Why Become a B Corp?
When it comes to certifying as a B Corp, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. It will no doubt save money, enhance profitability and generate more business value while putting your firm in the lead in environmental performance at a time of ever-widening acceptance of the perils of climate change. In so doing, it distinguishes your brand in a crowded marketplace, associates your brand with socially and environmentally responsible companies, and sets you apart as a thought leader. A recent study by the Harvard Business School concluded that “high sustainability companies significantly outperform their counterparts over the long term, both in terms of stock market as well as accounting performance.” More specifically, a study by the International Finance Corporation found that over a period of five years, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index performed an average of 36.1 percent better than the traditional Dow Jones index over a period of five years.
Your company’s life with a higher purpose
B Corps charters enable management to consider the interests of all stakeholders, not just of the stockholders, in making business decisions. If the charters are formed under the Benefit Corp statute in California, they have specific legal protection in making these business decisions. Also in California, the law provides protection to the company’s core values during succession. B Corp certification helps your company maintain a focus on best practices when it comes to lower energy usage, waste in operations, and other important areas. It can also help motivate the initiative and passion amongst employees in all company areas by connecting them with the greater meaning behind their work. A study by Goldman Sachs found that Millennials, now representing nearly 50 percent of the global workforce, “have specific needs at work that are dramatically different from previous generations. High among these is a desire to align personal and corporate values…”
Support from B Lab and the B Corp community
Instead of hiring a team to keep on top of sustainability indicators, B Corps are able to rely on B Lab, the nonprofit certifying organization, to benchmark progress and to offer easy-to-follow steps for improvement. In addition, B Lab facilitates hundreds of product and service discounts, B Corps having collectively enjoyed many millions of dollars in savings through access to partnership discounts. B Lab also gives support when it comes to telling a particular company’s sustainability story through marketing and public relations. This includes acting as an advocate for B Corps to receive top honors, such as a listing among Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Top Social Entrepreneurs. Newly certified B Corps often find that one of the greatest benefits of all is to be connected into a large, global network of like-minded people with a high level of intellect, a powerful entrepreneurial spirit, and an impressive reservoir of trust between them. Everyone at your company will have the sense that they are part of something larger than just an individual business.