Revealed! The new draft B Corp standards
The huge news in B Corp land is that the standards for certifying as a B Corp business are currently going through a massive overhaul.
What does that mean? Well, truth is, it’s probably going to be harder to get the coveted B Corp badge from 2024, when the new B Corp standards are implemented. Evolving the standards is not a new thing though, since the first iteration in 2006, the B Corp standards have been through six evolutions. This latest one, though, brings the biggest changes so far.
Here at Grow Good, we’re going to be following this closely because of course we want to continue to be able to advise our clients on how to both certify as a B Corp business, and to maintain that status. So, while the final details of the new standards are still being hammered out, the new structure is starting to take shape and, while nothing is confirmed, that’s what we’re sharing with you in this blog.
For now, we’re giving you a broad overview and introduction to the new look draft B Corp standards. In future blogs, we will take a deeper look at the changes. Before we go any further though, there is as important point to make. If you’re a B Corp now and you’re worried you’ll struggle to certify under the new standards, stop worrying. It’s important to remember that the B Corp standards have always evolved but every time this happens, B Lab ensures legacy policies are put in place to minimize disruption to the community. Standards changes are never designed to automatically remove existing B Corps from the community and this process will be no different. So breathe.
Evolving the standards for B Corp Certification
First off, the biggest change is that the areas of operation to be examined will most likely increase from six to 10, although it’s not yet confirmed. Currently, every B Corp business has answered questions in six areas (unless they have no workers), namely: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, Customers, and Risk Disclosure.
Going forward, it looks like organizations will be expected to meet requirements in 10 areas (again, this is still to be finally confirmed). This aims to ensure positive impact across a range of activities and stakeholder concerns.
This may also see an end to the 80/200 score currently in use but B Lab has stated that there is definite value in a scoring system, it provides comparability, as well as incentivises and supports roadmaps for improvement so new scoring models are expected to be introduced.
The big question then is, what are the suggested new 10 areas of impact under the imminent new standards? Below is a view of the 10 topics and the overarching expectations of B Corps for each of them:
Purpose & Stakeholder Governance:
B Corps act in accordance with a defined purpose contributing to the creation of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.
Workers feel engaged. There is two-way communication and workers’ views are respected.
Workers can afford a decent standard of living for themselves and their families, and there is wage equality among the workforce.
Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion:
B Corps have inclusive and diverse work environments and contribute meaningfully to just and equitable communities.
B Corps treat people with dignity and respect their human rights.
B Corps take action in accordance with science to combat climate change and its impacts.
Circularity and Environmental Stewardship:
B Corps demonstrate environmental stewardship and contribute to the circular economy in their operations and value chain, minimising any negative impact and pursuing positive impact.
B Corps play a leadership role in fostering shared understanding, solutions, and implementation towards an equitable, inclusive, and regenerative economy
B Corps comprehensively identify and measure the impacts of their business and improve upon them over time.
B Corps avoid, manage, and/or effectively respond to specific potential negative impacts associated with specific industries or practices, as well as existing or emergent concerns from their stakeholders.
So those are the potential new B Corp standards in a nutshell. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing more specifics about what we find out about the new standards.
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering about whether it’s best to push on with your B Corp journey under the current standards, or wait till the new iteration, we say do not wait. Repeat: Do NOT wait. That would be wasting time when you could be getting on with the work of putting in place the foundations of sustainability that will apply under both set of standards.
Don’t wait to be a better business, get on with it now. The planet depends on it.
Are you Ready to B Better?
If you want to learn more about B Corp and if it could be the right thing for you we have:
➡️ Our free e-book “To B Or Not To B; The What, Why & How of B Corp” is the DEFINITIVE guide to B Corp – https://bit.ly/BCorpEBook
➡️ This story about how we helped the amazing humans at Jeuneora get B Corp and get purpose at work – https://bit.ly/casestudyj
➡️ “The B Better Podcast” https://bit.ly/BeBPod where we talk to B Corps about their journey to B Corp & Beyond and our YouTube channel https://bit.ly/GGCoYoTu for more B Corp-related content
➡️ Feeling like you’re ready to B Better and want to see if we can help? Well then let’s have a chat! Book a call here – https://bit.ly/BookGGCall
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