As a sustainability communications contractor, I have the distinct pleasure of working for not just one, but multiple #BCorps. I’ve purposefully chosen to work only for organizations which are practicing what they preach — leaving their mark to make the world a better place.
Certified B Corps are redefining how business can change the world, but all stakeholders reap the benefits. The standard for accountability is comparable to what the USGBC’s LEED certification is for the green building movement, or the Fair Trade validation is for coffee roasters. It helps consumers distinguish a better, transparent, business model while shedding light on the private sector’s ability to create drastic impacts in sustainability. To become a Certified B Corp, the organization must outperform the industry average in five sets of performance standards: governance, workers, community, customers and environment. (Note: Certified B Corps are separate from the legal structure of state-defined benefit corporations.)
I choose to work with Certified B Corps because I believe in the very purpose for which they each were founded: An upright business can disrupt the ordinary way in which goods and services impact our world, leaving net positive impacts. B Corps are focused on improving their impacts over time, while generating a profit. But, just as the benefits of becoming a “B” are tangible and powerful, the benefits of working for one are, too.
The B Corp Difference for Employees
The Worker section of the Impact Assessment survey evaluates the company’s relationship with its workforce and focuses on the overall work environment, including managerial relationships, job creation and flexibility, and health and safety. Three examples of discriminating metrics for B Corps (vs. other sustainable businesses, or other businesses) are:
- Provide >50 percent of employees paid professional development opportunities
- Have >5 percent of company owned by non-executive employees, and pay bonuses to non-executives
- Extend health benefits to part time and flex time employees