More and more companies are interested in becoming part of the BCorp community and even obtaining this certification. BCorp certification is a sign of a high commitment to social and environmental impact. This contributes to a good brand image with all stakeholders: suppliers, customers, employees or potential employees, investors... At Monnou, part of the team is accredited as Multiplier B to accompany brands in this process.
In this story, we explain the B movement, what the B Impact Assessment and certification process consists of, what controversies there are, and what the value of being part of this community is.
What is the origin of the BCorp movement? It was born from the partners of a company that applied social and sustainability practices. These practices were part of the company's culture. However, there came a time when the company had to be acquired by an investment fund, and its new owners did not see value in these sustainable business practices.
The former partners of this company realized how quickly these sustainable practices could fade away when the company changes ownership, if they are not very well justified. They therefore created the BLab Foundation, with the aim of providing a method to safeguard these positive impact practices in companies. To do this, it was necessary to establish rigorous standards and an evaluation methodology that would make it possible to justify the real impact of each action.
To obtain BCorp certification means that good business practices will not depend on the will of the company's decision-makers. Therefore, to become a BCorp it is necessary:
The main tool that the BCorp community makes available to companies is the B Impact Assessment platform. It is a tool that can be used by any company, and that helps to make strategic decisions and improve its impact, regardless of whether it wants to opt for certification.
B Corp's sustainability impact assessment currently covers five areas:
Throughout these five areas, two things are considered: company operations and Impact Business Models. Impact Business Models will be discussed later: what they are, what they consist of and how to design these sustainable business models. Typically, a company will have between 1 and 3 Impact Business Models. The rest of its score in the assessment will correspond to its operations, i.e. how the company performs in each of the areas.
The B Impact Assessment is based on the standards set by the B Corp community. These standards are currently in the process of being updated. The next standards will probably start to be applied in 2025. They will be more demanding and will cover aspects that are outside the current standards. For example, the environmental impact of the digital world is likely to be addressed. In previous stories we have talked about the impact of digital design and the digital actions of our brands.
In the B Corp certification process, the first step is, of course, to rigorously perform the B Impact Assessment. As we were saying, this assessment is a very useful tool for our companies even if we do not intend to obtain the certification. Once the assessment has been carried out, and we have a score above 80 points, to start the certification process we must send it to BLab. Certification involves the payment of fees that depend on the country and the company's turnover. The fees for Spain can be seen on the BLab Spain website.
Companies that decide to become part of the BCorp community are embarking on a path of transformation. They are committing to use the power of business as a tool to generate positive impact.
The BCorp movement is not without controversy. Doubts have arisen regarding the value of the certification in relation to other seals and certifications. There is also criticism of the fact that certain companies considered polluting or harmful have been able to become certified. Like everything else, the BCorp movement is not perfect, but it is a very useful way to move towards the Triple Positive Impact, for several reasons:
Transparency that allows us to move forward collectively.
The BCorp movement is transparent in its practices and makes its member companies transparent as well. Companies must publish the results of their B Impact Assessment in order to be certified. This helps us all, on the one hand, to make a diagnosis of the impact of these companies, and thus ensure that they are committed. And on the other hand, to understand the state of our sector and give us ideas on how we can move forward in our company.
Impact Assessment B is very rigorous.
As mentioned, it is a very useful tool at a strategic level. But it is also a very rigorous process that makes it possible to ensure that if a company has really been certified, it is because it is making very important commitments to sustainability.
Belonging to a global community.
BCorp is a global and international certification. It is recognized in many countries, and also covers a wide range of social, environmental and good governance aspects. It also contemplates the fact that brands have other seals, such as FSC or Fairtrade. All this in a single seal.
Even so, BCorp goes beyond being a certification, as seen below.
Strengthen the internal culture of the organization.
Being part of the B movement and using the B Impact Assessment strengthens the organizational culture and incorporates sustainability into the company's DNA. People increasingly want to work in committed companies such as BCorp. In our case, at Monnou we offer a series of programs that facilitate the transformation and development of this internal culture.
Community and co-creation.
BCorp is a community of people and organizations that cooperate and establish alliances to co-design new proposals and have a better impact. To be B is to be part of a larger community where you can find customers, suppliers and other alliances aligned with our vision. And where all people and companies help each other.
Being a BCorp is a long road; it is a marathon, not a sprint. Walking this path with a partner is easier and facilitates the journey. For this reason, part of the Monnou team has been accredited as a Multiplier B to, with our methodology, help you to do it.
Want to learn more about how we can help you on the BCorp movement path?