Controversial Issues

 

As more and more companies apply for B Corp Certification, B Lab and its Standards Advisory Council must develop models for how to effectively evaluate the impacts of many different industries, policies, and practices. Whether through information a company provides in its Disclosure Questionnaire, an issue raised by a third-party through B Lab's complaints process, or public discourse on B Corp certification requirements and standards, difficult and complex questions arise regularly as to how controversial topics in the world of business should effect a company's eligibility for B Corp certification.

With the help of the independent Standards Advisory Council and its various working groups, B Lab attempts to create meaningful models for how to assess the relevance of these issues to B Corp Certification. We will document and share B Lab's models, positions, and responses to dialogue publicly on this page as they are created, with the hope of both allowing other interested parties to arrive at their own independent judgments and furthering thoughtful, constructive public discussion about important issues. These frameworks, like B Lab’s standards generally, are works in process, and we look forward to improving upon them in the future. B Lab invites other perspectives as it continues to refine its views and, hopefully, contribute to a constructive conversation about the role of business in society.

If you have questions or comments about B Lab's approach to the below issues, please email support@bcorporation.net.

 

For-Profit Higher Education

For-profit higher education institutions are eligible for B Corp Certification. The below FAQ outlines B Lab's methodology and rationale for evaluating higher education institutions, along with the additional performance requirements for this industry.

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Publicly-Traded Companies

Publicly-traded companies are eligible for B Corp Certification. The below FAQ outlines B Lab's methodology and rationale for evaluating publicly-traded companies, additional transparency and verification requirements, and the legal requirement for public companies.

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Bottled Water

Bottled water companies are eligible for B Corp Certification with additional review by the Standards Advisory Council. The below document outlines B Lab's rationale and framework for evaluating bottled water companies.

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B Corps and the Prison Industry

In response to interest in B Corporation Certification from companies involved in the prison industry, B Lab and its independent Standards Advisory Council has rendered the following decisions regarding eligibility for B Corp Certification.

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Orphanage-Based Volunteer Programs

In response to a complaint regarding companies that organize volunteer trips to orphanages or childcare placements, B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council has rendered the following decisions regarding eligibility for B Corp Certification.

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Tax Avoidance

B Lab has created a framework for evaluating tax strategies against the requirements of B Corp Certification. This document also includes the challenges in the application of the framework, consideration of alternatives, and an invitation for feedback.

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Cannabis-Related Products

In response to increasing interest from companies and stakeholders regarding B Corp Certification for companies producing or selling cannabis or related products/services, B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council has rendered the following decisions regarding eligibility for B Corp Certification.

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B Corps and Human Rights

B Lab's response to questions posed about how B Corp Certification addresses human rights issues in the 2017 Stanford Social Innovation Review article “Do Benefit Corporations Respect Human Rights?"

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Zoos, Aquariums, and Animal Parks

In response to stakeholder inquiries, B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council has rendered the following decisions regarding B Corp Certification for companies that operate zoos, aquariums, or other animal-based recreation or parks.

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Unionization Efforts by Employees

In response to interest from companies and stakeholders regarding unionization of employees and B Corp Certification for companies, B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council has rendered the following decisions.

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