So You Want to Become a B Corp? Here’s what you should know

So You Want to Become a B Corp? Here’s what you should know

Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Unlike other certifications for businesses, B Corp Certification is unique in its ability to measure a company’s entire social and environmental impact.

B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, legal accountability, and public transparency. Though the process of meeting these standards and becoming a B Corp is fairly intense, it’s one that truly makes companies stronger by providing a roadmap to improving their impact in ways that generate value for the business. We should know – as the world’s first B Corp, we’ve been through the recertification process quite a few times and have included some helpful tips below.

Certification Requirements

There are three primary requirements for any company wanting to certify as a B Corp.

  • Performance Requirement
    Any company aspiring to become a B Corp must begin by completing the B Impact Assessment (BIA) and achieving a minimum score of 80 points across its five impact areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. B Lab (the nonprofit powering the B Corp movement) is currently beginning to implement new performance standards in the BIA that will require companies to excel in ten specific topics and remove scoring entirely. Companies must also pass risk standards and screening.
  • Legal Requirement
    Aspiring B Corps must also have a stakeholder governance structure that ensures they are accountable to people and planet. If a company is not already incorporated or organized this way, it must change its governance structure or legal entity. Specifically, any corporation that wants to certify as a B Corp must be a benefit corporation. A benefit corporation is a legal structure created by B Lab to embed accountability for all stakeholders into a business’ DNA, ensuring the survivability of these values.
  • Transparency Requirement
    B Corps must allow information about their social and environmental performance measured against the standards of the BIA to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.

Certification Process

The path to becoming a B Corp can vary depending on what type of business you are, but in general, once a company meets the performance and legal requirements, it can submit its BIA for review. The company will then enter a verification queue, where it is asked to provide information about its employees and suppliers as well as upload documentation for review. Then, the company will schedule a verification call with a standards analyst and provide additional documentation as requested. If the company passes verification, it can sign the B Corp Agreement, pay the applicable certification fee, and become certified!

To maintain certification, Certified B Corps must update their B Impact Assessment (BIA) and verify their updated B Impact score every three years or after any ownership change.

Our Tips for Certification

  1. Understand the B Impact Assessment (BIA): Start by really getting to know the BIA! It’s essentially your roadmap to understanding how your company performs across all the impact areas. Complete the assessment completely–answering the questions honestly, not aspirationally–then you can focus on areas for improvement.
  2. Identify and Implement Improvements: After completing the BIA, see where you’re underperforming on your B Impact Report. After pinpointing where your business could use some upgrades, start implementing those changes. Whether it’s adopting eco-friendly practices, enhancing employee benefits, refining your governance, or increasing community involvement, pick the areas where you can make meaningful improvements.
  3. Organize Your Documentation: Documentation is key for B Corp certification, as B Lab needs hard evidence to verify your company’s practices. Start gathering everything you need well in advance. Keeping your documentation organized and ready to go can significantly smooth out the certification process and demonstrate your commitment to the B Corp values.

Next Steps!

You can read more here on B Lab’s website about the certification standards and process, and about the journey of UnTours being the world’s first B Corp here. Reach out to our team if you would like to learn how we support B Corps in our portfolio!

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