March is B Corp month. So it’s only fitting we get to the bottom of this increasingly well-known kind of certification. So, what is B Corp? And why should your business look into getting it?
As Dial A Geek is currently on its own B Corp Certification journey (with a long way to go, still), we’ve been thinking about this a whole lot:
What is B Corp?
B Corporation – sometimes referred to as “B Lab” or simply “B Corp” – Certification is awarded to companies that meet exacting Environmental, Social, and Governance standards.
To be B Corp, you need to show that you consider your team, your customers, your suppliers, and the wider community and the environment in the way you do business.
In short, it’s sort of similar to the Fairtrade label. It’s a way of advertising to your clients that you are a force for good in the world.
To get the coveted B Corporation label, you need to score over 80 points out of 200 on the B Corp Impact Assessment. It’s essentially a questionnaire, featuring questions like, “Does your company monitor and record its universal waste production?”
It’s harder than it sounds. But the benefits of being B Corp are there to be seen.
Why would a company want to be B Corp?
1) Build consumer and community trust
Consumers around the world are becoming switched on to the climate emergency and – particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis – the importance of fair and equitable working arrangements.
Millions of consumers are starting to be guided by these factors when they choose the businesses and brands they buy from too. B Corp Certification is an easy shorthand for consumers to know they’re supporting ethical business practices. This is known to drive commercial success.
2) Focus on resiliency
That B Corp Certification isn’t for life. Your business will be reassessed every three years. This ensures you need to continually monitor and improve your systems if you want to keep it.
The certification takes in all aspects of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Maintaining it requires you to monitor and engage with your entire team and every aspect of your business model and the way your company works.
Of course, many business leaders do this sort of thing by default. But the need to hit B Corp targets can provide additional motivation.
3) Attract aligned talent, suppliers, and investors
Being a B Corp is an easy flag to raise to attract new (and especially young) talent, ethical suppliers, and investors who want to be aligned with the way you want to run your business.
Companies that have achieved B Lab Certification routinely report better employee satisfaction and the ability to bring in the best talent even in challenging jobs markets.
ESG factors are also increasingly driving not only consumer spending habits but the investment capital of major funds too.
How many B Corps are there?
B Corp is growing globally. As of early 2022, there were already over 4600 in more than 70 countries.
As global events – the COVID-19 pandemic, George Floyd’s murder in the United States, stories of sweatshops and other unethical practices – continue to underscore the importance of good Corporate Social Responsibility practices, the profile of B Corp is only likely to grow.
Examples of famous B Corps
Some of the best thought-of companies in the world are already showcasing their B Corp credentials:
1) The Body Shop
The Body Shop is almost as well known for its ethical business practices as it is for skincare products. The brand is set against animal testing, prioritises recycled packaging, gives its staff time off for volunteering, and much more.
2) Who Gives a Crap
You wouldn’t automatically think of toilet paper as something that could change the world. But Who Gives a Crap is starting to become known for raising the profile of a product that can be… of poor quality elsewhere.
This brand is all about recycling. Everything is natural and sustainable. It even gives half of its profits to charity.
Straight from one end of – ahem – an industry to the other, Oddbox is the company that delivers boxes full of wonky fruit and veg (that are perfectly good to eat just not aesthetically “as expected”) to your door.
Whether they were the first to do this is up for debate. But their practices have highlighted the idea and drawn imitators across the country.
4) Pukka Herbs
Pukka tea is completely plastic-free and recyclable and has a growing presence in the tea cupboards of herbal lovers up and down the UK. It’s delicious, it’s soothing, and its practices are all very B Corp.
5) World of Books
World of Books is the second-hand books supplier that is leading the way on sustainability. Not only does it do everything B Corp expects for certification, but it also buys unwanted stock from charity shops across the UK to help them raise funds and clear out space.
Is B Corp right for your business?
At Dial A Geek, we’ve been working on our B Corporation Certification for a while now. It feels like a pretty natural extension of the direction we were already heading.
But even if it would be a bit of a sea change for your organisation, it’s worth considering whether the advantages of B Corp – consumer trust, partner alignment attraction, and let’s not forget the attached potential for profit – might be worth it.
Need to know how you can change your use of business IT to hit B Corp targets?
Let’s chat about it. Dial A Geek has already helped nearly 1000 businesses in Bristol and the UK make their tech greener.
Arrange a chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones – for FREE and with no obligation – today.
Let us know if you’re interested in starting your own B Corp journey – we know some great Bristol-based people who can help you make this process much easier.