The B Corp Movement A global cultural shift is in play which is designed to harness the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges and to build a more inclusive economy.
Tim Wookey is MD of amamus, a fast-growing B2B coffee company who achieved B Corp certification in April 2020. He shares his own experience, the benefits and the challenges. Nancy Hyne runs True Horizon who provide sustainability consultancy, advice and support services and achieved B Corp certification in July 2021. Nancy is also a B Leader, which means she is qualified to provide businesses with support in successfully approaching and completing B Corp certification.
Complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA) – online too. To get certified you need to score over 80 points across 5 categories. Categories are:
Governance (policies/how you operate as a business);
How you treat employees;
How you contribute to your local community;
Your environmental impacts; and
How you interact with your customers.
2. Verification process – an analyst reviews evidence
3. Sign the B Corp declaration
4. Pay the certification fee – tiered system based on turnover
5. Make a legal change to your company’s documents – e.g. change articles of association /partnership agreement. Essentially you are saying your business exists to provide benefits to more than just shareholders and you are having a material positive impact to people and planet – not just for profit.
B Corp benefits
Faster growth in turnover and employee headcount and higher expectations about future growth
Greater levels of employee’s retention, engagement, and diversity
More robust governance processes
Greater focus on civic and community engagement
Higher levels of innovations
Tips from a B Leader
Don’t forget about the legal bit – getting buy in and updating documents all takes time.
Check your track – different industries/size of business can go through the process due to the different tracks available. When you first set up your BIA you will be asked questions to help identify your track.
It’s not supposed to be easy. It’s designed to challenge you. Many companies talk about the benefits they received before they get to the certification process. It will enhance your business and be rewarding.
Share the load – you need support from different people in your business to contribute to this. You want alignment, so need to build a team to contribute – it should not be left to one team member.
It’s worth it. The whole process has been described as beneficial to business. Plus being part of the B Corp community means you are part of collaboration and sharing opportunities.
B Local – can get a closer-knit community aside from the global opportunities.
How long does it take?
Small business - approximately 6 months
Large business - approximately 2 years.
Currently can take 8 months from the point of submitting to becoming certified as they have seen such an increase in popularity.
£1200 annual fee to stay part of the arrangement (fee is based on turnover)
Idea that you need to be a continually improving business
Tracking of data – lots of it!
Need to have been trading for at least 12 months (or else there is a B Corp trending route)
It’s not for charities/not for profits.
These notes were taken from a webinar that Tim Wookey and Nancy Hyne delivered for us in March 2022.