5 Reasons to Consider B Corp Certification
In this post, we explore five compelling reasons why your company might want to consider B Corp certification and join our global movement of people using business as a force for good.
Certified B Corp: What’s That?
Certified B Corps “meet rigorous and independent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” Not sure what that means exactly? Think of B Corp certification like LEED or Fair Trade, but for an entire business rather than your office building or a bag of coffee. Businesses that successfully integrate their B Corp certification into the company’s DNA are more purposeful and profitable. Research has shown this to be true.
B Corp certification helps companies consider their stakeholders in all business decisions while also pursuing the traditional business goal of making profit. As a Certified B Corp, Mightybytes uses a third-party assessment to meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. This helps us better run a more purpose-driven company. When we certified in 2011, Mightybytes was the ninth Certified B Corp in the state of Illinois. We are now part of a thriving ecosystem of Illinois companies dedicated to creating a more inclusive and regenerative economy.
Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corps must consider the impact of our decisions on stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, community, customers, and the environment. B Corps seek to affect positive social change by prioritizing social and environmental responsibility, placing these values at the heart of our corporate structure. In fact, to become a B Corp Mightybytes changed the company’s governing documents. We amended our Articles of Incorporation with legal verbiage that outlines how we include stakeholder interests into company practices. Later, we became one of the state of Illinois’ first Public Benefit Corporations as well.
A Growing Force for Good
B Corp certification is growing in popularity among companies looking to effectively balance purpose with profit while also serving stakeholders. The community is comprised of thousands of companies and hundreds of industries in 71 different countries, all with one unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
According to B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps:
Our vision is simple yet ambitious: to create a new sector of the economy which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This sector will be comprised of a new type of corporation —the B Corporation—that meets rigorous and independent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. As a result, individuals will have greater economic opportunity, society will move closer to achieving a positive environmental footprint, more people will be employed in great places to work, and we will have built stronger communities at home and across the world.— B Lab
Our movement’s growth is bolstered by several concurrently occurring phenomena:
- Customers increasingly want to buy from companies that share their values.
- Investors seek to invest in companies focused on providing long-term value.
- Employees want to work for companies they know are committed to doing good in the world.
- Nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations increasingly want to partner with companies that have formalized their commitments.
Five Benefits to B Corp Certification
Mightybytes prioritizes these values, so becoming a Certified B Corp in 2011 was a natural choice. B Corp certification helps us govern our company in good times and in bad. We receive regular recognition as Best for the World, an honor B Lab bestows annually on the top 10% of all companies using the B Impact Assessment. Above all, B Corp certification helps us stay focused on operating with compassion and creating long-term, shared value.
That said, here are five reasons to consider B Corp certification.
1. Improve Transparency
Becoming a Certified B Corp supports mainstreaming corporate social responsibility and transparency. Most importantly, this forces companies to operate out in the open. Also, it can potentially reduce the number of corporate scandals, greenwashing, “woke-washing”, and other mishaps that can occur when a company’s purpose and profits are misaligned.
2. Save the Planet
We’re in the middle of a climate emergency that companies are disproportionately responsible for. This leads to all sorts of untold dire consequences. We don’t have the luxury to wait until politicians sort it out or some magic silver bullet shows up. We must act now, all of us! B Corp certification helps you align your company policies with practices that benefit people and planet. Enough said.
3. Improve Employee Relationships
First, B Corp certification attracts purpose-driven employees who want to work at a company like yours. Plus, tools like B Work, the “world’s largest impact job site”, help you more quickly and easily connect with values-aligned employee prospects. Finally, with their focus on employee growth and retention, Certified B Corps tend to have longer employee retention.
4. Get Closer to Your Customers
Moreover, whether your company is B2B or B2C, the transparency and commitment that B Corp certification requires attracts like-minded customers. This fosters a welcoming environment for doing business. Also, your impact story offers many opportunities to share your journey with people who will actually care about it.
5. Create Community
Finally, B Corp certification builds a global community of like-minded organizations committed to creating a more inclusive and regenerative economy. Plus, the B Hive, a closed social network specifically for the Certified B Corp community, has countless resources for tackling all sorts of challenging issues, from fighting climate change to dismantling systemic racism. If you want to connect with a global community comprised of thousands of change-makers, becoming a Certified B Corp is one great way to do that.
Is B Corp Certification Right for You?
To sum up, B Corp certification might not be right for every company today. However, for all the reasons noted above and more, every company should consider the impact its decisions have on stakeholders. Certainly, your business will benefit in countless ways. Plus, the passing of time will likely show that B Corp certification—or something very close to it—will be a required social contract for any business to operate.
More importantly, the B Impact Assessment is free for anyone to use to measure their impact on people and planet. What’s more, you don’t have to become a Certified B Corp to use it. So what are you waiting for?