This Way Forward: Creating lasting change through B Corp

Amy Bourbeau, Cofounder and Chief Impact Officer at Seismic explores how businesses can start the journey toward B Corp certification and the power that collective action has in driving improvements.

This Way Forward: Creating lasting change through B Corp

Image; Seismic

The B Corp movement is rapidly growing, with over 250,000 businesses using the framework to measure their social and environmental impact, and more than 8,000 certified businesses globally. B Corp has quickly become the gold standard certification, harnessing the power of business to create a more equitable and sustainable global society.

What is B Corp?

B Corp is a movement, a framework, a community, and a certification. A certified B Corp is a business that meets exceptional standards of social and environmental performance.

At the centre of the movement is The B Impact Assessment (BIA), a free online management tool used to measure, understand and improve sustainable performance across five impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. In each impact area, questions are weighted with scores, and for those businesses who choose to pursue certification, a score of 80 points or higher must be met and verified.

At Seismic, we support businesses in using the B Corp framework to create business value from the outset, through certification and beyond. As edie’s sustainability partner, we were so proud to celebrate their recent certification with an incredible score of 103.3 points, and have helped many organisations to do the same.

Alongside edie, some of the world’s best-known brands have achieved B Corp certification, such as innocent Drinks, The White Company, and Octopus Group. A household brand we’re all familiar with, Jamie Oliver Group, is proud to have recently recertified with an impressive 101.1 points. Their Head of Social Impact and Sustainability, Alison Corfield, shares what she finds to be the most powerful aspect of the movement: “The power of B Corp is that it brings together the entire business, across different areas, teams and priorities. It encourages the business to work as one, creating a feeling of communal action and a purpose that all employees care about. At Jamie Oliver Group, we are all proud to be part of that journey to making a real impact.”

Certified B Corps and companies who prioritise sustainability efforts see tangible and commercial benefits across the board, including investor attraction, higher quality and quantity of candidates and significant growth rates, with a 26% growth rate for B Corps vs the national average of 5% between 2017 and 2020.

For businesses seeking certification, they need to reach the 80-point threshold on the BIA and amend their company’s Articles of Association to commit to considering stakeholders in all decisions and actions made on your company’s behalf. If you’re interested in learning more about the certification process, check out our Are You Ready to B Corp guide.

B Corp Month: The power of collective action

One of the most compelling aspects of B Corp is the community at its heart. With Working Groups, B Socials and opportunities to collaborate, the community works on the principle that no single business or entity can solve the world’s most pressing problems. B Corps band together to share best practices and advocate for systemic change, magnifying their impact and inspiring others to follow suit.

Every March, the B Corp community comes together for B Corp Month, to celebrate the movement and reflect on its growth and achievements. This year’s theme, This Way Forward, is championing progress and continuous improvement. It is the perfect time to consider how your business plans to keep growing its impact and improve on its current performance.

At a time of social and environmental crisis, political turmoil and an economic recession, it can be incredibly overwhelming to know how to take action. At Seismic, we have been delighted to hold, take part in and co-host many events and collaborations this March, celebrating This Way Forward and continuously asking our community and stakeholders what more we can do.

How to join the movement

There are many ways to get involved with the B Corp community. For businesses, obtaining certification is a tangible way to demonstrate your commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

As individuals, choosing to work with and purchase from brands and businesses that are certified or are committed to improving their impact, sends a powerful message to the business community – that we value those businesses who care for people and planet as well as profit.

Through collective action, innovation and a commitment to purpose-driven business, B Corps are leading the way toward a more sustainable future. As we continue to create action that drives the business community forward, we can use the power of B Corp to instil inspiration and action within our organisations. Ultimately, doing the right thing for people and the planet is the only choice we have. Change is the only way forward.

To get started on your B Corp journey, or learn more about the certification, get in touch with a B Corp expert at Seismic.

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