B Corp is a not-for-profit network enabling organisations to pledge their commitment and achieve a certification in sustainable values and practices. It aims to use the power of business 'to create a shared, durable prosperity for all'. At time of writing, there are more than 4,000 B Corporations in more than 75 countries. In this piece we learn more about B Corp, why it exists, and how and why your organisation can join.
What is B Corp?
The stated aim of B Corp is to Make Business a Force For Good.
Organisations that achieve B Corporation Certification pledge to balance profit and purpose - combining public transparency and legal accountability with the highest standards of social and environmental performance. Profits and growth are vital for their own sake (as with any organisation), but also to achieve a greater positive impact on the world around them: for employees, stakeholders, communities and the environment.
In the global economy, people and place must matter. Organisations must create benefits for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
How can an organisation achieve a B Corp certification?
The B Corp Certification assesses the overall positive impact of your organisation. This is achieved through the B Impact Assessment, which measures your impact on the world around you. Impact is divided into five areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers, and considers both day-to-day operations and business outcomes. This assessment is the first and main step to becoming a certified B Corporation.
The other two steps concern public transparency and legal accountability. Each B Corporation's Impact Report needs to be published online; and each B Corporation must amend their legal constitutions to require their board to balance profit and purpose, embedding sustainable values into their mission, management and stakeholders.
Why should an organisation become a B Corp?
There are two key reasons to become a certified B Corp.
It will boost your sustainability efforts - by benchmarking and improving performance, giving you renewed purpose, and being part of a community of sustainable organisations to engage with and learn from. The B Impact Assessment itself provides more than 40 best practice guides to help you shape your own organisational sustainability and social impact strategy.
It will also bring many additional benefits for your organisation. Becoming a B Corp is an impressive and exclusive certification which will enable you to attract talent and more easily bring in new business, building credibility for your company as a pillar of sustainability. If your business relies on sustainability and social impact - as is increasingly likely to be the case - then having that B Corp certification will amplify your organisation's voice and improve your bottom line.
Where can I go for more information?
The first place to go is the B Corp website: this is a hub of information about B Corp's mission, governance and standards. There is also a huge knowledge base with support articles, resources and FAQs all about B Corp and the B Impact Assessment.
If you want to jump straight in, get started with the B Impact Assessment.
If you want to learn more about sustainability for sport, events and venues, check out the other articles in our sustainability series. You'll find pieces on different international standards for sustainability, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and key themes such as the environment, human rights, and major event legacy.
To finish, here's a very quick look at what B Corp and certified organisations have achieved in 2021. What will you achieve in 2022?
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