In a previous blog post we looked at benefit corporations and the European Union’s 2014 Directive as evidence that Business as a Force for Good is now a force to be reckoned with. There’s yet another, powerful force we’re grateful for: B Corps.
B Corps are certified, purpose driven, for-profit businesses.
We’ve watched B Corps ascend during the ten years we’ve been in business. For good reason: B Corp certification confers distinct business advantages, while bringing much-needed structure to a company’s best intentions.
Here’s the story:
In 2007, a non-profit organization called B Lab introduced the first 19 certified B Corps, or Beneficial Corporations. The title is bestowed upon for-profit companies who pass B Lab’s test of social and environmental performance, called the B Impact Assessment.
The assessment is tough. It measures social and environmental performance and employment policies, while demanding public transparency and legal accountability. To attain certification, a company must bring human, societal and environmental wellbeing into the heart of their business culture – and document it.
Many find the effort worthwhile: Today more than 1900 companies, covering 130 industries in 50 countries, have been granted B-Corp status.
What B Corps Believe
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
That we must be the change we seek in the world.
That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
That, through their products, practices and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
B Corps no longer fill a niche; they help lead a global movement.
It’s great to see thousands of companies steering a global conversation about the future of our planet and society as a whole. And today, it’s easier than ever to access the wisdom of businesses who model success in the category.
B Lab alone offers many free resources to companies who wish to get better at doing good. We recommend:
B Lab’s Free Self-Assessment Tool. Any company can take B Lab’s “rough cut” Assessment, to measure its impact on employees and society, and learn about B Corp best practices.
B the Change Media. Home to B Magazine, blogs, podcasts and best practice handbooks, is a source for ideas you can use at your place of business.
The B-Corp Directory. To engage with partners and suppliers who share your values, find B Corp online.
If you’d like to put more muscle behind your company’s aspirations for employee engagement, sustainable practices, and expressed values, you’ll find kindred spirits here at Blue Beyond.
We’ve witnessed that when all business units work together as a force for good, customers recognize and reward those behaviors. Employees contribute more. And shareholders profit, along with communities and even the planet.
We’d love to discuss these issues with you in person. To get in touch, please contact us.