Home Green Business B Corp Sustainability and Certification

B Corp Sustainability and Certification

B Corp Sustainability and Certification


B Corps and Sustainability

Company sustainability has change into one of the common administration paradigms for companies.

It’s an alternative choice to the normal progress and profit-maximization mannequin. Whereas company sustainability acknowledges that company progress and profitability are essential, it additionally requires the necessity to pursue societal targets, particularly these referring to environmental safety, social justice and fairness, and financial growth.

Company sustainability is commonly related to defending the planet and Earth’s scarce assets. Initiatives embrace addressing local weather change by shifting to renewable vitality sources. However company sustainability goes properly past simply defending the surroundings. A sustainable enterprise is one which additionally has societal and financial targets as well as these environmental targets. It’s a enterprise technique that balances long-term progress and revenue with the safety of and caring about individuals and the planet. A company sustainability technique will stability objective with revenue and stability the wants of staff, prospects and society with the wants of shareholders.

Fascinated about the definition of a sustainable enterprise, based in 2006, B-Labs, the non-profit enterprise behind the B Corp certification, has been evaluating how sustainable companies are by utilizing a set of standards that considers the general influence an organization has on its staff, prospects, neighborhood, and the surroundings — in any other case often called an organization’s stakeholders.

Wherease a typical enterprise considers revenue as the underside line; B Corps add two extra key components — individuals and planet — to create a “triple backside line”.

25 Suggestions For Managing an ESG Program

A information on tips on how to create the sustainability outcomes you envision and examine off all of the steps within the course of alongside the best way.


Subjects embrace Laying the Basis, Launching the Program, Environmental Initiatives, Social Accountability Initiatives, Embracing Accountability, Celebrating Success, Finishing a Certification, and Making a Advertising and marketing Plan.

B Corp Certification

B Corp Certification designates a enterprise meets the excessive requirements of verified efficiency, accountability, and transparency on components from worker advantages and charitable giving to provide chain practices and enter supplies.

The scope contains 5 main areas: Governance, Employees, Group, Atmosphere, and Prospects. Adherence to the necessities are assessed and verified by B Lab, a non-profit company that certifies B Companies.

B Company certification establishes very excessive requirements of social and environmental efficiency, public transparency, and authorized accountability that could be tough for some companies to fulfill. Firms making use of should endure a rigorous certification course of and meet an extended record of great circumstances. The B Corp certification seems at operations – masking an organization’s day-to-day actions – and enterprise fashions – which should be designed to create an extra constructive influence. Sadly, not each firm has the assets and funds to fulfill the requirements, confirm compliance and full the audits required. Firms contemplating B Corp certification can full the evaluation as a primary step to see in the event that they qualify and to raised perceive their compliance hole. They might uncover that their governance procedures, buyer processes and sustainability practices fall quick. However the evaluation wouldn’t be wasted as it might allow an organization to set future targets and set up a roadmap to compliance.

Advantages of Sustainability Certifications & B Corp Designation

The advantages of sustainability certifications for enterprise go properly past a score, a seal or certificates of proof. The method itself turns into a journey to create a inexperienced company tradition and a extra sustainable, socially accountable enterprise. A sustainability certification program engages staff and drives company-wide dedication and objective. It establishes three pillars of sustainable company growth:

  • ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: Firms can enhance their environmental sustainability by decreasing their carbon footprint, decreasing waste and wasteful practices, eliminating plastics and air pollution.
  • SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: The social accountability pillar consists of practices that profit the corporate’s staff, shoppers, and the broader neighborhood. Practices can enhance a model’s social sustainability by treating staff properly, paying them pretty and making a tradition of variety, fairness and inclusion.
  • GOVERNANCE: The financial, or governance pillar refers to sustaining trustworthy and clear accounting practices and regulatory compliance. Firms can enhance their board make-up, company reporting and buyer transparency.

A sustainability program contains environmental and social initiatives that aren’t simply one-off ways. They’ll construct upon one another and assist to make sure eco-friendly and socially-responsible packages are ingrained into every a part of the corporate. Sustainability certification may also do extra than simply present a brand new speaking level for enterprise homeowners. Bettering sustainability efficiency can lower your expenses, improve gross sales and boosts a model’s aggressive edge. In reality, 48% of U.S. shoppers would change shopping for habits to scale back their environmental influence and 86% of US shoppers anticipate corporations to behave on social and environmental points collectively.

Why B Corp Sustainability Certification Issues

As mentioned above, the pursuit of B Corp certification will create a purpose-driven tradition and a extra socially accountable firm. The ultimate official certification may be very useful in that it provides your organization the popularity it deserves for being sustainable. It not solely demonstrates your dedication to staff and companions internally, however it verifies your sustainability to prospects and the neighborhood. That is particularly essential when prospects require or favor to work with verifiably sustainable companies. The B Corp designation is a good way to speak your dedication to sustainability in a reputable approach.

Different third Get together Sustainability Certifications

Along with B Corp sustainability certification, there are a number of choices for an organization to confirm and talk its sustainability accomplishments. Different common certification organizations embrace LEED, ISO, and Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau.


U.S. Inexperienced Constructing Council (USGBC) Management in Power and Environmental Design (LEED) is probably the most well-known and prolific inexperienced constructing certification system in the USA. Buildings which can be LEED licensed have been designed and constructed utilizing methods geared toward bettering efficiency in vitality effectivity, water effectivity, CO2emission discount, indoor air high quality and useful resource stewardship.

LEED is a wonderful certification supplier on your buildings, however that’s it. It doesn’t cowl all the opposite dimensions of being a sustainable enterprise together with administration of waste, air pollution, recycling, reuse, plastics, automobiles, commuting, supply, manufacturing, and so on. In different phrases, it’s helpful for guaranteeing your bodily workplaces and buildings are environmentally pleasant, however misses all the opposite essential components of being a sustainable enterprise. Take into account LEED as a secondary certification.

ISO 14001

ISO-Worldwide Group for Standardization has developed over 18,500 Worldwide Requirements on a wide range of topics. Of specific relevance is the ISO 14001 (environmental administration system). IS0 14001 maps out a framework that an organization or group can comply with to arrange an efficient environmental administration system. The ISO 14000 household of requirements are developed by the ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 207 and its varied subcommittees. For a full record of printed requirements within the collection see their requirements catalogue.

An ISO 14001 certification is properly revered and understood within the trade, however it’s a serious endeavor. The funds, time and assets required are vital and therefore ISO certifications are usually solely taken on by giant, mature, well-funded organizations.

Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau

The Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau program (GBB) is a strong program for serving to corporations change into extra sustainable and contains on-line EcoAssessment and EcoPlanner instruments and inexperienced enterprise certification. GBB contains over 500 environmental and social accountability initiatives and EcoPlans to think about and select from.

The GBB certification is probably the most automated and guided certification obtainable. The certification course of is completely on-line and initiative primarily based, so an organization will obtain factors for every exercise it has accomplished. Initiatives are very granular and well-defined and the GBB library is designed to seize your accomplished initiatives to offer you full credit score for all of your accomplishments. This even contains initiatives accomplished earlier than becoming a member of the GBB program. As extra initiatives are fulfilled over time, your EcoScore will increase, granting you the chance to achieve Gold and Platinum certification ranges.

Initiatives are organized by the enterprise space they influence, reminiscent of constructing, cafeteria, transportation or workplace supplies, and additional marked by the hassle, value and greening influence of the initiative. This straightforward however versatile construction ensures an organization can simply goal and implement the efforts that finest swimsuit the corporate’s wants and alternatives.

The GBB seal is well-recognized so member companies get constructive recognition of their dedication to sustainability and the surroundings. GBB gives a group of instruments and alternatives for member corporations to share, differentiate and to be acknowledged for his or her greening achievements with prospects, prospects, companions, regulators and communities alike. A ‘clickable‘ net seal takes prospects and staff to a private sustainability webpage that reveals a enterprise’s certification degree, whole factors, sustainability mission and accomplishments.

Is Inexperienced Certification Proper For Your Enterprise?

Get your copy of Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau’s in-depth have a look at the alternatives, advantages, market tendencies and enterprise case obtainable to greener companies.

See why inexperienced enterprise is sweet enterprise. Be taught how certification elevates your model and engages staff to create a inexperienced firm tradition.

Certification Program Comparisons

The B Corp and GBB packages are related in that they each set up social accountability, i.e. doing good as a precedence on your firm. They’re totally different in scope and focus, and understanding these variations will assist you choose the best program to pursue.

B Corp is broader in scope, evaluating the general influence of your corporation on the surroundings, prospects, staff, shareholders, and local people. GBB is extra targeted on sustainability and environmental initiatives. Each are comparable in that every program will give you a blueprint and a stable basis to trace and handle your social and environmental efficiency. That mentioned, an in depth evaluate of the packages makes it clear that the B Corp program is designed for corporations which have already absolutely invested to be clear leaders within the CSR area, whereas the GBB program gives a blueprint for the inexperienced and greening alike with a progress and enchancment mindset on the core of its ethos.

How B Corp Sustainability Certification Forces Firms to Enhance

A program targeted on sustainability could appear overwhelming at instances, particularly for small enterprise homeowners or small corporations who’re busy operating the ins and outs of their group. House owners would possibly wish to begin their sustainability journey or could already be properly on their approach however are not sure which route to take subsequent or tips on how to successfully talk their progress to stakeholders. That’s the place certification packages may help. A lot of these packages take the guesswork out of sustainability for companies and hone in on the precise areas the place their corporations will be capable to not solely make a distinction to the world, but in addition lower your expenses and entice extra prospects and companions.

Certification Drives Govt and Worker Involvement and Alignment

Profitable sustainability and greening efforts require govt management and skilled steering. Throughout the board, profitable inexperienced corporations cite two key components in driving their success: 1. Govt management and a couple of. Using a sound enterprise case framework. In response to a latest MIT Innovation Report, corporations with C-level executives driving their sustainability efforts are much more prone to successfully implement and revenue from their efforts. Additional, corporations using a transparent implementation framework that begins with a enterprise case are thrice extra prone to report success than those who don’t. A certification program is a good way to interact the manager crew and guarantee dedication to the method. In a remaining report of an eight-year research of how companies handle sustainability from MIT Sloan Administration Evaluate, researchers discovered that 90% of executives see sustainability as essential however solely 60% of corporations have a sustainability technique and have taken actual motion past just a few stand-alone initiatives.

Certification Drives Worker Engagement and Creates a Sustainable Tradition

The certification course of for enterprise is a wonderful option to interact staff and get extra individuals concerned in driving sustainability initiatives. Third get together certification suppliers just like the Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau usually present on-line functions which can be simple, versatile and efficient in rallying the workforce. Firms are sometimes scored on every inexperienced exercise they full. In a approach, this virtually gamifies the method and helps drive a tradition that cares extra concerning the planet, the local people and society. Certification packages may also present finest practices and step-by-step pointers that guarantee companies can truly accomplish the mandatory duties to execute a brand new inexperienced program.

Sustainable Enterprise Certification Drives Income

Beginning the certification course of early in your sustainable business trip results in inexperienced enterprise practices that drive innovation and profitability. There are tangible enterprise advantages that certification packages uncover. As such, the large upside of greening offsets the price of investing in inexperienced initiatives.

Supporting this view, a latest Accenture CEO Research on Sustainability reported 99% of huge firm CEOs agreed that “sustainability points are essential to the long run success of their companies.” Being a sustainable firm elevates your model and appeals to a bigger viewers together with a brand new buyer base preferring to purchase from “good” corporations. One other Accenture research that checked out 6000 shoppers discovered that whereas these shoppers stay primarily targeted on high quality and value, 83% consider it’s essential or extraordinarily essential for corporations to design merchandise that should be reused or recycled, proving the affect the eco-conscious shopper has in at present’s market.

Executives and managers have additionally seen vital value financial savings and waste discount from new sustainability initiatives uncovered within the certification course of. Moreover, regardless of the generally held perception that pursuing sustainability is solely a long-term technique, analysis reveals there are tangible, short-term enhancements inside operations and revenue. Oxford College and Arabesque Companions carried out a meta-study entitled From the stockholder to the stakeholder primarily based on an in depth evaluation of greater than 200 totally different sources. The research discovered that 88% of corporations with stable sustainability practices had higher operational efficiency.

Get Began on Your Sustainability Journey

In the event you’re prepared to start or proceed your sustainability journey, we’d like to be your accomplice alongside the best way. Getting began on inexperienced certification with Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau is a simple and inexpensive option to present your prospects and neighborhood that you simply care about sustainability. It’s additionally a good way to begin your journey in direction of B Corp certification. Many Inexperienced Enterprise Bureau members go on to change into B Corp licensed along with being Inexperienced BUsiness Bureau licensed.

To study extra or change into a member, take a look at GreenBusinesBureau.com at present.



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