This is more than just a trend: today organizations can’t just settle for being leaders in their respective markets; they have to create positive changes in the world. That is, use their influence on the market to help solve social and environmental problems that affect us all.
A growing number of corporations and leaders are seeking to measure their impact in the planet to learn the extent of their responsibility and be part of the change. In that line what does it mean to work with B Corporations?
A New Fair Global Economy
This new movement gains new followers every day. These are corporations that represent a paradigm change through a model that involves more commitments than those covered by the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this sense, there are five areas that B Corporations —or B Corps see as critical to create positive change:
B Lab –a US-based non-profit organization– measures and analyzes each companies’ performance in these five areas to grant a certification that is renewed every two years. Their assessments include 200 points and this movement, which originated in 2006, seeks to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy for people and for the planet.
At the same time, these B Corps rest on 4 main pillars:
1. Purpose: They are motivated to create positive change in their societies and the environment.
2. Legal Accountability: They broaden the fiduciary duties of shareholders and managers to include the fulfillment of non-financial responsibilities.
3. Certification: It includes an assessment and a commitment to improve management and transparency standards.
4. Interdependence: They are part of a global community.
There are currently 4075 B Corps in 77 countries and 153 industries.
Source: B Corporation
In addition, this emerging economy holds the following beliefs:
- We should be the change we want to see in the world.
- All business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- Through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- We need to act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon one another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
The Benefits of the B Corp Movement
This certification provides full transparency to organizations making sure that B certified companies can show transparency and ethics on their way of making money and how they benefit society through those earnings to promote global change.
It also promotes social responsibility, because customers are increasingly interested in sustainable companies and in seeing corporate efforts towards this goal. By adhering to B standards, companies become more transparent and customers can see how they make a difference.
Measuring the three types of corporate impact (economic, social and environmental) may lead to a 20% GDP increase and a 25% increase in exports, among other benefits.
Source: Índice Triple Impacto
By promoting a worker-centered culture, these companies attract like-minded talent because the best staff is interested in giving their careers real meaning and they are attracted to companies trying to make positive social change.
Being a B Corp also saves money in the long term: they are part of the movement towards more profitable ways of being sustainable. Moreover, the certification process helps corporations identify unnecessary expenditures.
These companies represent a new organizational lineage shifting the meaning of success. And this leads to a domino effect: working for these corporations or using their services creates value because it entails supporting organizations that are pioneers in this new environment. This approach also maximizes consumer engagement and creates more opportunities to reach out to potential customers.
Almost 1 in 3 consumers state that they have stopped consuming certain brands or products due to ethical or sustainability considerations.
Beyond their commitments and obligations, the companies that follow this new business model make a consistent effort to promote wellbeing and positive change, not only externally but also internally, through a solid culture that makes employees the agents of change.
Working with B Corps provides a modern perspective of the main cultural, social, economic and environmental priorities that society is demanding with increasing urgency.