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So, you want to be a B Corp?

What is a Certified B Corporation?

A company that has been certified as a B Corporation (B Corp) is a for-profit business that has gone through a third party audit of services, products, supply chains, human resources, energy consumption, social impact and environmental sustainability. B Lab, a nonprofit, has put together an assessment that measures and scores all of your company’s actions and gives the certification when a score of at least 80 is reached. B Corp Certification is like Fair Trade, Organic or LEED. It lets your customers and employees know what kind of company they’re working for and buying from. The certification requires reassessment every two years and encourages companies to not only measure their impact, but to increase it as well.

Becoming a Certified B Corporation

Whether you are thinking about creating a business, you already are a startup, or an established business, becoming a certified B Corp is worth consideration. We’ve found it to be a wonderful community of like minded businesses that totally aligns with our culture. If you have interest in business as a force for good, care about community, the environment and social justice, then B Corp is your people.

Things to Consider for the Assessment

Becoming a Certified B Corp is not something that happens overnight. It’s not something that you can throw together over the weekend either. Like all good things, it takes time and effort. This is why we’ve put together some tips to getting started:

  1. Set aside some time to go through the questions—about 1–2 hours for the first pass, then come back and review your answers.
  2. If you’ve never looked, visit the B Lab website to familiarize yourself more thoroughly.
  3. If you are looking at a B Corp Certification as a potential marketing tool, it could be. However, if your company isn’t committed to triple bottom line practices, do not seek certification to make your company “look good.” Your company must be good to achieve the certification.
  4. Take a look at the Impact Assessment to get acquainted and learn more of the types of questions that will be asked of your company.
  5. You must have been in business for at least one year to receive certification, however, you can get a pending certification if you are a start up.
  6. Once you get through your assessment, it’s very helpful to contact B Lab and set up a phone consultation and review of your assessment.
  7. If your company does not reach the minimum of 80 out of 200 points on the first pass, don’t be discouraged. You may have misunderstood some of the questions. This could also be a positive way to shine a light on areas of improvement.
  8. Once you meet the requirements in your assessment score, you will need to comply with organizational transparency. This could include sharing human resource manuals, profit & loss statements or other forms of documentation to support your answers.
  9. Again, if you do not have an HR manual for example, work towards creating one. The assessment often points out areas that your business could improve upon.
  10. One of the final steps is adding a clause into your operating agreement for legal compliance. This is something to note if you are about to form your business so that you can add it in the beginning. If you are an existing business, you may have legal fees to consult with your attorney on amending your existing agreement.
  11. There is a fee for your certification that is due once every 2 years. The cost is determined by the number of people and revenue that your business generates and minimum amount is $500.
  12. Finally, sign the Declaration of Interdependence and your certification is complete.

Fulcrum Creatives envisions a world where every business has a responsibility to it’s community and environment. Where business is used as a force for good, and profit. If you think so too, take the assessment and join a growing community of business owners and employees who share the same vision.

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