The B Corp Certificate

The top award for sustainable enterprise
PostedMarch 04, 2015, in  Step 8: sustainable society
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B Corps are steadily gaining ground. These companies meet the high social and ecological requirements, take responsibility, are transparent about their activities and make a profit too. A respectable label and so the B Corps certificate is becoming increasingly popular. What does the certification process entail?  


Online assessment

There’s a reason why self-insight is regarded as ‘the beginning of wisdom’. Every organization that wants can assess itself free of charge using the online assessment tool. A useful instrument for discovering how a company is performing at social and environmental level. 200 points can be earned; those who score at least 80 may apply. 


These applications are handled by The Lab of B Corp in the United States. They evaluate applications from all over the world. It goes like this:

  1. First a review call with The Lab is set up. They will ask questions about the context and set up of the company: why are you in this business at all; what is the (social) impact; how are corporate activities accounted for? The results of the self-assessments are often the reason to go deeper into them.
  2. Based on this call The Lab will ask for documentation to be sent that will in turn be verified. Where necessary, extra explanation or documentation will be requested.
  3. With a score of at least 80 verified points a company will be awarded the coveted B Corp certificate. This predicate is valid for 2 years. For this, the company is expected to pay an annual fee. Random, interim audits are held. For now mostly in the United States, Europe will follow soon.
  4. After two years, the certificate must be renewed, again that starts with the self-assessment. That is not a repetition of moves, because the self-assessment is also evaluated. Based on feedback, research and frameworks (e.g. GRI, cradle to cradle etc.) the self-assessment is kept up-to-date and relevant.   
  5. At B Corps transparency is paramount. For every B Corp the assessment scores, with all details, are accessible to the public. This is not a non-binding request, but a condition. Transparency is crucial. 


European variant

B Corps have been conceptually developed by companies with an American basis. You can see that in the questionnaire that is used for the assessment. Ideal for American companies; less suitable for European. To solve that, a European variant is now being developed. And that is completely in keeping with the B Corps philosophy: there is always room for improvement. Business is development.   

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PostedMarch 04, 2015, in Step 8: sustainable society
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