B Corp Performance Requirements Review update: September 2021

B Lab expands Regional Standards Advisory Groups, launches next round of community engagement, and updated project timeline
By B Lab Global
September 15, 2021

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15 September 2021 — B Lab is pleased to announce the selection of 25 new members to its Regional Standards Advisory Groups in the UK, Latin America, East Africa, and Australasia, as well as to its recently launched groups in Europe and Asia. B Lab is also pleased to share the launch of a recent follow on survey to gather additional community inputs related to the review of the Performance Requirements for B Corp Certification.

In December 2020, B Lab announced a review of the performance requirements for B Corp certification in response to feedback on the evolving conception of leadership in social and environmental performance and the opportunity to optimize the impact of the B Corp movement to achieve a vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system. Attached with this announcement was a survey to gather early community feedback on the review and gather interest from applicants wishing to engage with the standards development process by participating in B Lab’s Regional Standards Advisory Groups.

B Lab’s Regional Standards Advisory Groups are an important mechanism in the governance of the certification requirements and standards for B Corp Certification in order to ensure that regional context and expert voices are engaged in improving the standards. The groups, which consist of a combination of business leaders, investors, academics, representatives from civil society organizations and other experts, have combined expertise on specific topics within the themes of environment; governance; labour; justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; assurance; and impact measurement with a particular emphasis on how the topics can be interpreted in a specific regional context. The constructive feedback and advice provided by these groups of regional experts, along with feedback from various other stakeholders, informs the decisions made by B Lab's Standards Advisory Council (an independent multi-stakeholder council that is responsible for overseeing the overall certification requirements and standards for B Corp Certification). Regional Standards Advisory Groups have previously existed in Australasia, East Africa, Latin America, and the UK and have provided their inputs on previous versions of the B Impact Assessment to improve its regional applicability.

Over 300 individuals signaled interest in participating in the Regional Standards Advisory Groups, of which individuals were selected based on their expertise in topics related to business and sustainability and the diversity of their background. With this latest induction, there are now 46 members in total participating in B Lab’s Regional Standards Advisory Groups globally. To access the latest member list, please click here.

In addition to the expansion and creation of Regional Standards Advisory Groups, B Lab has also been in the process of planning a series of sessions with focus groups of stakeholders to further explore and expand upon the topics covered in the December 2021 survey.

Recognizing that participation in the focus groups will be by invitation only and to enable input from the broader community on the questions that will be asked during the focus groups, B Lab has launched a survey which will be open to anyone interested, until October 8, 2021.

In order to allow sufficient time to collect and analyze the feedback gathered from these sessions and the survey and respond to what is gathered from them, the overall tentative timeline for potential future development has been updated (shared below), and it is subject to change as B Lab continues gathering inputs and new insights. During each phase, there will be invitations and opportunities to participate and provide feedback.

The ongoing review of the overall performance requirements is currently occurring in lieu of a version update to the standards content of the B Impact Assessment, which will be on hold until the future of the overall performance requirements for B Corp Certification has been determined. As a result, Version 7 of the B Impact Assessment is likely to be launched in 2024. To learn more about the difference between the ongoing review and previous standards updates, please check these FAQs.

In addition to submitting your responses to the ongoing survey, we always invite you to reach out to  standardsmanagement@bcorporation.net with questions, ideas, or concerns. Thank you for joining us in the ongoing journey to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.

B Lab would like to thank funders supporting this work; specifically the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF), whose grant will support B Lab's stakeholder engagement efforts as part of this review of the Performance Requirements for B Corp Certification and Porticus, whose grant through its Purposeful Business initiative, will support the overall development process. B Lab will continue seeking additional support to implement this work. To explore potential partnership opportunities, please contact  partnerships@bcorporation.net.

Performance Requirements, B Lab Standards, B Impact Assessment

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