B Lab certification applies to the whole company across all product lines and issue areas. Some B Corps may also be allowed to charge annual fees, collect fundraising, and other non-profit activities that are inviting to investors. The B Corp certification process measures a company's performance in five impact areas, including governance, workers, customers, community and … They want, rightly so, to see action from the companies that profit from their spending. B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment. [17] B Lab has an established standards advisory council that can independently make decisions with or without the support of B Lab. The B Corp Enviro-Stewards, based in Canada, takes pride in energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable development. [26] This non-profit adapts proprietary certifications and evaluation metrics and modifies both to the context of each country. [3], As a matter of law, in Massachusetts or States that recognize B Corporation Certification, it doesn't bring any legal significance to its shareholders, stakeholders or to its employees. Certified B Corporations® meet the highest standards of verified overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. What percentage of company facilities (by area, both owned by company or leased) is certified to meet the requirements of an accredited green building program? [27], social and environmental certification of for-profit companies, Verification and transparency requirements. Once a firm crosses a certain performance threshold on these dimensions, it makes amendments to its corporate charter to incorporate the interests of all stakeholders into … Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Companies that earn a minimum score of 80 out of 200 points undergo an assessment review process, essentially a conference call verifying the claims made in their assessment. [25] Since 2012, Sistema B has been the adaptation of the B Corps movement in Latin America, including in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Colombia. [20] Beyond the corporate model, other for-profit business entities make an amendment of the company by-laws or governing documents. What multiple is the highest compensated individual paid, inclusive of bonus, as compared to the lowest paid full-time worker. Yes, that’s right, you can get certified by earning less than 50% of the available points on the assessment. It makes you be even better. This is a single focus goal, without reference to any other stakeholders involved with, or impacted by, that business. This is your complete guide to the performance, legal, and transparency requirements to become a Certified B Corp. Once companies meet all below requirements, they pay an annual Certification fee. Before we dive into how to define a B Corp, let’s make some important distinctions. The B Corporation or “B Corp” is a certification issued by the organization B Lab Company to sustainable for-profit businesses that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To give this context and show how it differs to the usual company set up —the directors of … © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. To give this context and show how it differs to the usual company set up —the directors of a U.K. limited company have a duty to act in the best interests of its shareholders—and we can assume that this means delivering a financial return. A Certified B Corp is a for-profit corporation that has been certified by B Lab, which is a non-profit company that measures a company’s social and environmental performance against the standards in the online B Impact Assessment. Bombas earned B corp status for our commitment to helping those in need, for our One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated business model, for increasing social consciousness, and for our focus on solving a problem in our community. See Boatright (2006) and Johnstone and Lionais (2004). To obtain a B Corporation certification, a company first completes an online assessment. ). Allowing for the company's values to exist under new management, investors, or ownership. There are over 1,800 Certified B Corps in over 50 countries across 130 different industries. Certification Requirements The three pillars of B Corp Certification make it unique, material, and credible. They share much in common and are complementary, but have a few important differences. B Corporation (also B Lab or B Corp) certification of "social and environmental performance" is a private certification of for-profit companies, distinct from the legal designation as a Benefit corporation. Becoming B Corp certified is no easy task. What is a Certified B Corp? [18] The council recommends improvements to the B Corp assessment on a biennial basis. In order to obtain and maintain a B Corporation certification, B Lab charges annual administrative and legal fee depending on the revenue generated by the respective companies. To be granted and to maintain certification, companies must receive a minimum score from an assessment of "social and environmental performance", integrate B Corp commitments to stakeholders into company governing documents, and pay an annual fee based on annual sales. Certified B corporations help make positive changes by working to reduce inequality, incorporating sustainable practices to help the environment, creating strong communities, and creating high-quality job opportunities that give individuals a sense of purpose. To achieve B Corp Certification, companies must meet credible, comprehensive, transparent and independent standards and earn a minimum audit … [24], In June 2019, there were over 2,750 certified B Corporations across 150 industries in 64 countries, including Canada (78 companies), Australia, South Africa, and Afghanistan. In order to become a B Corp, your organization has to get score of at … On completing the assessment, companies are required to meet certain transparency requirements and background checks to become Certified B Corp(s). Benefit corporation is a legal status conferred by state law in the US; B Lab certification is issued by a non-profit organization and has no legislative framework. Around the world, organizations, including the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, are undergoing rigorous reviews by the nonprofit group B Lab in their quest to become a Certified B Corp organization. Legislation for the passage of this corporate legal status has been passed in 35 states, including, The establishment of clear wording to "consider stakeholder interests" in company. To be granted and to maintain certification, companies must receive a minimum score from an assessment of "social and env… The questions make you think about things that you may not have previously articulated. No prioritization of one stakeholder over another. Benefit Corporation is a legal form. It is not easy to get and this is what makes it so meaningful. B Lab certification is a third-party standard requiring companies to meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards, meet accountability standards, and be transparent to the public according to the score they receive on the assessment. I think we will see a continued increase in the number of certified B-Corp businesses in the U.K. and as we do, the certification will start to mean more to the average consumer and household, actively influencing their spending behaviour. Certified B Corp. Our Story Sustainable Materials Ethical Manufacturing Certified B Corp We Quit B Corporations: Balancing Profit and Purpose. A certified B-Corp is a company that balances profit and purpose. A certified B Corp is a for-profit business that has gone through a rigorous review process to ensure that it’s socially and environmentally responsible. B Lab also assists Sistema B in incorporating a benefit corporation distinction into local legal systems. There is a one-off £500 fee when you apply. B Corp certification is conferred by B Lab, a global nonprofit organization with offices in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and a partnership in Latin America with Sistema B. There are a few terms that are similar and definitely related which can sometimes cause confusion: Certified B Corporation, benefit corporations, businesses with corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and mission-driven companies to name a few. Academic contributions of loan forgiveness. B Corp Certification is the only certification that measures a company's entire social and environmental performance. Some questions lifted from the Impact Assessment: You need to score 80+ out of 300 to qualify for the full B Corp Certification. B Corporation (also B Lab or B Corp) certification of "social and environmental performance" is a private certification of for-profit companies, distinct from the legal designation as a Benefit corporation. Certification also requires companies to integrate their stakeholder commitments into the company governing documents. As of April 2020[update] there are over 3,300 certified B Corporations across 150 industries in 71 countries.[2]. Tillamook qualified for the prestigious B Corp distinction by demonstrating the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Benefit corporations and Certified B Corporations are both leaders of a global movement to use business as a force for good. A certified B-Corp is a company that balances profit and purpose. To maintain credibility, the B Corporation certification standard operates under principles that are independent, comprehensive, comparable, dynamic, and transparent. In the United States, the avenue for corporations making the legal amendment to certify will depend on the state they are incorporated in. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. It is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. Benefit corporations and Certified B Corporations are often confused. It is also likely to draw in more customers—who we know are increasingly buying from companies that they believe behave ethically. The application includes an Impact Assessment. Enviro-Stewards has gotten an award as a B … These requirements are: an in-depth review of public record of the companies, employees, products and other relative topics and randomised site visits. Few would dispute that the requirements of the certification lead to a better way for businesses to be. It also brings commercial benefits. B Corp is a certification. It analyses matters including your policies, operations, treatment of staff and environmental impact and scores your responses out of a total of 300. To become a Certified B Corporation, a company have been in operation for one year (though there are steps a startup can take to prepare for B corp certification) and must earn at least 80 points out of 200 on the Impact Assessment. The B-Corp way adjusts this position so that employees, suppliers, the environment and the wider community also get a look in alongside shareholders. way to do business—one that balances purpose and profit. Certified B Corporations are companies that demonstrate high standards of social and environmental performance, according to certifying agency B … [2] The most active community outside of the United States is Sistema B. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. B-Corps pay an annual certification fee based on revenue. 4. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Both meet higher standards of accountability and transparency. Amy's Kitchen Earns B-Corp Certification Organic food maker Amy’s Kitchen has received a B Corp Certification due to its long-time commitment of "doing well by doing good," says the food maker. companies aren’t focused on profit alone” In February 2016, Boloco became a certified B-Corp as well as a Delaware Benefit Corporation, joining an inspiring group of companies (Patagonia, King Arthur Flour, Warby Parker, etc. Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. The leaders of B-Corps believe that sustainable business is better business and that they can use their business as a force for good. It also represents a new way to help conscious consumers make purchasing decisions that matter to them. [16] As of May 2014, 28 of 30 members were listed by their business affiliation. Doing this early and baking these important values into your company’s DNA is much easier than trying to implement this top down later on. The assessment covers the company’s entire operation and measures the positive impact of the company in areas of governance, workers, community, the environment, as well as the product or service the company provides. The high bar for treatment of staff is likely to attract top talent. There is a fellowship of B Corporations that shares resources. B-Corps like Ben and Jerry's balance profit and purpose (Photo by SHAUN MADER/Patrick McMullan via ... [+] Getty Images). The journey to B-Corp starts by registering and going through a very long and thought provoking set of questions with multiple choice answers—you need to “go deep” with your business. Are there key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics that your company tracks at least annually to determine if you are meeting your social or environmental objectives? There is a widely held view, growing in momentum, that businesses need to play their role in driving societal and environmental change—rather than leaving that to government and charities. There is instead a pending B-Corp status available to startups and new businesses. [4] To add on, many C corporations usually adapt the B Corporation Certificate to gain goodwill.[5]. Benefit corporations and Certified B Corporations are often confused.The B Corp Certification is a third-party certification administered by the non-profit B Lab, based in part on a company's verified performance on the B Impact Assessment. The company needs to adhere their corporate legal structure to B-Lab regulation in order to qualify for the certification process. As a startup or new business, why go for pending B-Corp status? At United By Blue, we believe business not only has the ability to be a part of environmental solutions, but also a moral responsibility to address them. [16] Depending on a company's industry, geographic location, and number of employees, the online assessment adjusts the weightings of the question categories to increase its relevancy. You may opt-out by. It drives you to form opinions and put your stake in the ground about how things are going to be. Following a rigorous certification process, Tillamook County Creamery Association (Tillamook) is now recognized as a Certified B Corporation (B Corp). Some states known as "constituency" states will allow for this change in the articles of incorporation, other states, known as "non-constituency states", will not; and many states now have the option of adopting the benefit corporation legal structure, which also meets B Lab's requirements for B Corp certification. Certified B Corporations® are leaders of the global movement of People Using Business as a Force for Good™. Think of it as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for businesses voluntarily trying to do well by doing good. This page was last edited on 17 December 2020, at 10:01. There is a 30-day public consultation period before releasing a new version of the B Corporation assessment. For instance, companies with more employees will have a heavier weighting in the workers category, and companies in manufacturing will have a heavier weighting in the environment category. B Corp Certification is the only certification that measures a company's entire social and environmental performance. B Corp certification is conferred by B Lab, a global nonprofitorganization with offices in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a partnership in Latin America with Sistema B. From its start, Amy’s Kitchen has been committed to cooking vegetarian meals with meticulously sourced organic ingredients and taking care of people. The requirements of B-Corp cement this viewpoint into a measurable certification. In the United States, a benefit corporation (or in several jurisdictions including Delaware, a public-benefit corporation or PBC) is a type of for-profit corporate entity, authorized by 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals, in that the definition of "best interest of the corporation" is … Boston Business Journal: “Bringing their B game: Some Mass. Companies are required to provide supporting documentation before they are certified. B-Corp is a certification that shows the world what your company stands for. Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Ella’s Kitchen, Propercorn and Allbirds are all B-Corps. If you have been trading for less than 12 months, you can obtain pending status without scoring 80 but you must hit the 80 mark when you reach 12 months’ of trading and are fully assessed. These include: However, B Lab certification allows the company bylaws to remain secret. If your company has not been trading for 12 months, the full B-Corp certification is not an option. Certifying as a B Corporation goes beyond a product or service certification. It is about the way the business is run, how the team is treated, how it uses energy and treats the environment. I write about circular economy businesses and the journey to b-corp, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, How Digital Workflows Helped Save Basketball During The Pandemic, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, How The Global Pandemic Became An Inflection Point For Drones, The Voices Of Entrepreneurs, From Arkansas To Appalachia To Montana, Learn Public Health Skills To Keep Your Business Healthy, Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Twitter Saga, How Startups Are Changing And Adapting To The Pandemic Era, Microsoft Races Ahead On RPA (Robotic Process Automation), Snowflake: Valuable Lessons For Entrepreneurs, Sumo Logic IPO: A Trusted Partner For Digital Transformation. What secondary parental leave policies are available to your workers, either through your company or a government program? Certified B Corporations represent a new (conscious!) [4], B Corp Certification will bring no legal liabilities to a C Corporation or any for profit business structures apart from its business model structure which should adhere to the B Labs. However, the certification brings a multitude of branding tools to the corporation. To learn more, watch the B Corporation … They are just 5 of the more well known 3,200 B-Corps, which sit across 150 industries in 64 countries. Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. Completing the Impact Assessment is really useful for prompting the thinking up front about critical foundations for your business. 1.1.2. ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=B_Corporation_(certification)&oldid=994749012, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing potentially dated statements from April 2020, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. "Certification | Certified B Corporation", "Benefit Corporations Have Arrived in Massachusetts", "Benefit Corporations & Certified B Corps | Benefit Corporation", "Loan Assistance Program – Detailed Summary", "Making a Difference (and a Profit): Advantages and Disadvantages of Forming or Converting into a "B" Entity| Lexology", "Delaware Just Made It A Whole Lot Easier For Socially Responsible Companies To Exist", "Corporate Social Responsibility Comes In Many Flavors, Some Not So Tasty", "OLR Backgrounder: Social Enterprise and the Benefit Corporation", "Certification Requirements | Certified B Corporation", "In Just a Few Months, Sistema B (AKA: B Corp) Finds Fertile Ground for Social Enterprises in Latin America", "B Lab and Sistema B Partner to take B Corps Global", "What's Wrong—and What's Right—with Stakeholder Management", "Benefit Corporations—A Sustainable Form of Organization? The B symbol you see tied to companies like Patagonia, King Arthur Flour, and Ben & Jerry’s is reserved only for certified B Corps. Many B Corporations may qualify for 501c3 status because their mission is to create or maintain a good cause within the local community. Ericsson shapes the future of mobile broadband Internet communications through its technology leadership, creating the most powerful communication companies. B Lab certification is not needed to obtain benefit corporation status. “Since our founding in 1909, Tillamook has embraced … It is sector agnostic—you do not need to be producing a product or service that in its own right is classed as sustainable. These organizations are leaders who are committed to using business as a force for good. The B Corp certification process measures a company's performance in five impact areas, including governance, workers, customers, community and the environment. [15] Socially and environmentally-focused business model points ultimately are accrued in their relevant impact area (governance, workers, community or environment). B Corp is the term used for any for-profit entity that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab as voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. [1] Companies must re-certify every three years to retain B Corporation status. Which companies can apply for B-Corp certification? Fees start at $500 for businesses with under $200,000 in revenue, up to $50,000 for businesses with more than $1 billion in revenue. There are currently more than 3,500 B Corps in 150 industries and 74 countries around the world. A founder many times over, most recently 'now, sit down', which designs and sells circular furniture & "In the Loop" a community for circular economy businesses. [16], Currently the B Corp assessment is its fifth version, with the sixth version scheduled to be released in January 2018.[19]. Outwardly, the status sends a clear message to funders, employees and suppliers about your business. An issue in deciding to be a Certified B Corporation would be the administrative and legal costs a corporation will face in changing their business model in accordance to B Labs regulations. To be certified, companies must complete an Impact Assessment, which evaluates how their operations and business model impact their workers, community, environment, and customers. Producing a product or service that in its own right is classed as sustainable to define a B Corporation to! Avenue for Corporations making the legal amendment to certify will depend on the state they are required... Form opinions and put your stake in the ground about how things going. To B-Lab regulation in order to qualify for the certification brings a multitude of tools... 64 countries. 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