The B Corp Benchmarks are the largest, comparable data sets about the positive impact of business on society and the environment.
They represent the impact of approximately 3,500 small businesses on 350+ social and environmental best practices collected through the B Impact Assessment.
This data set enables businesses to make informed action plans to improve their social and environmental performance.
The B Corp Benchmarks allows you to compare your company’s performance to the Benchmark and in the process understand how your business can improve its practices.
Types of Benchmarks
This data set provides two types of benchmarks:
1) Benchmarks on Overall Impact Scores:
Example: The Median score on Job Creation for 1,075 Other Sustainable Businesses is 2 points; Company X outperforms that benchmark by 4x!
2) Benchmarks on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Example: The B Corp Benchmarks indicate that most businesses do not focus on hiring individuals with barriers to employment (Median for 1,075 OSBs is 1% of employees). Whereas, 38% of Company X’s workforce represents people with barriers to employment.
Who is in the B Corp Benchmarks 2013?
The B Corp Benchmarks uses data (as of January 2013) collected from 1,752 businesses that have completed Version 3.0 of the B Impact Assessment. We believe these businesses have a wide range of motivation and performance, even though they have taken the effort to complete the Assessment. To make the benchmarks more useful, B Lab has grouped these businesses into three benchmark groups:
1) Certified B Corporations – 536 businesses:
Certified B Corporations are businesses certified by B Lab to have: 1) met rigorous standards of overall social and environmental performance, having earned a verified score of 80 points (out of 200) on the B Impact Assessment; and 2) expanded the legal responsibility of the company’s directors to include the interests of workers, community, and the environment. As of January 2013, 536 B Corporations have completed version 3.0 of the BIA and therefore comprise this data set.
Data Validity: 100% of B Corps go through a rigorous assurance process which includes a phone review of their Assessment with B Lab Staff and documentation reviews to validate their answers. In addition 10% of B Corporations are reviewed on-site for a deeper review every year.
2) Other Sustainable Businesses (OSBs) – 1,075 businesses:
This group is comprised of businesses that largely voluntarily sought out and completed the B Impact Assessment. By taking this step, they are demonstrating their motivation to conduct business in a “responsible” or “sustainable” manner. The current data set includes 1,075 Other Sustainable Businesses that had completed the B Impact Assessment.
Data Validity: 65% of this data set is self-reported, and 35% of this data set was validated to some degree (either via phone reviews with B Lab staff or full documentation reviews with B Lab). Some of these businesses will have done this on the path to certification, but have not yet, or perhaps never will, obtain B Corp Certification. Others may do this voluntarily as part of their corporate sustainability program, CSR reporting efforts, or benefit corporation reporting requirements. As a result, there is a higher likelihood of false positive answers than the B Corp data set.
3) Ordinary Businesses (OBs) – 141 businesses:
The OB data set is intended to represent businesses which have no explicit social or environmental intent related to their business. Although OBs may exhibit some impact practices such as recycling or offering health insurance, these companies do not view their business as a vehicle to tackle social and environmental challenges. Businesses were identified as such in the data set for two possible reasons:
1) The company self-identified as an Ordinary Business by answering in the Assessment that their business has no explicit social or environmental mission, or
2) B Lab Staff conducted a review of the company’s website and materials and concluded that the business does not have any products or programs that are socially or environmentally oriented. As an example, these businesses’ communications were void of anything that might discuss the company’s workplace, charitable giving programs, or environmental initiatives.
Data Validity: 92% of this data set is self-reported. A handful of businesses in this data set did complete the verification process with B Lab at the request of an investor. Generally, this data set has the highest likelihood of false positive answers.
Historical B Corp Benchmarks
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