I was recently asked: What advice would you give to other companies that want to achieve a B Corp certification? I replied with: Don’t do it.
Unless, that is, you are truly committed to wanting to operate your business more responsibly.
I see too many businesses applying to become a B Corp because they think it will raise their profile and make their target customers favour them over their competitors. This will only happen if the reason for gaining certification is truly authentic.
If not, the business will be caught out and the consequences for their brand and reputation could be far-reaching.
There is a surge in the number of businesses seeking to become a B Corp, and social media is filled with many of them stating they have made their submission to become so. But most of those business will not gain accreditation.
This is because the process itself is the most intensive, intrusive, demanding, and revealing there is. The demands and standards that must be met to become certified are exceptionally high and a number of businesses will struggle to get there.
It comes down to commitment. When we first applied in 2020, we failed to make the grade and we thought we were doing a lot at that stage. But we weren’t.
However, by following the advice and guidance provided by B Labs, speaking with other B Corp business owners, and truly throwing ourselves into the process, we dramatically increased our score. Commitment comes with time – the process is a lengthy one, but the investment made now will pay dividends further down the line.
Being a B Corp means that we take the practice of being a planet and people focused business up a level. It has provided Clearly with a minimum standard that we must maintain, whilst giving us the tools to continually improve the way in which we operate.
This is the reason why we wanted to become a B Corp – to test us and prompt us to always be thinking ‘what else can and should we be doing?’