When I started my sustainability journey, I quickly realised how broad and challenging this topic can be. During many discussions I participate in, people immediately mention renewable energies and climate change but tend to forget that sustainability is also about social impact. Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The key principle is the integration of environmental, social, and economic concerns into all aspects of decision-making.
In a nutshell, for the business world, it means balancing profits with people and the planet. Sounds like a good plan, but where do we start? The more I tried to dig into this topic, the more I became overwhelmed with the multiple standards, frameworks, and certifications that exist to help companies measure and report on sustainability. To name a few: SDGs, GRI, SASB, Science-Based Target, CDP, ISO 2600, ISO 14000…. It’s very easy to get lost, believe me! I soon realised that there was no unified framework to measure how sustainable a business was…
Until I discovered the B Corporation certification.
B Corporation is defined as follows: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” It gives businesses a way to measure their performance and provide proof to the world about its commitments. It is a movement that uses business as a force for good.
“B Corp provides what is lacking elsewhere: proof.”
New York Times
Now, you might be thinking, what’s the benefit of becoming B Corporation certified? So let’s take a closer look…
You are part of a community of leaders transforming the business world
You can leverage the strength of a global community with people committed to driving business as a force for good. It gives you the sense of being part of something bigger than an individual business. It’s a worldwide movement. A movement changing the way we do business.
You attract the top talents and have a higher engagement rate
The younger generation is highly concerned about its environmental and social impact. Millennials, who will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025, are looking for work-life integration. They are looking for a higher sense of purpose while making an income. These people will be more and more attracted to organisations part of the B Corp movement, which are in line with their values. This is a major risk for big corporations, losing their attractiveness. The brand name won’t be enough to attract top talents going forward if changes aren’t in motion.
You become credible and trustworthy
In the era of greenwashing, B Corp certification provides credibility to organisations and builds trust with all its stakeholders including employees and clients. It is a third-party framework that evaluates every aspect of the business: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.
You protect your company mission
B Corporations adopt mission-aligned governance. Mission-aligned governance creates legal entities that allow companies to preserve their mission and consider stakeholders in their decision-making. This commitment gives them a powerful tool to create value for all stakeholders over the long term, even through exit transactions such as IPOs or acquisitions. Traditional companies are generally expected to put the interests of shareholders ahead of the interests of other stakeholders, including workers, customers, and the community. Many entrepreneurs and investors believe this expectation is outdated. It makes things more difficult for businesses to address pressing social and environmental issues and be truly inclusive.
Generate press and awareness
Many well-known companies are part of the B Corp movement, and more are joining. To name a few; Chloé, Patagonia, Danone, and Ben&Jerry’s, and companies such as these generate a broad coverage in the media, spreading awareness on business as a force for good. As B Corp, you stand out from the crowd. You can open doors for other companies in your industry or region and inspire.
As of today, 4167 companies from 153 industries and 77 countries are B Corporation certified. Only one company in the whole MENA region is B Corp certified. Now, who will be next? Please contact me to find out more about B Corp, and how can I support you in this fantastic journey.