If you’re just starting to discover B-Corp, it can be difficult to understand what the movement is all about.
You may have even seen a few social media posts and still don’t know why your business should become certified or what benefits being part of it has. In this article, we’ll deconstruct exactly what B-Corp stands for and uncover a few of the not-so-obvious benefits we found by doing our assessment.
NB: We are still in the submission phase, we are not yet B-Corp certified. In this article, we want to share our experience gained so far in the hope that it inspires someone to get started.
What is a B-Corporation?
In short, B-Corp is an accreditation given to for-profit companies that demonstrate high standards of social and environmental practices. This movement is founded on the idea that business is the most powerful agent of positive change for people, community, and the planet.
Our most challenging problems cannot be solved by governments and nonprofits alone. By harnessing the power of business, B-Corps commit to positively impact all stakeholders – workers, communities, customers, and our planet.B-Lab UK
To become certified, businesses must complete a comprehensive assessment across areas such as energy consumption, waste disposal, employee ethics, diversity, and community engagement. They must give detailed proof of their claims, ensuring that they are held accountable for the information provided.
This process is time-consuming, requiring a lot of internal investigation and admin work – So why would we, and over 6000 other businesses globally, want to go to all this trouble? We’ll explain our reasons below…
What are the benefits of being B-Corp?
It doesn’t feel necessary to explain the benefits of bringing positive social and environmental practices into our businesses, so we won’t spend time discussing that here. Instead, we want to share some of the other, less-obvious benefits we’ve found by going through the assessment.
It gives us a clear plan for improvement
Most of us feel a responsibility to better the world, but making a difference through our individual actions can feel seriously overwhelming. Working through the assessment process has given us an actionable list to focus on, helping us to make positive changes as a business. Without this, we found it difficult to know which activities to focus on, leading to analysis paralysis…
We’ve learned so much from the process, and that it really doesn’t matter where you are starting from. Improvement is the only relevant factor.
Using “Business for Good” to support decision making
Every day, we are faced with making business decisions. As Papaya–Studio is a purpose-focused business, that is still for-profit, making the right decision can sometimes feel convoluted.
The B-Corp lens has given us additional criteria which act as a guide to evaluate our decision:
Have we considered diversity before using this supplier? Does this client align with our commitment to the environment? Can we use an independent, or female-owned bank instead?
These are just a few examples, but there is opportunity at every business decision for social and environmental stewardship – making small positive changes, simple.
Signalling to yourself and others that you’re committed
In a time of misinformation, we as consumers are often sceptical of green and positive claims by businesses.
For us, reaching B-Corp certification will stand as a recognised symbol of our commitment to making meaningful change. It is impossible to cheat or take shortcuts; so we believe that B-Corp stands as one of the most effective ways to show integrity as a business.
It’s important to show this for our customers, but more so, for ourselves. We wanted to be sure that we were embedding positive practices into our business, and not just talking about it.
Inspiring meet-ups and business socialising events
Usually, this is called Networking. However, it doesn’t feel like a fitting word for our experience of meeting with other purpose-focused people. Maybe it’s something to do with the big-picture purpose of your work, or maybe it’s the shared struggle of the assessment…
Either way, everyone we’ve met, whether it be virtually or in person, has been friendly, supportive and inspiring. The B-Corp movement has given us opportunities to network, partner and work with amazing people we may never have met otherwise.
Becoming a B-Corp
Any for-profit company can become a B-Corp, regardless of size or industry. From one person outfits to multi-nationals. In our experience, the smaller you are, the easier it is to implement change.
Should my business become a B-Corp?
This is entirely up to you – but we assume that like us, you have a desire for making the world a better place. The assessment process alone gave us a clear path to being a more positive business, with certification as an ideal end goal.
It’s not necessary to go for the accreditation, but just working through the assessment is beneficial to help you build positive practices into your work.
How do I start?
If you’re keen to use your business as a force for good, we wholeheartedly recommend using the free B-Impact Assessment Tool by B-Lab.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it, it takes a lot of time to work through. But by going through the full assessment you will be well on your way.
To support us through our journey, we enlisted the help of Andy Hawkins from Business on Purpose, who offers a couch-to-5k approach through the process. We can’t recommend Andy enough if you’re interested in getting all the way to certification yourself.
Taking the plunge into B-Corp has enabled us to not only understand our operations and sustainability more, but we are now showing the world that ethical business is of utmost importance to us.
Our journey is far from over, and we’re building lots of new processes – but it’s exciting to be part of a global movement towards embedding purpose into profit.
We hope to motivate at least one person with to look into the B-Corp through this article, and would be more-than-happy to help you take the first steps.
Improving your website? Start here.
Growth begins with data - Get a free performance audit.
We'll send you a comprehensive website health check across 9 key areas that make a successful website, plus a calculation of its carbon footprint.
Better yet? It's free... 🤫