Impact Assessment is a standard test used to evaluate profit companies as socially responsible, sustainable, and environmentally respectful. The test asks a multitude of questions regarding a business’s standards of social and environmental performance and is conducted by a non-profit organization. Answers to the assessment increase or decrease your chance of successfully obtaining a B Corp Certificate.
Throughout the Assessment, there are major frameworks that categorize the points needed to succeed in the corps movement. At Sandbox Centre, we work closely with new businesses to partner them with peers to help you maneuver this framework. Here, we’ll more closely examine major themes in this framework.
Understanding Impact Assessment Framework and How it Works
A simple search for impact assessment framework produces hundreds of images depicting graphs and charts. These are meant to encourage certified B Corporation compliance with transparency, social awareness, and local community support. Some of the major themes you’ll witness in these frameworks include:
- Planning and Institutional Modification
- Research and Improvements to an Enabling Environment
- Training and Economic Impact
- Productivity and Social Impact
- Innovation and Environmental Impact
These are organized into the infrastructure of input, activity, and output. The input being resources and funding you put into your goal, the activity being practical efforts to achieve a goal, and the output being external efforts to reach a goal. This leads to short-term outcomes and long-term impacts.
For example, in the area of training, perhaps a business inputs a meeting space, actively trains new recruits, and outputs new online training materials. The short-term outcome is an increase in newly trained professionals, and the long-term impact is improved employee relations and community reputation.
Current Standards and New Methodologies: Which is Right for You?
In the past, impact assessments have been aimed toward the discovery of carbon footprints, ecosystem protection, air pollution, water usage, and other statistics. In modern businesses, we see this regularly with emissions testing and watershed level reports.
Now, new methodologies have been created to survey the impact businesses have on a social level. To earn B Corp Certification, companies are creating employee training programs, community outreach initiatives, and sourcing from local merchants to become a force for good. These social enterprises are marking a path for a new generation of entrepreneurs and big businesses trying to meet the highest standards of accountability and transparency.
Looking at the past and current standards, which set feels right for you? If you want to pass the B Corp Assessment with the necessary 80 points, or more, out of 200, you have the best chance for success by embracing both. Impact Assessments look at all the ways a company benefits the global community in terms of environmental, social, and economic impact.
Becoming B Corp Certified Through B Lab
A non-profit, B Lab was founded in 2006 and supports businesses focused on improving the community and the environment. The organization awards its B Corp Certification to for-profit businesses who achieve the highest standards of social, environmental and economic growth.
Businesses completing the Impact Assessment have a chance to achieve this status only if they prove their value as a sustainable and responsible organization. Answers made on the Assessment must be backed up by official documentation.
If your company falls short on the assessment, it’s not necessarily game over. There are many ways to improve yourself for further assessment. Use the major frameworks listed above to determine where changes need to be made. For example, if you find your business lacks the local outreach required to get ahead on B Corp points, consider investing in community events, supporting a local sports team, or creating employment opportunities through your business specifically for locals, women, students, or those in rehabilitation programs.
Get Support with Sandbox Centre
As an Ontario-based company, Sandbox Centre strives to uplift the Central Ontario economy and support those looking to start-up or expand. At Sandbox, we connect people and their ideas to business resources. We have a focus on Social Innovation, Women in Business, Professional Development, Startups & Scaleups as well as the larger global economy.
Sandbox Centre also offers plenty of opportunities for learning and advancement with guest speakers, programs, and networking events. If you’re interested in learning more about Sandbox Centre, or your start-up is looking for help becoming B Corp Certified, contact us today. You can find Sandbox Centre at 24 Maple Avenue 2nd floor 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. We’re always excited to see new up and comers in the community and will do our best to help you shine.