Being ‘Best for the World’

Posted by in B Corporation, Business Strategy

Best for the World graphic showing logo and text 'Uplifting B Corp Practices'.

Thousands of companies around the world work every day to build a regenerative, equitable, and more inclusive economy. How can we get more companies to be ‘Best for the World’?

We are ten years into our B Corp journey at Mightybytes. What started as a curious experiment in 2011 has redefined every component of our operations, every policy by which we conduct business, the way we communicate with our team, who we choose to do business with, and how we tell our company story. We are a better company in so many ways because of our certification.

Illustration showing the Certified B Corp logo and 10 years.
Mightybytes first became a Certified B Corp in 2011.

I used to say often, “operating a Certified B Corp isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it certainly is the most rewarding.” But that’s not exactly true. Long term, it can be the easiest way to run a business, and the most rewarding. 

Without a doubt, there are growing pains as you transition from a traditional business model to one focused on your stakeholders’ collective needs. People move on, finances shift, rules change, and you quickly learn who is up for the task and who isn’t. However, when those stakeholders are aligned with a common vision for a better future, the business becomes more resilient, flexible, hardy, and yes, easier to run. 

This resilience also makes B Corps more likely than traditional businesses to survive adversity caused by a recession or global pandemic. It is one of the many things that make B Corps better companies to work for, partner with, buy from, and invest in. 

What Does Best for the World Mean?

Best for the World businesses are proving that competing not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world, is a winning strategy, and they can lead the way as more businesses continue to join the movement that is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. 

— B Lab’s Best for the World list

When we learned that Mightybytes was included in B Lab’s 2021 Best for the World list we were elated. Every year, B Lab—the nonprofit that certifies B Corps around the world—releases an annual list of companies scoring in the top 5% of the B Impact Assessment (BIA), the free, confidential tool that over 100,000 businesses use to measure what matters most. 

The Best for the World list mirrors assessment categories:

  • Workers: How do you treat employees, contractors, and others who work for you? 
  • Governance: What policies and practices do you use to run a transparent and accountable organization?
  • Environment: How do you reduce your company’s environmental impact and regenerate ecological systems?
  • Community: How do you support the communities in which your business resides?
  • Customers: Who do you choose to do business with?

Mightybytes was recognized in the Governance category thanks to policies and practices we use to run a purpose-fueled, stakeholder-driven organization. It was our 7th time being included in a Best for the World list. 

Image of the B Impact Assessment showing Governance metrics to track.
The Governance category of the B Impact Assessment includes questions on Mission & Engagement, Ethics & Transparency, and others, as shown here.

Company Governance: A Blueprint for Change

The Governance Impact Area evaluates your company’s overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency through topics such as integration of social and environmental goals in employees’ performance evaluation, impact reporting and transparency, stakeholder engagement, and more.

— B Impact Assessment, Governance Impact Area

Known for its rigor, B Corp certification challenges business leaders to push boundaries and think differently about how to run their company. It is a great blueprint for innovation and for building an impact-focused organization that considers stakeholders in all business decisions and is often better prepared for long-term challenges. 

Under the Governance category, users answer questions about the role positive social and environmental impact plays in company policies and practices, such as:

Good governance practices can make a big difference in how various stakeholders—like employees, customers, or vendors—perceive your company’s intentions. They also influence operations and can help your company rebound from tough times. When coupled with other stakeholder practices in the B Impact Assessment, they serve as a roadmap for positive change. 

Image of Governance section of the B Impact Assessment showing the 'Mission Lock' metric.
Certified B Corps earn points by ‘locking’ their mission and creating an impact business model.

Impact Business Models

The governance gold standard for Certified B Corps is the impact business model. It is one thing to start a volunteer program or make a company philanthropic commitment. Businesses that often score highest on the B Impact Assessment align how they make money with specific impact initiatives. 

In other words, when you make a sale, how does that sale positively impact an underserved community, reduce inequalities, or regenerate ecological systems? For example:

For these companies and others on the Best for the World list, the B Impact Assessment serves as a social innovation catalyst to design new products, services, or programs around the impact they create. Ongoing impact experiments help them better align purpose with profit and evolve their business model based on what they learn. 

Building a New Economy

We recently submitted our fifth recertification as a B Corp. The score we turned in is our highest yet, though B Lab’s verification process is forthcoming. That could change. Each time we go through this process, we learn a little more about ourselves and how to be a better company. It’s all part of the journey. We are grateful for B Lab’s recognition along the way and happy to help any other companies that might want to consider becoming a B Corp.

Certified B Corps aspire to create an economy that serves all people and our shared planet. It’s a big, audacious vision. While there are thousands of B Corps around the world, we need thousands more to reach our goal. If you’re in a position to consider certifying and want to know more, please reach out. We would love to chat.

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Tim Frick founded Mightybytes in 1998 to help mission-driven organizations solve problems, amplify their impact, and meet business and marketing goals. He is the author of four books, including Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services from O'Reilly Media. Follow Tim on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.