The B Corp Certification Process: More than a Simple Assessment

by | Sep 28, 2021 | B Corp

B Corp is without question the best framework for purposeful business. Beyond helping you to embed your purpose and values in everything you do, it also makes it possible for you to measure your business’s positive impact.

The world is changing and so are your clients and shareholders. Accountability, purpose and positive social and environmental impact are more than just buzzwords; increasingly, they are becoming the cost of doing business with a socially conscious public.

That said, B Corp Certification can take longer and is more complex than many people think; organizations seeking certification often underestimate the process. Certification is far more extensive than checking off boxes on a survey, it’s often a business transformation with change that needs to be supported. Just over 1 in 5 large-scale changes are successful, and how companies engage their employees can be the difference between success and failure.

It’s important to remember that becoming a Certified B Corp isn’t about getting a gold star, it’s about committing to actively and continually looking for ways to improve your company’s impact on its people, the community and our planet, as well as involving and inspiring those people throughout the journey. 

The B Corp Certification Process

The first step to becoming Certified is to complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA), which evaluates how your company is governed and how it interacts with its workers, customers, community, and environment. 

You’ll answer questions about your company’s operations and business model, compare your impact against industry peers and set goals to continuously improve. Note that there are also certain legal requirements that Certified B Corps must meet, which will depend on the company’s location and structure.

After completing the BIA, your company will undergo a multi-step verification process to determine if you meet the requirements for certification. The review process can be 10-12 months and it’s important to give your organization the best chance to succeed.

Fewer than half of large companies that apply for B Corp Certification actually achieve it. For small businesses, it’s less than a third. 

Succeeding with B Corp certification

The best chance of success really comes down to aligning positive impact within your business model. It helps that your operations are ethically run and that you engage your community and mitigate environmental impacts, but the real key is to ensure that when your business wins, so do other stakeholders. 

It’s about redefining success in business to benefit not only people within your organization but also the communities and environment that make up your ecosystem.

This is a transformational change; making sure you support people through this change means they will support your company as they buy into this renewed purpose. 

How Light Trail Helps Organizations Get Certified

At Light Trail Consulting, we’ve combined in-depth B Corp knowledge with organizational change expertise to help guide and support companies like The Alinker through the assessment process and all the way to certification. 

We know that your success depends on more than the simple desire to do and to be better. In addition to a clearly defined purpose, you need to examine and adjust your processes, as well as inspire and engage your team. 

It’s important to remember how important the people in your organization are to your success. You need to bring them along on your journey. By informing, inspiring and involving your leaders and employees, your company can facilitate and sustain positive organizational changes.

Purpose, process, people — you need all three for purpose-driven change. That’s why our approach includes three key steps:

  1. Help you to be clear and intentional about your needs, starting by helping you to discover the outcomes you’re looking for, evaluating how your organization is performing and assessing whether or not a change is needed.
  2. Align and engage your team in the journey. By clarifying your needs, aligning with your strategy and driving a sense of accountability, we enable your people to grow and successfully sustain the change.
  3. Enable your people to grow along with you. This includes providing practical tools, building staff capability, empowering teams and providing advice and coaching.

If you’re looking to become more socially and environmentally responsible, connect with your community and ultimately use business as a force for good, we can help. 

Want to find out if we’re a good fit to help your organization? Get in touch.

Change is NOT change management.
Change is all about choice and focuses on people. Change management is all about creating a roadmap and focuses on process. Ultimately you need both to successfully change with purpose.
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If you want more positive impact through becoming a #BCorp, you need to recognize this is not about checking off boxes - it's a transformation toward purposeful business. This is a journey of Change and needs to be a focus on people, not process.
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