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B Corp - Is it a real deal?

Updated: Sep 25, 2022


What is a B Corp?



Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassay - the fathers of B Lab.

In 2005, they founded B Lab after a long frustration seeing the rules and regulations fail to address the business related environment and social issues. It was time to abandon the shareholder's view and adapt the stakeholders' model.


B Lab is a nonprofit organization that pioneers a new way of running business because with B Lab the usual way of doing business is not working anymore.


So how to become a B Corp?


Hundred thousands of companies have applied to be certified B Corp, but only over 4000 organizations have been certified. Is it that hard to get this rigor label?


There are 3 stages every company has to go through in order to become certified.

  • The assessment stage: Companies start with a self-online assessment - BIA which includes 200 questions ranging from Governance, Employees, Community, and Environment aspects. Although it is a self-answer questionnaire, companies often take months to years to be able to answer all these questions.

  • The verification stage: The completed BIA will be forwarded to the B Lab team for the verification and calculation score. At this point, companies might be expected to be asked for more details, clarified information, or supporting documents. If the score is 80 or above out of 200 points, companies are considered to have passed this stage.

  • The review stage: B Lab standard analyst will again carefully, and thoroughly check all the provided information. More detail might also be required here. If after the review, companies are still 80 points or above that means they are qualified to be a B Corp. There is only one step here before being certified as B corp which is the payment. The amount of payment will depend on each company. After that, the B Corp declaration will be granted along with a report on suggested improvements, and case studies for the company.

So what if after the review round, the company’s score lessened than 80? No worries. There will be time for improvement here.



The B Corp certificate is effective for 3 years. After that, the company will need to go through the above process again.


What does it mean to become a B Corp?



B Lab introduces B Corp certification as a proud recognition of how good a business is doing in terms of generating profit as well as natural and social stewardship.


Being a B Corp is a powerful pass to join the community of good business and enjoy the benefits from this global networking. It might not directly benefit financially but joining the business leader pool helps the company showcase its sustainable direction, partner with a like-minded organization, upraise their reputation, and attract investors, customers, and employees.




Reference

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