B Corps: The "B" stands for Benefit

| 9/9/2013 11:49:00 AM

Almost everyone seems to be “green” these days. From banks and carpet cleaning companies to manufacturers of branded products, a large percentage of companies (70 percent according to MIT) are making environmentally friendly claims. The green bandwagon is getting bigger and bigger by the day. While we take in thousands of brand impressions and clever corporate messages every day, it is getting increasingly difficult to sift through the claims and understand who is making legitimate efforts in sustainability. The reality is that sales of products featuring sustainable messaging are on the rise and most companies want a piece of the action.

So how can you be sure that you are choosing a company that is authentic in its commitment to you, its employees, its community, and to the planet?

B Corp logoSmart consumers are asking questions like: Would this company be socially and environmentally responsible if it wasn’t important to consumers? But even if you ask the right questions, it is really difficult to find the difference between “good companies” and good marketing.

Enter B Corps. The B stands for benefit. Benefit Corporations have chosen to be put through a rigorous impact assessment regarding their workers, suppliers, customers, community, governance and environmental impact. The impact assessment is a dynamic online questionnaire where a score from 0 to 200 is tabulated in real time. To reach certification status you must have a score of 80 or higher. All applicants are obligated to upload various corporate documents as well as company literature and policies ranging from employee handbooks to supply chain strategies.  

Once your assessment is complete a representative from B Lab (the governing non-profit for B Corp Certification) reviews the assessment with you. Even though this isn’t the official audit committee, the representative skillfully challenges the answers on the assessment and adjusts your score accordingly.   More than 8,000 companies have used the assessment tool, yet there are fewer than 800 Certified B Corps.

A little more about B Corps: