About B Corp Certification
Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Unlike other certifications for businesses, B Lab is unique in our ability to measure a company’s entire social and environmental impact.
B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. In order to achieve certification, a company must:
Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review. Multinational corporations must also meet baseline requirement standards.
Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.
Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.
As leaders in the movement for economic systems change, B Corps reap remarkable benefits. They build trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers; attract and retain employees; and draw mission-aligned investors. As they are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, B Corps are by definition also focused on continuous improvement, leading to their long-term resiliency.
B Corp Certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue. And the process to achieve and maintain certification is rigorous and requires engaging teams and departments across your company. Taking company size and profile into account, verification involves documentation of your company’s business model and information about your operations, structure, and various work processes, as well as review of potential public complaints and possible site visits. Recertification confirms these standards continue to be met on an ongoing basis.
Did you know that each year, B Lab releases Best for the World lists of the top-performing Certified B Corps from around the globe? Check out our recent honorees from 2021.
With input from experts and stakeholders, B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council continually evolves our risk standards to effectively evaluate the potential negative impacts of different industries, policies, and practices. At the beginning of the B Corp Certification process, companies must undergo an assessment of risk factors based on their industry and other practices.
Your company’s pathway to becoming a Certified B Corporation will vary depending on a few factors. Check out our guides to learn more about the different routes to certification. Our team may recommend a different pathway once you’ve begun. Note that revenue and company size are typical criteria to guide companies to their Approach to certification. In some cases, companies might undergo a different approach based on factors, such as sector, industry, scoring, and ownership structure.
If you work with a start-up or smaller company, learn more about preparing for the process of full certification by becoming a Pending B Corporation.
If your company generates less than $5M USD in annual revenue and employs less than 50 full time employees, download the Small Enterprise Guide to learn more about how B Lab certifies small businesses.
If your company generates more than $5M USD in annual revenue or employs between 50 to 250 full time employees, download the Small-Medium Enterprise Guide.
If your company generates more than $100M USD in annual revenue or employs more than 250 full time employees, download the Medium Enterprise Guide.
If your company generates more than $100M USD in annual revenue with 10 or more subsidiaries operating in multiple countries or generates more than $1B in annual revenue, download our Large Enterprise Guide.
Companies with more than $5B USD in annual revenue will also participate in our B Movement Builders program. All subsidiaries must also follow the Large Enterprise approach, regardless of size.
Related Entities: Are you a subsidiary, or does your company have a Subsidiary, Franchise, Division, or other affiliated entities? If so, click here in addition to your corresponding Certification Guide.
While the certification process varies depending on your company’s size and complexity, all companies must do the following to become a B Corp. B Lab Global and your regional B Lab or Sistema B organization are here to help. And for more details before you get started, be sure to check out our Certification Guides above:
Register for the free and confidential B Impact Assessment.
Use the Legal Requirement Tool to determine how your company can integrate stakeholder consideration into your governance structure, which will depend on your location and corporate structure.
Complete the Risk Review and baseline requirements for multinational corporations if applicable.
Gather your supporting documentation and data, and get ready to record your answers.
Take the B Impact Assessment online. You can save and return to your assessment at any time.
Establish a company profile—you will be prompted once you fill out the majority of the Assessment—and start the Disclosure Questionnaire. At this point you will learn your baseline score; if it is under the 80-point benchmark, reevaluate and prioritize improvement areas.
If you’re over the 80-point benchmark, submit your B Impact Assessment for review.
You’ll next wait in the Evaluation Queue, as an analyst from our team reviews your company’s eligibility for B Corp Certification.
Once eligibility is determined, you enter the Evaluation phase. An analyst from B Lab Global will look over your company structure, any controversial industries, as well as your answers to the entire Assessment.
You’ll then enter the Verification Queue, where you’ll be asked to provide information about your employees and any suppliers.
During Verification, you’ll have your review call with an analyst, go through your verification report, and provide all documentation backing up your answers to the Assessment.
If you meet the verified 80-point threshold, you’ll enter the Post-Verification stage and sign the B Corp Agreement.
You’ve now reached Certification! In order to meet the transparency requirement for B Corp Certification, you’ll need to publish your public profile in the B Corp Directory, including your company’s score and impact report.
Now it’s time to Launch! Celebrate and share your B Corp status internally with employees, board members, and shareholders, and externally with suppliers, vendors, and the public.
The final step in your B Corp journey will last the longest. You’ll prepare for recertification every three years, and use the B Impact Assessment and the certification process as a tool for continuous improvement.
To maintain certification, Certified B Corps must update their impact assessment and verify their updated score every three years, or after a Change of Control or Initial Public Offering. Are you recertifying? Click here to login to the B Impact Assessment.
B Lab will not conduct a bringdown certification review outside of the standard recertification schedule in the case of an initial public offering, or any other public offering, private placement of securities or other transaction.
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good. This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As Certified B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
That we must be the change we seek in the world.
That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.