When a company considers becoming B Corp Certified, they must first undergo something called an Impact Assessment. This survey evaluates the physical, sociological, and financial impact your company has on the world around it. To successfully achieve the status of a B Corp, companies must score 80 points or more out of the 200 points available.
Questions for the assessment range from, “which community do you mainly share your environmental audits with?” to, “how much of your management evaluation is designated to environmental and social targets?” How you answer these questions determines your eligibility for B Corp status and your business’ ability to not only create an income, but also be of value to the community, consumers, and your employees.
The assessment essentially measures what matters most to your brand and whether it corresponds with the needs of the global community. So, how do you know what matters most and how to increase your relevance in these areas to successfully achieve status as a B Corp? Sandbox Centre is a company created with the intention of helping businesses connect with the resources they need to get ahead. One of the ways we help our clients is by providing the information and connections to gain B Corp certification. If you’re interested in learning about the B Corps movement and how it can improve your company, read on.
Focusing on social impact
One of the focuses of the B Corp Assessment is social impact and how socially responsible your brand is. Many companies hoping to ace the Impact Assessment seek ways to improve their influence on the people around them. There are many ways to do this, including committing to the claims you make on your website and documentation.
Public businesses are obligated to increase profits for their shareholders but aren’t on the hook for successfully achieving a triple bottom line. By fully committing to this effort through your official company documents, mission statement, and articles of incorporation you make social impact a priority. This is a big move, gaining you up to 7.5 points on your Impact Assessment.
Of course, having proof of your company’s involvement in local community, charity, and even internal employee support programs all counts toward the points earned in this category.
The sustainability of a business also matters on the assessment, both regarding how likely it is your company will last and how it encourages the perpetual health and growth of its community and the planet. Focusing on environmental protection and inclusion are great ways to improve your current sustainability evaluation. Some topics explored in the sustainability section of the assessment are:
- Gender equality
- Eco-friendly optimization
- Ethical business practices
- Energy efficiency
As you begin your journey toward B Corp certification, you will find a plethora of resources to support you in your endeavours. Here at Sandbox Centre for example, we can connect you to other B Corp businesses to find out how they successfully achieved sustainability points on the assessment. Our forthcoming B Corp Cohort will be available to a limited set of participants who are interested in
Taking responsibility for your choices, practices, and actions as a business is called corporate (or corp) responsibility. It falls under multiple umbrellas within the Impact Assessment and requires your company to meet the highest standards of accountability and transparency to stakeholders, employees, and the global community.
If you’re nervous that the B Impact Assessment will measure your corp responsibility status as low, it might be a good time to focus on formalizing internal policies affecting your employees. Only choosing suppliers from the local communities in which your businesses reside, for example, is one way to make a responsible and sustainable choice for your business. By formalizing this as a company-wide policy, you cement it as law.
The non-profit B Lab needs to see proof of all policies reflecting your answers on the assessment. If you’re unable to supply this documentation, it could result in a low score.
Making big improvements overall
B Corp Certified companies become part of a chain of companies across the country, working together and separately. Using business as a force of good encourages peer support. Aside from the external resources you’ll earn over the course of the B Corps movement, you can improve your assessment by paying close attention to analytics and metrics. Some of the metrics that could impact your score include:
- How much energy your company consumes?
- How much water your company uses?
- How much money goes back into the local community?
- How many employee programs are in place for personal growth, training, and education?
If you’re interested in achieving B Corp status and want to know more about getting your start-up involved, we invite you to visit Sandbox Centre here on the 2nd floor at 24 Maple Avenue in Barrie, Ontario and join the Sandbox community on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Keep an eye out on our events page for coming B Corp & Social Enterprise events. We’re partnered with SENCO an initiative of Georgian College’s Centre for Changemaking & Social Innovation (CCSI) who inspire, connect and equip those looking to engage in social enterprise to face cultural, environmental and social challenges in our region. Check out their events page for sessions like Social Enterprise 101 and screenings of the Social Shift movie.