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B Corp Certification

A B Corporation, or B Corp, is a type of for-profit business that meets specific social and environmental standards and is certified by the nonprofit organization B Lab. Therefore, B Lab is responsible for the B Corp certification.

The B Corp Certification Process

In a nutshell, B Lab assesses and verifies a company’s commitment to balancing purpose and profit.

B Lab verifies the impacts of the candidate organization on various stakeholders, including its employees, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Indeed, the assessment evaluates a company’s social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability.

Therefore, B Corporations commit to meeting rigorous social and environmental criteria. Interestingly, the certification process ensures that these companies prioritize values beyond just financial returns and consider their impact on a broader scale.

Finally, the B Corp initiative is part of a global movement of businesses seeking to redefine success by considering financial and non-financial aspects. By becoming a B Corp, a company signals its commitment to social and environmental responsibility and joins a community of like-minded businesses dedicated to using their influence to create positive change.

It’s worth noting that the B Corp certification is not a one-time event. Therefore, companies must recertify every three years to maintain their B Corp status, ensuring ongoing commitment to high social and environmental standards.

B Corp Certification Enviropass

B Corp Certification Criteria

The criteria cover five key areas:

  1. Governance: This area assesses a company’s mission, ethics, and accountability. It examines the company’s mission statement, stakeholder engagement, and governance structure.
  2. Workers: This category evaluates the company’s relationship with its employees, including compensation, benefits, training opportunities, and overall work environment. It also considers diversity and inclusion policies.
  3. Community: The community impact section examines a company’s involvement and impact on the local and global communities. The assessment includes:
    1. Charitable giving, 
    2. Community service, and 
    3. Involvement with the community.
  4. Environment: This category focuses on the company’s environmental footprint and sustainability practices. It considers the company’s energy use, emissions, water usage, waste management, environmental policies and practices.
  5. Customers: The customer section assesses the impact of the company’s products or services on customers. It considers factors such as:
    1. Product safety, 
    2. Ethical marketing, and 
    3. Company’s offer to customers.

Companies seeking B Corp certification must score a minimum in every area to qualify. 

Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) and the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) address similar aspects as B Corp.

ISO 14001 VS B Corp

ISO 14001 and B Corp are certifications about sustainability and environmental responsibility, but they serve different purposes and have different focuses.

ISO 14001:

1. Scope:

    • ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management systems. It provides a framework for organizations or any form (profit or non) to establish and operate effective environmental management systems to minimize their impact.
    • Focus: ISO 14001 focuses primarily on the processes and systems within an organization that contribute to its environmental performance. Additionally, it is not limited to a specific industry or sector.

2. Certification Process:

The certification process involves an organization implementing an environmental management system, conducting internal compliance and management audits, and undergoing an external audit by any certification body to ensure compliance with the ISO 14001 standard.

B Corp:

1. Scope:

B Corp certification is specific to for-profit companies that meet rigorous social and environmental performance standards. A B Corp is certified by the nonprofit organization B Lab, and the certification focuses on a company’s overall impact on society and the environment.

2. Certification Process:

To become a B Corp, a company must undergo a comprehensive assessment of its performance across multiple areas, including governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. B Lab conducts the assessments.

3. Values and Purpose:

B Corp certification reflects a company’s commitment to using business as a force for good. It goes beyond environmental considerations to include social and ethical dimensions. A company aims to balance profit with a positive impact on people and the planet.

In summary, ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard focusing on processes within a specific organization. On the other hand, B Corp certification is a broader designation. It encompasses environmental and social aspects, reflecting a company’s commitment to a holistic approach to sustainability and responsible business practices. Finally, companies can pursue both certifications to demonstrate excellence in environmental management and overall social and environmental impact.

Can a Product be B Corp Certified?

No, individual products themselves cannot be B Corp certified. Companies or businesses can receive the B Corp certification, not specific products or services. 

When a company is B Corp certified, the entire business, including its operations, practices, and products or services, meets the B Lab’s rigorous social and environmental criteria. 

While individual products cannot be B Corp certified, companies that have received B Corp certification often use it to communicate their commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices, including the development and sale of products that align with these values. Therefore, B Corp-certified companies tend to meet applicable product environmental requirements. Then, the certification serves as an overall mark of corporate responsibility.

Enviropass can support you with your corporate certification needs. Contact Enviropass!