financial KPIs. We’ve evolved what we track and monitor, and we now report on our:
- Impact Projects (1,410 since 2010)
- Tonnes of clients’ greenhouse gases offset
- Total ERF audits completed (ACCUs)
- Total suppliers assessed for modern slavery risk
- Total persons trained on technical human rights issues
Each of these non-financial KPIs translates into a measurable impact that benefits the environment and society. Result: Improved Governance and Customer scores.
4. Bonus B Impact Assessment Score Improvement
B Corp announced in 2020 upcoming changes to its process to legally embed stakeholder governance in businesses, this is outlined under the new B Corp legal requirement coming into effect in 2022 – 2023.
Adopting the B Corp legal requirement is committing to a higher standard of accountability in your company’s decisions, through leadership changes or capital raises. It signals to investors, employees, and directors that your mission is embedded into the core of your business.
We’ve amended our company constitution to include the two clauses: the purpose statement and the stakeholder clause, and fully embrace the legal principle that our business is not only focused on creating benefit for shareholders but for all stakeholders and overarchingly to have a positive impact on society and the environment. Result: Improved Governance score.
B Corp Recertification – Driving Continuous Improvement
As a certified B Corp, you are presented with many diverse ways to analyse your business from a holistic perspective and that’s one thing we really value about being a B Corp and B Corp Recertification. It drives continuous improvement and guides you on how to analyse your business beyond the just the financials. It motivates you to push your business to have an impact in ways you may not otherwise consider and to continuously strive to be better for both people and the planet.
Need help with your B Corp Certification?
If you need expert advice and guidance with your recertification (or certification) we have two B Consultants who specialise in all things B Corp and help guide businesses through the B Impact Assessment or help them understand and improve their B Impact scores.
Or if you’d just like to learn more about the process, reach out to us for a chat, we’d love you to join the movement and to help you on your B Corp journey firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacinta is an experienced digital marketing communications professional. She’s happiest when helping purpose-driven companies achieve their goals, utilising her expertise in digital marketing, communications, content strategy and creation.