Becoming a Certified B Corp: Steps to Social and Environmental Responsibility

Whether you manage a budding startup or an established corporation, you might want to show the world how your business takes care of the world around it. While anyone can make tall claims about corporate social responsibility, getting them verified by a third party adds another layer of credibility to your business.

That’s where a B Corp certification comes in. With this third-party certification for your business, you can establish how conscious you are about your organization’s environmental, social, and operational impact. This can help you get an edge over your competitors while also satisfying your conscience for doing what’s right.

Want to know more? Here is a quick guide to becoming a certified B Corp.

What is a Certified B Corp?

A certified B Corp is a commercial business that meets the standards of the nonprofit organization known as B Lab. As an independent entity, B Lab can assess your business’ environmental, social, and operational impact to see if it is maintaining the standards of accountability and transparency for various important categories. You can think of this as an extension of maintaining social justice in education, commerce, and research, among many other fields.

How do you become a certified B Corp?

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Your business can become a certified B Corp by meeting the B Lab assessment standards. But you don’t have to worry about generating hundreds of millions in revenue to become a certified B Corp. Instead, you can rest assured that businesses of any size can get this coveted certification with key steps like switching to renewable electricity plans.

While you can get more details about B Lab’s assessment factors by starting the official process on their website, getting and maintaining a B Corp certification usually involves the following steps:

Take care of stakeholders

Accountability is one of the main pillars of B Corp certification. Whether you use compliance management software or get audits done by a third party, you should make sure to show your responsibility towards all stakeholders in your business. This can yield interconnected benefits for you. For example, if you maintain your business’ integrity through ethical actions, you can encourage your customers to trust you more with their time and money. In turn, this improves your bottom line.

Maintain transparency

Transparency is another important part of B Corp. certification. This usually manifests in actions like issuing reports on your business’ commitment to racial equity and environmental justice. When you are open about the steps that you are currently taking, you can gather feedback through programs like a customer insights app. This can help you find a slew of effective ideas to become an even more ethical, sustainable, and socially impactful business that is committed to doing what’s right.

Be environmentally friendly

If one of your main goals is to become a part of eco-friendly business solutions that are making a difference in the world, a B Corp certification can help you achieve it in the long term. To maintain your status as a certified B Corp, you not only need to embrace environmentally friendly practices but also have to make sure that your business continues to follow them. This can make your business truly committed to saving the planet.

Maintain social impact awareness

Similar to committing to being an environmentally friendly business, B Corp certification also requires you to be aware of how your actions impact the communities tied to your organization. By using solutions like policy management software, you can ensure that you enact steps that make your actions more mindful of the people you serve, the ones who work for you, and the ones who feel the effect of your solutions. In the long term, this can make your business a positively powerful entity in your sector.

It takes time to become a B Corp

From learning how to build an inclusive workforce to knowing how to reduce your carbon footprint, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to become a certified B Corp. With that, the process typically takes around 12 months to be completed. But once you get the sought-after B Corp certification, you can stand out in your sector with a positive distinction.

Through these steps, you can ensure that your business follows best practices for better governance and accountability. In the long run, this can help you make the world a better place, one step at a time.



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