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B Corp Certification is based on three essential pillars: Verified Performance, Public Transparency and Legal Accountability. The three pillars of B Corp Certification make it unique, material, and credible. This is your complete guide to the requirements to become a Certified B Corp.

1. Complete the B Impact Assessment

 

The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is a free, confidential platform designed to help measure and manage your company’s positive impact on your workers, community, customers and environment. The BIA assesses the impact of both your company’s day-to-day operations and your business model—both what you do and how you do it. The questions on your company’s B Impact Assessment are determined by company size, sector, and market, with around 200 questions total.

 

  • TIP: Engage your team. Ask for help with answering questions in the BIA, and talk together about how you could increase your positive impact on people and planet. You can even appoint a B Corp champion, to rally everyone to the cause.

2. Submit your results for review

 

After completing the B Impact Assessment and Disclosure Questionnaire, Submit to request an Assessment Review. Your responses to the B Impact Assessment determine your total numeric score. B Corp Certification requires a minimum verified total score of 80 across all impact areas.

3. Schedule an Assessment Review and Submit Initial Documentation

 

A B Lab Standards Analyst will reach out to schedule a time to review the B Impact Assessment over the phone. The wait time between assessment submission and the assessment review varies depending on volume, with an average of between 2-4 weeks.

4. Submit Initial Documentation

 

Once the Assessment Review is scheduled, a company must upload supporting documentation for six to eight randomly selected questions related to company operations. These documents must be provided before the Assessment Review takes place, otherwise B Lab may postpone the call until documentation has been provided.

5. Complete an Assessment Review

 

An Assessment Review typically takes 60 to 90 minutes. This is a time for the company and a B Lab Standards Analyst to review questions or answers that may have been unclear and adjust the self-assessment to ensure that it captures the company’s unique circumstances and impact as accurately as possible. This call typically results in score adjustments.

6. Submit Additional Documentation

 

After the review, an additional one to six responses focused on the company’s business model will be selected for documentation. At this time, B Lab also reserves the right to ask for clarifying documents based on the initial review. An additional one to three weeks may be required to resolve any outstanding questions about documentation.

7. Complete an Assessment Review

 

An Assessment Review typically takes 60 to 90 minutes. This is a time for the company and a B Lab Standards Analyst to review questions or answers that may have been unclear and adjust the self-assessment to ensure that it captures the company’s unique circumstances and impact as accurately as possible. This call typically results in score adjustments.

8. Background Checks

 

Companies pursuing Certification are subject to background checks by B Lab staff. Background checks include a review of public records, news sources, and search engines for company names, brands, executives/founders, and other relevant topics. The results of background checks undergo the same review process as items selected in the Disclosure Questionnaire. If the company’s score is 80 points or above after the verification process, then the performance requirement has been fulfilled.

9. Commit and Pay

 

In order to certify companies also sign their B Corp Agreement, which commits them to meeting the legal requirement.  Once the term sheet is signed, the company is a Certified B Corp. B Lab EA will send an invoice for the certification. See the fee structure.

Site Reviews

Each year, 10 percent of Certified B Corporations are selected for an in-depth Site Review. The companies that undergo Site Review each year include Certified B Corps who are randomly selected and those that are required to undergo an annual Site Review as part of expanded terms of Certification. Site Reviews take place virtually or on-site at the discretion of the B Lab team.

This component of the B Corp Certification is critical in maintaining the credibility of the Certified B Corp Seal. Our goal for this review is to verify the requirements of the Certification and further confirm the accuracy of affirmative responses in the company’s B Impact Assessment. The Site Review will take place either in-person or virtually and typically takes between 6-10 hours depending on the size and scope of business.

Certified B Corps that are wholly-owned subsidiaries or public companies are subject to a mandatory on-site Site Review during each three-year Certification term. Learn more about requirements for subsidiaries and other related entities.

Public Transparency

All Certified B Corps share their B Impact Report publicly on their B Impact Reports on bcorporation.net. The B Impact Report is the summary of a company’s scores on the B Impact Assessment by category and contains no question-level information.

Companies with material items in their Disclosure Questionnaire or background check may be asked to make incremental information transparent on the their online profile. See Disclosure Questionnaire above for more information.

Public companies and wholly-owned subsidiaries are subject to additional transparency requirements.

VIEW SUBSIDIARY REQUIREMENTS

Recertification

In order to maintain B Corporation Certification, a company must update their assessment every three years, provide additional documentation to verify their answers, and achieve at least 80 out of 200 available points. This process ensures that companies who become certified B Corporations continue to engage in a high level of impact with their stakeholders, even as the business grows or changes. The B Impact Assessment is updated every three years; recertification gives companies the opportunity to set improvement goals against the most-up-to-date standards and benchmark their performance over time.

Meeting the Legal Requirement

The value of meeting the legal requirement for B Corp certification is that it bakes sustainability into the DNA of your company as it grows, brings in outside capital, or plans succession, ensuring that your mission can better survive new management, new investors, or even new ownership.

Currently, B Lab East Africa does not require companies registered in East Africa (apart from Kenya) to change their company’s constitution and other documents as a condition to B Corporation certification.

KENYAN B CORPS:

For companies registered in Kenya applying for certification, a legal path has been determined. Click here to learn more about the legal path for Kenyan B Corps.

B Lab E.A. will be running a session in September with TrustLaw Foundation to discuss the steps to making amendments in Kenya. Kindly sign up by emailing Lucy@b-labeastafrica.net.

B LAB EAST AFRICA IS OFFERING A 50% DISCOUNT FOR COMPANIES CERTIFIED IN THE REGION UNTIL DECEMBER 31ST, 2018. JOIN NOW TO ENJOY THIS DISCOUNT!

Resources for Certification

1. B Lab East Africa runs a workshop every quarter on the certification process. If interested in joining the workshop, please reach out to hello@b-labeastafrica.net.

2. Frequently Asked Questions View All

3. Going through the BIA and need some support? You can email or call us to get one-on-one support from B Lab E.A.

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