On January 10, 2024, Lauren Simone Publishing House received an email from B Corp congratulating them on completing the most comprehensive stage of the B Corp certification review process. After signing the B Corp Agreement, the declaration of independence, and an annual certification fee, we are official!!! By becoming a Certified B Corp, we are joining over 8,200 other B Corps in 161 industries and 95 countries around the world.
What is a B Corp anyway?
A B Corporation, or B Corp, is a for-profit company that is certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization. B Corps are businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
Why does a business need to be B Corp certified?
The certification is based on a company's overall impact on its workers, customers, community, and the environment. To become a B Corp, a company must undergo a rigorous assessment process conducted by B Lab. This assessment evaluates various aspects of the company's business practices, including its governance structure, environmental practices, treatment of employees, impact on the community, and ethical business policies. The goal is to ensure that B Corps not only focus on financial success but also prioritize social and environmental responsibility.
What are the benefits of being a B Corp company?
For us at Lauren Simone Publishing House, being a B Corp signifies our already established commitment to using our business as a force for good and making positive contributions beyond just profits. Our company thinks about how our choices affect not only the founders but also everyone else involved, like our workers, the environment, and the community. B Corp companies care about people and the planet, just as much as profitability. This way of doing business shows a trend toward being more careful and thoughtful about the environment and society.
Why haven’t I heard of B Corps before?
You have! Here are some examples of B Corp businesses:
- Patagonia: A well-known outdoor apparel company that places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
- TOMS: TOMS is probably one of the most popular B Corps on this list. Over the years, TOMS has donated over 100 million shoes to people in need.
- Ben & Jerry's: An ice cream company that is committed to social and environmental issues. It is known for its support of fair-trade practices and various social justice initiatives.
- Etsy: An online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, Etsy became a B Corp to demonstrate its commitment to ethical business practices and social responsibility.
- Warby Parker: A company that sells eyeglasses and sunglasses, Warby Parker is known for its "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" program, providing eyewear to those in need.
- Tom’s of Maine: Tom and Kate Chappell create toothpaste, deodorant and skin care products and operate in a way that was good for people and the environment.
I’m a small business owner, too. How do I become certified?
☐ Visit B Corp and create an account: https://app.bimpactassessment.net/login
☐ Check that you have selected into the correct track on the B Impact Assessment.
☐ Confirm your legal requirement can be met and develop a plan to complete it.
☐ Review the annual B Corp fee structure.
☐ Develop a plan to prepare and gather information that involves other team members. I used Impact Growth Partners as consultants in the process.
☐ Meet the minimum threshold of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment. We had 103 points.
☐ Review where you are earning Impact Business Model (IBM) points
☐ Have documentation to back up a significant portion of your score.
☐ Participate in an interview
☐ Wait patiently and then get the good news in an email where you sign the B Corp Agreement, the declaration of independence and an annual certification fee.
☐ Finally share it on your website, social media, and newsletter.
This is not the end, it’s only the beginning!