The following describes the specific steps we will take together to validate the company's social and environmental performance measured through the B Impact Assessment. This process is designed to be rigorous yet straightforward. Please reach out to us, and we can help you get started (firstname.lastname@example.org, 610-293-0299).
A) Take the B Impact Assessment
The first step in becoming a Certified B Corporation is taking the B Impact Assessment, which assesses the overall impact of your company on its stakeholders. The assessment varies depending on the company's size (number of employees), sector, and location of primary operation. Completing the assessment typically takes 2-4 hrs; we encourage using your best estimates the first time around. Once you've completed the assessment, you will receive a B Impact Report that contains an overall score.Start the B Impact Assessment How does it work? Read our FAQs
B) Schedule an Assessment Review and Submit Supporting Documentation
Following completion of the B Impact Assessment, an Assessment Review will be scheduled and supporting documentation will be asked to be uploaded. The Assessment will randomly select 6-8 questions that were answered in the affirmative regarding the operations of the company and ask the company to demonstrate those practices in more detail through documentation. The document list will be generated after scheduling the review call and will be kept strictly confidential. It is also asked that the document list is completed at least 48 hours prior to the Assessment Review to give adequate time to be reviewed by B Lab; if documentation is not uploaded by that time, B Lab will ask to reschedule the call. To schedule a review, hit Submit after you complete your Assessment or email email@example.com.
C) Complete the Assessment Review
Next, we will complete the Assessment Review with a B Lab staff member. On this call, B Lab staff will review questions that may have been difficult to answer or are unclear; this will give us a chance to refine our answers so that they fit the intent of the questions. The review also helps us understand more about the unique circumstances and best practices related to your company. On average, it takes about 60-90 minutes to complete a review.
D) Submit Additional Documentation
If your score is above 80 out of the 200 points available after your Assessment Review, our staff will also show you where to upload any additional supporting documents. The Assessment will typically select an additional 1-6 questions specifically from the Impact Business Model section of the assessment that were answered in the affirmative and ask the company to demonstrate those practices in more detail through documentation. The list of additional documents requested will be generated after your Assessment Review and can be found in the same location as the documents that were previously uploaded. At this step, our staff also reserves the right to ask for additional clarifying documents based on the initial documentation or assessment review. Our staff will give you plenty of guidance on how to complete this step.
E) Complete Disclosure Questionnaire
The Disclosure Questionnaire (see example) allows the company to confidentially disclose to B Lab any sensitive practices, fines, and sanctions related to the company or its partners. This component does not affect the company's rating. Typically, the majority of these responses are minor in nature and therefore no further action is needed. However, if B Lab identifies one or more items in the Disclosure Questionnaire or in a background check of the Company and its senior management to be material, it may merit further transparency, and the Company will be notified to provide incremental disclosure on www.bcorporation.net. In certain cases, the Company will be required to implement specific remedies to obtain or maintain the certification, and in rare cases the Company's certification will be denied or revoked. Acceptance into and continued participation in the B Corp community is at the sole discretion of the Standards Advisory Council and B Lab's Board of Directors. Decisions from B Lab around how controversial issues affect a company's eligibility for B Corp Certification can be found here. View a sample Disclosure Questionnaire.
F) Background Checks
In addition to the voluntary indication of sensitive issues in the Disclosure Questionnaire, companies pursuing Certification also are subject to background checks by B Lab staff. Background checks include a review of public records, news sources, and search engines for company names, brands, executives/founders, and other relevant topics. The results of background checks undergo the same review process as items selected in the Disclosure Questionnaire.
10% of Certified B Corporations are randomly selected each year for an in-depth Certification Evaluation. This component of the B Corp Certification is critical in maintaining the authenticity of the Certified B Corp Seal. Our goal for this review is to verify the requirements of the Certification and further confirm the accuracy of affirmative responses in the company's B Impact Assessment. The Certification Evaluation will take place either in-person or virtually and typically takes between 6-10 hours depending on the size and scope of business. Certified B Corps that are wholly-owned subsidiaries or public companies are subject to a mandatory on-site Certification Evaluation during each two year certification term. Learn more about requirements for subsidiaries and other related entities.
In order to maintain B Corporation Certification, a company must update their assessment every 2 years, provide additional documentation to verify their answers, and achieve at least 80 out of 200 available points. This process ensures that companies who become certified B Corporations continue to engage in a high level of impact with their stakeholders, even as the business grows or changes. The B Impact Assessment is updated every two years, so recertification also gives companies the opportunity to set improvement goals against the most-up-to-date standards and benchmark their performance over time.