Behind the B-Corp movement: What is it and why does it matter?

The rate of B-Corp certified businesses are growing. What is B-Corp and why does it matter during the climate crisis? We have some explanations.

The trend of businesses with Certified B Corporation is increasing.
Jack Swain
Jack Swain Meteored United Kingdom 5 min

With the climate crisis continuing, there is a growing trend of corporations wanted to be part of a movement which focuses on a circular economy; in order for a business to increase both it's sustainability credentials and to attract new talent. This growing movement is known as B Corp, short for B Corporation. While each corporation faces challenges to get B certification, each journey presents its own unique characteristics.

How does B Lab inspire corporations?

B Lab's mission is to change the way our economic system works. This is done through ensuring that businesses that want to join the B Lab movement must demonstrate that they bring benefits to all levels of governance. This ranges from clients, employees, environment, wider supply chains, local communities, as well as recognising investors.

Further to this, should a business reach B Corp status, they can collaborate with other business which have B Corp status to further share best practices to enhancing their sustainability credentials.

An example of a B Corp from the food and beverage sector is Elephant Gin. Based in Germany, they have been B certified since March 2023.

B Corps require a score of 80 and above. Elephant Gin reached a score of 90.4

Going above the basic threshold for B Corp which requires a score of 80. Elephant Gin achieved a score of 90.4. Focusing on the score of 90.4, Elephant Gins highest credential within the pillars of B Corp is aimed at the community with a score of 37.7.

Community evaluates topics such as diversity, economic impact and charitable giving. This part of the B Corp process recognises business models that are designed to address specific community-oriented problems.

To put this into perspective, Elephant Gin focuses on fighting illegal elephant poaching with 15% of profits directed to the cause. This is one example of the many business dedicated to making a positive experience through the B Lab movement.

Evolving the standards of B Corp

Businesses go through a very rigid process to score 80 with the average business scoring 50.9. To recognise the continuing climate crisis, combined with the associated economic challenges ahead. In December 2020, B Lab announced that it will change the standards for B Corp Certification.

In May 2023, a preliminary consultation was shared which highlights the potential ways that prevalent feedback could be addressed in changing the standards for B Corp.

Feedback shows that B Corp standards are difficult to attain for companies within the Global South, companies with the majority of employees working freelance roles, and companies that are currently recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business have also asked for B Lab to simplify the five standards as these standards are open to different types of requirements, adding complexity to the new B Corp process.

As part of the consultation, B Lab have announced that it will reach out to indigenous led B Corps more often and to review the standards towards indigenous communities.

Looking towards governance, business have asked for further coherency in identifying equivalent frameworks in the ESG space. B Lab have announced that the new B Corp standards will explore opportunities for interoperability.

In spite of this lengthy consultation, there has been a positive trend of businesses wanting to join the B Lab movement. To demonstrate high levels of governance to all levels all focuses on tacking the climate crises and creating a fairer future for all.