What is the B-Corp initiative and why are businesses becoming B-Corp Certified?
We spent time talking to Camilla Barnes a B Leader to find out what the B-Corp initiative is and why more and more businesses are becoming B-Corp Certified.
What is the B-Corp initiative?
The B-Corp initiative started with the ambition ‘to harness business as a force for good’. More and more businesses are achieving Certified B-Corp status and this is creating a shift to a more inclusive and sustainable economy, as success is measured as more than just profit.
To be a Certified B-Corp, a business must meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Why are more and more businesses becoming B-Corp Certified?
Globally there are currently almost 4,000 Certified B-Corps and this is growing every day. The huge growth is illustrated by the fact that it will now take around 7 months for your application for B-Corp status to be verified and approved. They are getting that many applications.
It provides clarity
Becoming a B-Corp enables a business to clearly communicate to everyone that they embody their stakeholder business model and values. They are not simply spouting ‘greenwashing’ slogans like so many other corporations which consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with. Being a B-Corp business provides consumers with clarity: they can trust that you do what you say you do; it isn’t a gimmick.
The certification aligns operations with brand values and identity. B Corp embeds the positive social and environmental ideals into the DNA of the company, rather than it just being tokenistic. They do this by requiring the business to make a legal change so that the business commits to the triple bottom line.
It attracts talent
More and more people want to work for a business that cares – people are realising that life is too short to work for a business that doesn’t take care of its employees or think about the negative impacts it has on the community and environment. One day all businesses will be B Corps, of course ;), but until then, the small few will attract and engage the best talent.
It provides cross-sector collaboration opportunities
B Lab, the NGO behind the B Corp certification, don’t just manage the B Corp certification process, they are also building a global movement of B Corps because they want to create a community of like-minded businesses who want to do good, who will collaborate on projects that can benefit whole sectors/industries/regions.
It provides long term cost saving
Because the certification is an audit of every element of the business, you will inevitably see cost savings in environmental management areas and through the B Corp community, you will have access to lots of different services.
It is attractive to investors
Being a B Corp is a significant added extra for investors because B Corp certification means that the business thinks about the long-term health, productivity and environmental management of the business.
All of these reasons: clarity for consumers, attracting talent, cross-sector collaboration opportunities, long term cost savings and attractiveness to investors, are fantastic business reasons that make it clear why over 500 businesses in the UK are B-Corp Certified. It requires you to look after your employees, customers, community and the environment and provides you with a framework that enables your business to become a force for good.
As a B Leader, Camilla is interested in supporting businesses to go through the B Corp assessment, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, engaging internal and external stakeholders and providing business improvement and marketing consultancy. By moving business models away from shareholder-focused to stakeholder-focused, we can collectively make the world a better and more sustainable place. Camilla is particularly interested in working with businesses in the South West England. If you’d like support with your B Corp certification journey, please get in contact.