Thinking about becoming a certified B Corporation (or B Corp)? We’ve been a proudly certified B Corporation since 2017. Here we discuss our top 5 reasons to become a B Corp with a little background on what it is, how you can become B Corp certified and some thoughts from other Australian businesses on what drove them to join the B Corp movement.
What is a B Corp?
A certified B Corporation, or B Corp, is a new kind of business that is driven by both purpose and profit. B Corps are committed to understanding and addressing the impacts their business has on their stakeholders including employees, customers and suppliers – and beyond that, the impact they have on their communities and the wider environment. B Lab (the nonprofit network behind B Corp certification) like to call this “a movement of people using business as a force for good.”
Certified B Corps “Meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose” B Lab.
How to achieve B Corp certification?
To become a certified B Corp, a business must undergo the rigorous B Impact Assessment (BIA) “The most credible tool a company can use to measure its impact on its workers, community, environment, and customers.” This assessment takes three distinct steps: assessing, comparing, and improving performance.
To begin, a business’s impact on governance, workers, community, environment and customers is assessed. Through this assessment, a B Impact score is produced and then compared to other businesses. Areas of improvement are flagged which produces an Improvement Report. This report comprises of a list of resources including best practice guides, to help a business customise its own improvement roadmap.
Scoring an overall of 80 points enables a business to become B Corp Certified.
Why did we become a B Corp?
We’re proud to say we’ve been a Certified B Corporation since 2017. We know the process well (we have two B Consultants on our team) and we know it’s rigorous and takes time. But, we firmly believe that being part of the global B Corp movement clearly demonstrates a commitment to a more sustainable future that reflects our mission. It also plays a critical role in enabling us to understand in detail how we conduct our business and how we can continuously improve our social and environmental performance, to reflect a balance of profit and purpose. Plus, being compared to other B Corps is really humbling and inspiring, it pushes us to be better. So why do we think you should join the movement?
Our top 5 reasons to become a B Corp
1. Long-term profitability for good
Balancing purpose and profit is a new way of conducting business, and more and more companies around the world are adopting this type of business model. Becoming B Certified positions your business as a future-fit leader at the forefront of your industry. As stakeholders increasingly look to engage with sustainable and ethical businesses, and the rise of the conscious consumer, B Certification can directly benefit your business’s long-term profitability. With over 73% of global consumers saying they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment, being a certified B Corp does mean better business.
For Australian based digital agency Luminary, their B Certification helps highlight their purpose:
“We exist to make digital bright and the human experience brighter and becoming a B Corp aligns with our purpose and ensures we always focus on it.”Marty Drill, CEO & Founder, Luminary
2. Continuous Improvement
There is always room for improvement in any business strategy and B Lab provide extensive resources to help businesses achieve improvements on social and environmental performance. B Lab’s wide-ranging best practice guides and customised improvement plans provide a robust framework to advance your overall businesses performance. Having to submit recertification also drives continuous improvement and keeps you on your toes. You need to demonstrate you continue to meet the high-performance standards for certification every three years. Fellow B Corps also drive you to be better. Seeing them improve year on year is inspiring and also provides a healthy dose of competition to improve.
Digital Agency, Quiip, love being driven by continuous improvement:
“One of the things that I most love about being a B Corp is that it provides a comprehensive framework for continuous improvement, particularly the recertification process. The BIA outlines so many different ways that we can be a better business, and because the certification process is continually updating and adapting, we can continue to find ways to improve”Larah Kennedy, Client Services Director, Quiip
3. It’s good PR
As further social and environmental issues continue to come to light, there is a growing demand from stakeholders, consumers and investors, for businesses to improve their standards and be held accountable for their impact. Becoming a B Corp shows off your genuine sustainability credentials, sets you apart as an industry leader and gives you a platform to credibly talk about the impact you are making.
Fashion brand, Citizen Wolf, has acknowledged that becoming a Certified B Corp helped validate their ethical practices:
“At Citizen Wolf, the reason we became a B Corp was to have credible, independent verification that our business was being held accountable to our sustainability and ethical claims. But going through the process, the real unexpected benefit was to actually benchmark ourselves against the best businesses in the world and learning about all the areas where we can and should do better.”Eric Phu, Co-Founder, Citizen Wolf
4. Workplace Culture
Culture is an increasingly important aspect in a desirable workplace, and many employees are actively seeking to work for ethical businesses that align with their personal values. A B Corp Impact Assessment helps evaluate your company’s work ethic and culture and offers recommendations to help increase employee attraction and retention. Becoming a B Corp also helps you implement a work culture that will increase employee productivity and wellbeing, helping you deliver exceptional business.
Eagle Protect have been able to highlight their workplace values as a result of their B Certification:
“The values behind the B Corp movement of inclusion, accountability and transparency resonate with the mission and values of Eagle Protect. We know we have a responsibility to conduct our business in a way that seeks to benefit all who come into contact with us.”Edel Lougheed-Deane, Marketing and Graphic Designer, Eagle Protect
5. People and Planet
With a multitude of climate change and human rights issues having detrimental effects on the planet and humanity today, it’s evident there is a need for ambitious action. Businesses need to take a leadership role in this transition to reduce negative impacts and create more equitable and regenerative futures. Becoming a certified B Corp demonstrates this action and highlights how your business is being used as a ‘force for good’, aligning your social and environmental performance with the needs of people and the planet.
Eagle Protect are mindful of their impact on both people and the planet:
“B Corp certification means we have to continually look for ways to cut the impact of our single-use PPE products. We are also looking to reduce waste at every stage in a product’s journey from sourcing materials through to use and disposal by our clients. It forces us to be alert and to challenge our industry. And, it means we can offer added protection to our customers and their reputation as well.”Edel Lougheed-Deane, Marketing and Graphic Designer, Eagle Protect
So that’s our top 5 reasons to become a B Corp. As we said before, becoming a B Corp is a rigorous process that really makes you analyse your business, and it can be time-consuming and challenging. But, the effort is definitely worth it.
It really sets your business apart to not only make a demonstrably positive impact on society and the planet, but also gives you the credentials to talk about it credibly and to set yourself ahead of the market in a world shifting towards better business.
Need help with your B Corp certification?
If you think your business is ready to take the next steps to become a B Corp, are looking for advice on becoming a B Corp, or seeking some help on your B Impact Assessment, the B Corp community have an amazing range of resources available.
If things get a little too technical, we also have two certified B Consultants Hannah Meade and Matias Sellanes, 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 email@example.com
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.