Is B Corp Legit?
Some critics say B Corp certification is greenwashing and there’s a risk that companies will stop improving once they achieve the status. It’s also expensive and based on self assessment so isn’t legally binding.
Consumers should still look for other things when choosing a business, like whether it’s using carbon offsets, supporting minority-owned businesses and so on.
What is a B Corp?
A B Corporation is a company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legal accountability and transparency. Companies earn the B Corp certification through a voluntary process and pay annual fees that scale with revenue to maintain it.
In order to become a B Corp, businesses must meet two criteria: first, they must perform at a high level on the B Impact Assessment, which is tailored for each industry and looks at a range of issues including workers, customers, community and the environment. Second, they must change their articles of incorporation to include a broader purpose than maximizing shareholder profit.
Being a B Corp can have many benefits for your business. It shows consumers you are committed to making a positive impact on the world, and it can also help attract like-minded employees. It also helps you build a more resilient and sustainable business model that can weather economic fluctuations. But the biggest benefit may be that it forces you to rethink your priorities and focus on what matters most.
How do B Corps get certified?
B Corps represent a new paradigm in business that prioritizes social and environmental performance alongside profits. The movement has gained traction as corporate governance, environmental and social issues rise to the forefront of boardroom agendas across the world.
In order to get certified, companies must complete the B Impact Assessment and meet the verification threshold of 80 points or higher. The company must also amend its articles of incorporation to enshrine their commitment to a broader societal purpose.
The certification process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for smaller businesses, but it’s important to note that non-profits and organizations that receive grants or donations are not eligible, as are companies in controversial industries like oil and mining. Once a company is certified, they must pay annual fees starting at $1000 and scaled by revenue to license the use of the B Corp logo.
Certified B Corps are a credible signal to consumers, employees and suppliers that the company is focused on improving its impacts. It can also open doors to capital and collaborations that might not otherwise be available.
What are the benefits of B Corp certification?
B Corp certification can help businesses become more competitive and attract the best employees. Research shows that employees are more productive at companies where they can work with a purpose and feel fulfilled in their jobs.
Companies that are certified as a B Corporation commit to using their profits to benefit the public and not just shareholders. They also must meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The process of becoming a certified B Corporation can take months or even years. Companies must undergo what is called the three pillars of certification: assessment, legal, and verification. The assessment includes evaluating how a company treats its workers, communities, and the environment. It also takes into account a company’s governance structures and policies. Once the assessment is completed, a company must complete its legal work and pay its annual fees. Then, an analyst will review the documentation and assess if the company has met the 80-point threshold.
Are there any criticisms of B Corp certification?
Like any certification process, B Corp isn’t without its critics. Some argue that the standards are too general and that they can be used to greenwash a business’s image. Others say that the process is too onerous and time consuming for smaller businesses. Still others complain that the standards aren’t legally enforceable and that there is too much self reporting.
Another criticism is that the certification doesn’t address a company’s culture, which is important in addressing ethical issues such as predatory workplace practices. This criticism was exemplified by BrewDog, who lost their B Corp status after a scandal over the brewer’s treatment of workers.
Despite its critics, the B Corp movement is growing rapidly. It is a valuable way to distinguish your business from other companies that are committed to balancing profit with purpose. However, it is important to note that being a B Corp does not make your business any more ethical or moral than other corporations.