B Corporation (B Corp) certification is an international standard for the 21st century that is redefining success in business. The focus of the B Corp movement is people using business as a force for good. B Corp’s are better companies, striving to make changes in the world, for their employees, communities and the environment. B Corp’s are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. B Corp’s all have a united goal of providing accountability, transparency, and creation of measurable positive impact within communities while maintaining financial returns.
There are other international organizations like B Corp such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). These organizations provide certifications and proof that a company’s products or services meet internationally recognized standards for quality, safety and reliability. B Corp certification is proof that a company is meeting internationally recognized standards in employee treatment, fair trade suppliers, carbon emissions, power consumption reductions, in customer support and community engagement, over the long-term and beyond profits. This helps contractors to align their marketing to their changing customer base and align with insurance providers who are already jumping on board with the B Corp movement.
There are 2,504 B Corps spanning over 50+ countries and 130 industries worldwide, and the number is growing every day with new businesses embracing the philosophy of a global economy. Some noteworthy B Corp’s include Etsy, Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Natura, Reitmeier, and Seventh Generation.
The official B Corp. certification logo. Photos courtesy of Credit Benefect
B Corp’s all follow a declaration of interdependence, and the fundamentals of the declaration are:
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
As our company has been working through the B Corp certification process, it has become abundantly clear that taking the step to become a B Corp, is a good one for all distributors, contractors and educators in the restoration and remediation industry to consider adding to their business’ arsenal. It provides our customers with the peace of mind that they are investing their money into companies that are doing good things. It is also beneficial to our contractor partners because they can secure current and new business through presenting a transparent and community focused business model.
Social responsibility icons to represent the values of B Corporation companies. Photos courtesy of Credit Benefect
Why Go B Corp. in Restoration and Remediation?
There is no better alignment than B Corp. for the restoration and remediation industry. In the restoration and remediation industry, we pride ourselves on fixing things that aren’t right and returning individuals’ homes, businesses, etc. to the condition they were in prior to a tragic or unexpected event occurring. We take pride in helping our communities and environments and becoming a B Corp. is just another way we can share our great work within our communities.
Building community is building a customer base. In the restoration and remediation industry, it is important to balance the needs of our employees and customers, and the insurers’ customers. Many contractor groups and distributors are already focused on community engagement through their mission statements and the work they do. Many groups give back to restoration projects and contributions of time through volunteer work to help areas affected by natural disasters. Many organizations in this industry are already doing the things we should be doing to help build and grow sustainable communities through fundraising, support and business partnerships, so why not celebrate these accomplishments by becoming certified as a B Corp? We can show the world that this industry is a B Corp. industry.
Today’s workforce values different things from their employers when selecting places to develop their careers. Becoming B Corp. certified shows potential candidates that the companies they are choosing to work for are responsible, transparent, and fair. LinkedIn and Imperative produced “The Largest Global Study on the Role of Purpose in the Workforce” in 2016, and from the data presented, the workforce of today and future generations are interested in working for companies that operate with a focus on purpose. Research from the EY Beacon Institute and Harvard Business School shows that companies that lead with purpose are more likely to be profitable. In the past three years, 58% of companies with a clearly articulated and understood purpose experienced growth of +10%.
As North America’s largest companies are also feeling the need to transition to the new market demands, they will require the same positioning statements from their service providers as a part of B Corp standards. So, if a contractor wants to get work or to continue to get work from the larger companies, they will need to be ready to quantify their efforts and commitments. And if they want to continue to receive jobs from B Corp insurers, the same will be required from them too. There’s no better way to accomplish this than with a B Corp certification.
Currently there are over 20 insurance providers certified as B Corp’s including Vantreo Insurance Brokerage, Simply Business, Huddle, Centor Insurance and Risk Management Ltd, Lemonade Inc., G2 Insurance Services, Griswold and Griswold Insurance Agency, NRG Insurance and others. As more insurance providers recognize that 80 percent of 13-25-year-olds want to work for a company that cares about its impacts and today’s consumer wants to put their money into a company that aligns with their personal values, this number is sure to increase.
How to Become A B Corp. Today
For both large and small companies alike, the process for becoming a B Corp. is the same, however, it can be a lengthier process depending on the size of your company. There are three steps to becoming certified.
- Complete the B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points.
- Meet legal requirements as a company. Determine the path for your corporate structure and state of incorporation. Submit supporting documents for assessment call and complete the review. Submit any other necessary supporting documentation, disclosure statements and background checks.
- Make your certification official! Sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence and Term Sheet.
- Tell the world about your accomplishments!
The process costs vary, and can be $500 to $50,000/year, based on company revenues. Some tips for getting certified and best-practices from B Corp companies include:
- Designate someone to take the lead on the certification process
- Leverage members of the entire staff team to gain access to the right data and subject matter experts
- Prioritize the certification process, do not let it drag on
- Compile documentation as you work through the assessment phases
- Recognize that it takes time to improve B Corp scores, and to answer all questions during the assessment truthfully and conservatively
- Spend time during the process educating your staff about the importance of B Corp. certification and celebrate the accomplishments
- Leverage any community resources that may be able to help you through the process (local Business Improvement Areas, local non-profit service enterprises, other already certified B Corps, etc.)
If all companies in restoration and remediation became B Corporations, we would be able to seamlessly provide help and support to each of the communities in which we reside, work and serve. There would be a central place internationally for all industry professionals to remain connected, and up-to-date on industry-wide best practices and share knowledge with one another.
R&R companies becoming B Corp certified is a good way to measure, review and evaluate the social and environmental effects of infrastructure projects and other developmental initiatives. Although Social Impact Assessments (SIA) are typically applied to planned interventions, the same techniques can be used to evaluate the social impact of unplanned events, for example disasters, demographic changes and epidemics.
A program highlighting the successes of individuals involved in the B Corporation movement. Visit https://bthechange.com for more information. Photos courtesy of Credit Benefect
To find out more about certification, current certified companies, and become a part of the ‘B Hive’ please visit https://www.bcorporation.net/. For stories about B Corporations and the changes they are making in the world, visit https://bthechange.com/. To get started on your B Impact Assessment, please visit https://bimpactassessment.net/bcorporation. Join the movement today!
Data Obtained From: https://www.bcorporation.net/