Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

Right here’s what customers have to know concerning the B Lab and the way firms can develop into B Corp licensed.

What’s B Lab’s mission?

B Lab was created with the concept that a special form of economic system was not solely doable, however it was crucial. Its founders wished firms to shift from the standard shareholder-driven mannequin to a stakeholder-driven mannequin the place they meet excessive requirements associated to social and environmental efficiency, accountability, and transparency.

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B Lab grew to become identified for certifying B Firms by creating the requirements, insurance policies, instruments, and applications that “shift the habits, tradition, and structural underpinnings of capitalism,” in keeping with its web site.

What’s a B Corp certification?

A B Corp certification is a designation {that a} enterprise is assembly excessive requirements of efficiency, accountability, and transparency on components like worker advantages and charitable giving, to produce chain practices and enter supplies.

What firms are eligible for B Corp certification?

Any established for-profit firm can pursue certification. There isn’t any most or minimal dimension.

Can a startup certify as B Corp?

Startups and smaller firms can pursue Pending B Corp standing, which is designed to present firms time to arrange for the rigorous certification course of.

How does an organization get licensed?

In keeping with B Lab, a enterprise should do the next in an effort to obtain certification:

Show excessive social and environmental efficiency by finishing the B Impression Evaluation and scoring an 80 or above.Make a authorized dedication by altering their company governance construction to be accountable to all stakeholders, not simply shareholders. Additionally they need to earn profit company standing if it’s out there of their space.Permitting details about their efficiency measured in opposition to B Lab’s requirements to be publicly out there on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s web site.

How lengthy does it take to get licensed?

For small- to medium-sized companies, it might take about six to eight months. Massive multinationals, firms with many associated entities, or these working in industries which might be controversial ought to anticipate an extended course of.

What’s thought-about a controversial business by B Lab?

Gig economic system enterprise fashions, advertising and marketing of breastmilk substitutes, offshore monetary service suppliers, jail business and labor, on line casino business firms, debt assortment businesses, fossil fuels and power firms, prescription drugs, amongst many others. A listing of “controversial” industries is commonly up to date and may be discovered right here.

Did firms bounce on the concept of shifting to a stakeholder-driven mannequin?

Not precisely. In a latest interview with the Globe, B Lab’s former CEO Ben Anderson defined how some firms resisted in opposition to the governance change, even when they had been assembly different efficiency requirements that might certify them as a B Corp firm.

“Fifteen years in the past, this [idea] was very overseas. Individuals thought we had been loopy,” stated Anderson. “Traders didn’t like this. [They were] used to investing in [their] Delaware C-Corp… [They] knew what it was, the way it labored, and all of the authorized precedent.”

How has that modified?

Anderson stated it took time to point out buyers that managing a enterprise to stakeholders creates a extra resilient firm. “We’re even discovering that some banks are it as lowering the chance and giving higher mortgage [and interest] charges,” he stated.

How did the pandemic impression the variety of firms making use of to be B Corp licensed?

Throughout the pandemic from 2020 to 2021, B Lab obtained greater than 6,000 purposes for certification globally — which was a 38 p.c enhance in comparison with the 2018 to 2019 time-frame, in keeping with Sarah Silverman, B Lab’s director of selling and communications.

“Within the face of worldwide local weather change, the continued racial justice reckoning, and the still-unfolding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, extra companies than ever are turning to B Lab’s instruments for options,” Silverman stated.

As of early October 2022, there are greater than 5,700 B Corps worldwide, Of these, greater than 2,000 are primarily based within the US and Canada alone.

What number of B Corp licensed firms are primarily based in New England?

There are 167 B Corps in New England. Of these, two are primarily based in Rhode Island, 14 are in New Hampshire, 15 are in Maine, 21 are in Connecticut, 40 are in Vermont, and 69 are primarily based in Massachusetts. A number of the hottest consumer-facing firms which might be B Corp licensed embrace Allagash Brewing Firm, Bigelow Tea, and Ben and Jerry’s.

Which firms in Rhode Island are B Corp licensed?

Comet Skateboards, a Bristol-based skateboard producer dedicated to the use and improvement of eco-effective processes and materialsSignal Works, a mission-driven Windfall-based structure agency.

Listed below are all the businesses in New England which might be B Corp licensed.

Alexa Gagosz may be reached at [email protected] Observe her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.