Update regarding B Lab’s moratorium on new B Corp Certifications for any entities, including subsidiaries, operating in Russia and/or Belarus (2)

A new related standard is in development for 2024, with opportunity for stakeholder input later this year.
By B Lab Global
March 7, 2023

In March 2022, B Lab imposed a moratorium on certifying companies operating in Russia and Belarus in reaction to the invasion of Ukraine. As part of this moratorium, B Lab acknowledged and recognized the fact that “business as usual” has been maintained through acts of war and humanitarian crises around the world, including conflict and invasions instigated by the U.S. and its allies. This was a moment to reaffirm the improvement of B Lab’s standards from the standpoint of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and human rights for all similar circumstances. 

In August 2022, B Lab Global’s Board of Directors approved the extension of the March 2022 moratoriumuntil 2023. In this update, they noted that a more detailed standard would be developed in 2023 that all B Corps will be required to meet in response to the war on Ukraine and other situations like it.

B Lab understands that topics of acts of war, conflict, and invasion are sensitive and highly complex, requiring time to perform in-depth research and gather insights from a wide variety of experts and stakeholders, including companies with business activities in affected regions. B Lab also understands the need to introduce this standard in order to provide clarity to companies affected by the ongoing moratorium in Russia and/or Belarus, informing them of how and if they can move forward towards B Corp Certification.

As such, B Lab is sharing the following update for companies operating in Russia and/or Belarus who may or may not have begun their B Corp Certification journey:

  • New standard expected in Q1 2024. Development of this new standard forcompanies operating in Russia and/or Belarus has begun already. 

  • We need your input starting in Q2 2023: Companies affected by this new standard will have an opportunity to provide inputs into the development process in Q2 2023 during the initial research phase. Any stakeholder can also provide feedback in Q3 2023 within the public comment period, during which a draft version of the standard will be shared on B Lab Global’s website. Further details on this process will be shared in Q2 2023.

  • If you are a company that has already submitted your B Impact Assessment, and you are at the pre-verification stage as of March 2023, you may proceed at your own risk. You may be required to meet further requirements and approval once this standard is published in Q1 2024. Some companies may not be able to meet the standard and will therefore be ineligible for B Corp Certification. B Lab cannot give any indication on any future requirements until the proper research and stakeholder engagement has been conducted to develop the standard.

  • If you have completed the pre-verification stage, and you are at the verification stage, you cannot proceed until the standard is published in Q1 2024. This means that until the new standard is published, your journey to B Corp Certification is on hold.

  • If you have not yet submitted the B Impact Assessment or begun the B Corp Certification journey, and you have ongoing business activity in Russia and/or Belarus, you are ineligible to apply until the new standard is published in Q1 2024. This means that until the new standard is published, your company is ineligible for B Corp Certification and your journey is on hold.In the meantime, we encourage you to stay in touch with your local B Lab or Sistema B office who may have other offerings and ways that your company can get involved in the B Corp movement. 

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