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What is B Corp certification and why should you apply?

If you’re a candidate, don’t you want to work for a company with a purpose? If you’re a company, isn’t that the kind of candidate you’d want to hire?

It’s why both candidates and companies should have B Corp certification on their minds. With this private certification, for-profit companies can show they’re meeting the highest standards across a variety of profit and purpose parameters. They include social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. And candidates can more easily spot the companies with purpose.

So, it’s no wonder that certified companies are among those accelerating a cultural shift across the globe. These are the businesses redefining what success means and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy. Because, believe it or not, it’s not just government and non-profit companies who can and should be solving society’s biggest issues. For-profit businesses can harness their power to use profits and growth to create a positive impact for employees, communities and the environment.

In this blog post, we’re going to show you why that’s good for everyone – the wider society as well as your business. Be sure to stick around until the end, where we’ll give you a quick overview of how to apply for this certification. But first, let’s check out some of the biggest benefits of B Corp certification for businesses and society at large.

Engaged employees and prospects

Being part of a B Corp certified organisation means knowing your work is contributing to lower levels of poverty, reduced inequality, stronger communities, a healthier environment and the creation of more high-quality jobs. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company like that?

Becoming a B Corp means that any prospective employee will know that you’re committed to creating real environmental and societal benefits. This will help your organisation to attract employees that are already committed to making sustainable change. More than just a pay cheque, your people will come to work for something deeper. That’s great for you, too – organisations with a more engaged workforce are 22% more profitable and twice as likely to succeed as a business than those with less-engaged staff.

A mission you can believe in

If you’re running a traditional for-profit business, your investors will likely expect you to focus on profitability above all else. This can make your organisation (and the people working in it) a slave to making money – and cost you in other areas you might consider important.

Being B Corp certified means that your investors know from the start that you aim much higher than just turning a profit. With this certification, you can strengthen your position to take greater control of your business – focusing on the results that are most meaningful to you and your people.

A seal of approval

Getting your B Corp certification takes more than talk. You’re required to demonstrate the ways in which your business is creating real benefit for both the environment and wider society.

It means that when you see that certification in a partner or peer, you know they really mean what they say. You can count on the fact that these businesses aren’t just claiming benefit for themselves – but are giving back to the community at large.

Motivation for the future

You’ve probably guessed this already, but the hard work doesn’t end with your completed certification. Not only must you complete a B Impact Assessment to qualify, but you also have to recertify every two years.

This is great for your motivation – which, in turn, is great for the community and environment you’re working to support. With a measurable benchmark to hit every 24 months, you’ll have a reason to push yourself to maintain and improve your company’s social and environmental benefits.

Ready for whatever’s next

The impact of conscious consumerism on the economy is already becoming clear. Sales of consumer goods with an element of sustainability are growing four times faster than sales of unsustainable products.

A certification like B Corp is a natural follow-on from a generation of consumers more conscious of their impact. It’s a quick and easy way for them to tell your company is committed to improving communities. Conscious consumers are quite often even willing to pay more if they know the company they are buying from is operating with conscience.

So, how do you become a B Corp?

As we mentioned above, you can take the B Impact Assessment to find out if your organisation has what it takes to get certified. This assessment is free of charge and spans every aspect of your business – from your customers and employees to your impact on the wider community and the environment. In fact, it’s so comprehensive that we’d recommend taking it even if you have no intention of becoming certified – it’s a great way to get a sense of where you sit in these areas.

The team at B Lab are there to offer all the assistance you need to complete the certification. Should your current score fall short, there are practical tools and training to help you to improve your company standards and become a B Corporation. And if you do pass the assessment, all of the above benefits can be yours.

Want to know more about positioning your company for conscious consumers and candidates? We can help. Get in touch with Industrious Code to see how.

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