There are a number of business certifications but the one I'm most impressed with is B Corp. It's becoming more popular as a business practice and it is not an easy certification to get.
Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy designed to help measure and manage a company's positive impact on workers, community, customers, and environment. It assesses the impact of a company’s day-to-day operations and business model. The benefits of this certification are building trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers; attracting and retaining employees as well positive environmental impacts. Since these companies are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, they are also focused on continuous improvement, which leads to their long-term resiliency.
To fulfill the performance requirement for B Corp Certification, a company must complete the B Impact Assessment. A 200 question worksheet (not a multiple-choice kind of test.- this test can take days to complete) that requires a minimum verified total score of 80 across all impact areas. The questions are determined by company size, sector, and market. The score is then assessed by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council.
While certification is primarily based on assessing a business's positive impact, negative impacts are also considered through the disclosure questionnaire, background checks, a review of public records, news sources, and search engines for company names, brands, executives/founders, and other relevant topics and a public complaint process. This goes through the same review process as the performance requirements.
After completing the assessments, companies undergo a multi-step verification process to determine if they meet the 80-point bar for certification.
Each company has to pay a $150.00 submission fee that will lead to the initial evaluation of information submitted.
And all of this (sans the payment of $150) has to be repeated every 3 years for recertification.
So the next time you see that B Corp certification - congratulate them! They worked hard for that. And take comfort in knowing that they treat their employees well through pay, benefits, and company policies. Know that they are doing all they can as a company to be environmentally friendly and socially conscious.