We are very excited to announce that we have just joined the exclusive circle of B Corporations!
Our journey wasn’t easy but it was worth it – not just because of the certification but also the real changes to our business, that benefit our employees, our customers, and our community and environment.
If you’re thinking about taking your own business on a B Corp journey, the lessons we learned along the way might be relevant to you too:
What is B Corp?
The global B Corporation (or B Corp) movement is based around the idea that people can use business as a force for good.
B Lab, the non-profit driving B Corp, was created in 2006 with the goal of shifting our economic system from one that concentrates wealth to one that improves equity.
Instead of extraction, the goal is regeneration. In place of individualism, B Lab has a vision of an economy that embraces interdependence.
The short version is that it’s trying to get business to achieve its potential of being a benefit to everyone, in every community, and the planet too.
They don’t just think that this kind of global change is possible. They think it’s necessary.
What does B Corp certification include?
B Corp certification is a rigorous process. Applicant organisations need to achieve a score of 80 on a scale that measures everything from energy and water use to diversity and transparency policies.
The final score takes into account all of a company’s operations and their impact on its:
To meet that benchmark score, a B Corp applicant has to legally commit to putting purpose beyond profit. It also needs to be regularly reassessed every few years.
Why did we decide to become a B Corporation?
Dial A Geek has aimed to act in line with many of the principles B Lab espouses for years. We had always thought of ourselves as doing our bit, but also thought it was time to get proof we were.
B Corp’s very strict scoring system gave us a great framework for measuring and improving our social and environmental impact still further. It also meant we had to create official policies and processes, which was a good next step for a growing business.
The certification itself is increasingly recognised globally as a high standard to which businesses can aspire.
DAG’s B Corp certification journey
Our first step was to get in touch with a B Corp coach in early 2022. Andy from Business on Purpose was incredibly helpful. He helped us work through the lengthy – and challenging – assessment and supported Nina (our Marketing Manager) throughout the journey.
Our first surprise was how much of what we were doing was difficult to evidence. We also found out about a lot we could have been doing that we hadn’t even considered.
We collected the evidence. Completed the assessment. Sent it off. Only to receive a reply saying we were supposed to apply on the “retail/wholesaler” instead of the “services” track.
Suddenly, after a year of hard work, our score of 86 was a 72 (80 is a minimum pass requirement). Now, we’re not a retailer or wholesaler. But we do supply business laptops. It took excavating a whole year of accounts, laptop boxes, and other things that are a tiny fraction of our overall business to reapply with 85 points.
The verification process was much quicker than we expected and after losing some points on technicalities (such as our 360 reviews not counting as they didn’t include customer feedback), finally, we landed on 81.9 points. A pass!
Overall, it took us around 6 months to apply, another 6 months to gather evidence, and another 6 months to fill our assessment again, this time as a retail/wholesaler.
Our advice to companies considering B Corp certification
Our first bit of advice is, if you’re considering it, go for it! It’s a great journey for your business. It will improve the way you work, your employee happiness, and your impact on the world.
But you do need to put aside some serious time to do it. It takes commitment and a surprising amount of bureaucracy. You’ll be creating policies you never knew you needed from day one. We decided to make B Corp the responsibility of our Marketing Manager; in retrospective we can now say that this is a job for more than one person. We know of some businesses that hire a dedicated environmental compliance team – if this is something you can afford, it’s worth a consideration.
It’s also worth discussing the certification with your team before you start your journey – make sure you get your people on board! As you work through your assessment, the way each of your departments work will change, and it’s really difficult to justify the change if your people don’t care about the reasons behind it.
Also, get a coach. Business on Purpose was hugely helpful. One of their bits of advice was to aim for at least 85 points as you’re bound to lose some in the process.
Finally, B Corp certification isn’t a journey that really ends. If you join us in this community of businesses leading the transformation of the economic system, you’ll need to keep improving.
We aim to score higher when we recertify in 2026. Because this is not just about being a part of the gang. It’s about continuing the journey of bettering us and the world too.
If you want to ask us about improving your business’s use of IT or our B Corp journey, get in touch.
Dial A Geek has already helped over 900 businesses in Bristol and beyond master their tech.
Set up a cost and commitment-free chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones today.