B CORP CERTIFIED – NOW WHAT?

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Your business just received a B Corp certification and everyone is extremely excited about it. The first month goes by, all press releases have been sent, website and social media pages have been updated with the B Corp logo, and suddenly there is a mutual feeling of “now what?” After undertaking the extensive process of certification, there ought to be a whole different world out there, no? The answer to this question is simple – Yes, there is!

We had the pleasure of interviewing B Lab’s Senior Community Manager, Jocelyn Corbett last week, and she was kind enough to take us through how extensive the B Corp community is. This was extremely helpful for us at Falcon, and we hope you too will be able to get some interesting information out of it. Let’s get right to it…

You just got certified what are the next steps to take as a new B Corporation?

First off, it’s important to let the world know you’re a B Corp (you didn’t go through that lengthy certification for nothing!) and you’ll certainly want to connect with the stellar network of Certified B Corporations. B Lab makes personal introductions between B Corps to spur collaboration and partnership. The very first thing you want to do as a newly Certified B Corp is to educate and engage your employees in your B Corp status.

Studies and articles show that the new workforce values purpose over profit. Not only will being a B Corp help you attract new talent, but it can be used to deepen your current employees’ commitment to your company. One great example is Etsy. They closed their office for a day and engaged several hundred employees in a B Corp Hackathon – empowering their employees to design ways to make their business more equitable, environmental and community-serving.

What are the perks of being a B Corp and why should a business consider certifying?

B Corps come in many shapes and sizes. Currently there are over 1000 B Corps in 121 industries and 36 countries. With such diversity, the benefits of B Corp certification vary widely. However, a few common benefits include:

1) Differentiate from Pretenders – the B Corp seal tells potential partners, investors and consumers that your company has been 3rd party verified as one who considers the impact on all stakeholders – including your workers, the environment and the community – not just shareholders, in all aspects of your business. Being a B Corp differentiates great companies from companies who just have great marketing.

2) Collaborate with Peers – B Corporations are a tight-knit community. These companies are values-driven and do business with like-minded companies. B Corps often look to their B Corp peers as service providers and collaborators (example: Preserve + Plum Organics partnership). Joining the community also helps identify your brand with some of the industry leaders like Patagonia, Warby Parker, The Honest Company, and of course, Falcon Waterfree Technologies.

3) Raise Capital – the field of impact investing, or investments made to generate social and environmental impact in addition to financial returns, continues to grow. Many impact investors are Certified B Corps (like RSF Social Finance or Capricorn Investment Group) or use the B Impact Assessment to screen their investments for impact (like Fund Good Jobs). Being a Certified B Corporation attracts impact capital.

What are the best resources available for the B Corp community?

The nonprofit B Lab’s mission is to create a global movement of companies using business as a force for good. We provide direct support to B Corps, generate press for the movement, support policy to strengthen the movement, and much more.

There are a number of consultants who dedicate their careers to helping companies get through the B Impact Assessment, improve their score, and advance the movement. Honeyman Sustainability Consulting is one such company, and you can find a number of free resources on their website to improve your impact. Last but not least, Ryan Honeyman of the aforementioned Honeyman Sustainability Company is also the author of the B Corp Handbook, a useful tool for any company to use their business as a force for good.

How can you help spread the word within industry?

Falcon Waterfree Technologies is a great example of a company working to advance the social and environmental impact of the plumbing industry. In a recent conversation with Falcon’s CEO Simon Davis, he said “Falcon is as much an educator as it is company that creates quality products.” Falcon speaks at industry conferences about its B Corp certification, educates end-users about its environmental commitment with plaques above every urinal installed, and showcases blogs like this one to spread the word!

Another way to advance the industry’s social and environmental impact is for Certified B Corps to require companies within their supply chain to take the B Impact Assessment, like Ben & Jerry’s did.