What’s A B Corporation Anyway?
In short, a B Corporation is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk: a standard of quality based on facts. B Corps are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Think: People, Planet, and Profits – the triple bottom line.
Boly:Welch is among more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Fully, Canvas Host, are Mac’s List are just a few of our favorite fellow B Corps here in Portland.
February is B Corp Month
February has been a celebratory month as B Corporations around the world recognized the growing business movement. Every two years, certification within B Corp is re-assessed, and this was our year.
Here are a few reflections from our leadership on what it means to be a B Corporation and what we’ve learned over the last two years since our initial certification:
Andrew Welch, President
“Increasingly, people want to buy from, work for, invest in and partner with people and organizations who share their values. Organizations who are not actively attempting to mitigate negative and increase positive impacts on their employees, communities and the environment, are not only putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage over the long term but are missing out on an enormous opportunity in the short term. Regardless of the raw score or the individual approaches to achieving it, the B Corp certification is a badge that shows an awareness of this reality and an investment in the future.”
Juanita Leard, Chief Financial Officer
“Becoming a B-Corp just made sense. It’s a way in which we can recognize and validate how we live and make decisions at Boly:Welch. It also provides a formal process by which to constantly raise the bar higher and to challenge our status quo.”
Teresa Oliver, Project Manager
“The process of recertification involves a third party impact assessment by B Labs, which measures your impact on a wide range of corporate responsibilities. Companies are asked to provide specific details on how their employees are treated, how offices are governed, as well as their impact on the environment and the community. Typically, higher scores are given for big bucket items, such as financial transparency and community impact, but each assessment area is detailed and highly specific.
One of the greatest benefits of the assessment process is the opportunity to dig deeply into your business processes and set benchmarks for growth – here’s where we are now, but this is where we want to be for our next recertification. I also appreciate that even if a company is not doing the impact assessment for certification purposes, they can still access the evaluation. So some companies are funneling through the impact assessment itself – not even getting B Corp-certified – just to see where they are.”
Although we improved our overall B Corp score during this re-certification process, we still have room for improvement and continue to fine-tune processes that will impact people, planet and our profits – how we define our success in business.