What does it mean to be a B Corp, afterall?
March was dedicated to the worldwide certification B Corp. B Corp company is an organization that rewards companies whose business models contribute to the social and environmental development of society. These companies are the engines of a global movement for greater inclusion, equality, and respect. Through this certification, a company guarantees its’ business model credibility as well as good levels of business accuracy, transparency, ethics, and social performance. All these aspects, combined with a robust financial sustainability contribute, in the end, to complete and succeed in the assessment.
This movement emerged back in 2013 and nowadays, there are 4,800 certified B Corp companies spread all around the world, 800 in Europe and across 150 different industries. This simple information gives us an important outcome about what distinguishes certified and non-certified companies: it is not the about the activity sector or the country where it’s located; but the will and the courage to do better. It is not about one’s own business but everyone’s planet. Find all B Corp listed here.
The idea is simple, actually: in B Corp, profits count as much as the contribute to the society, or even less! For example, Impactrip is a responsible tourism operator which means that, in the end of the day, all volunteers will have to have contributed in some way to society through their work in our social and environmental partners. Nonetheless, a company must continue financially stable and earn some profits obviously, otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to pay salaries to the employees responsible for keeping these volunteer programs going.
The big secret that distinguishes B Corp from the others, is the pure environmental and social impact mindset orientation that drives these companies to better deliver impact on their consumers as well as on all the stakeholders involved along the value chain. And this is of extreme importance! Oh yeah, if there is no attention given to the company’s value chain, since suppliers until de final product or service, the B Corp certification will not be yours, for sure.
And why is it like that? Not only B Corp must impact and raise awareness for social and environmental topics, but also everything a companies buys to its suppliers must comply with a mix of factors since the process used to collect the raw material – that must be in a sustainable way so it doesn’t interfere much with the surrounding ecosystem; to the workforce that was used to perform that job which should comply with fair wages and workload, for instance. B Corp take all these aspects into account, so they contribute with positive impact in every dimension they are into.
In Impactrip’s case, our value chain major constrain are the flights that volunteers catch to get to their volunteer programs, across all the destination where we operate. You did not see this coming, right? Yes, it is true. Precisely because they are our customers and will be part the services we provide, the transportation method they use, must concern us (and a lot, let me add!). We have a considered amount of volunteers coming from USA and the aviation industry as a whole represents 2.1% of the global CO2 emissions so, as you can imagine, this negatively affects our score, which is somethings that we are working to compensate, this year.
Regarding B Corp scores, must perform 80 points in the assessment to get the certification. Then, it can go as high as 200 points, according to the companies’ performance in four distinct fields of action: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Clients. All of them are important to build a good social and environmental environment. Each company decide which parameters are relevant for their business and activity. Not all the companies must score perfectly in every dimension of evaluation, since there are a lot of ramifications and some of them might not even make sense to you.
Gudrun Drexler is the responsible for B Corp Europe communications and she explains in a short interview we did, what is the main goal of this whole movement for good: “At B Lab, our mission is to change the current economic system but changing a system takes time. In our vision, it says “We won’t stop until all business is a force for good.”. She adds that B Lab Europe goal is to get every company certificated because that would means everyone is contributing for a better world. However, this movement doesn’t stop here, she explains there is much more to discover once you’re certificated “… this is only one part of our work. We also change policies, involve academia, provide different impact measurement tools (like the B Impact Assessment that is required to be taken for the B Corp Certification or the SDG Action Manager), and more.”
With this being said, ARE YOU READY TO BECOME A B CORP AND JOIN THE MOVEMENT?
Please find below important links where you can find more information about B Corp certification: