What does the B Corp certification mean?

Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

5 Impact areas

The B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s practices and outputs across five categories: governance, workers, community, the environment, and customers. 

  • Governance

    A company’s overall mission, ethics, accountability, transparency and how they build their vision and values into their bylaws. Best practices are focused on how they engage employees, board members, and the community to achieve their mission, as well as employee access to financial information, customers’ opportunities to provide feedback, and the diversity of their governing bodies.

  • Workers

    A businesses’ efforts to create positive impacts for their workforce. Best practices in the work environment look at aspects like employee compensation, benefits, training and ownership opportunities, as well as assessing working communication, job flexibility and worker health, safety practices and overall work conditions.

  • Customers

    How a company serves their customers, offering products or services that support the greater good. Best practices explore whether a company adds value to customers’ lives by providing critical services like education, healthcare, and finance management, as well as engaging in ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels.

  • Environment

    How a company works towards a more sustainable and regenerative planet by reducing their footprint and putting their impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity first in their business practices. This section explores the impact of a company’s facilities, materials, emissions, and resource and energy use, as well as transportation/distribution channels and the environmental impact of their supply chain.

  • Community

    How a business contributes to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which they operate. Best practices explore initiatives and policies directed at community impact, including embracing supplier relations, social engagement, charitable giving, and strong, diverse communities.

A rigorous, holistic certification

B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency. 

  • Holistic evaluation

    B Corp Certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue.

  • Different pathways to Certification

    The certification process varies and increases in rigour depending on a company’s size and complexity.

  • Risk Assessment

    At the beginning of the B Corp Certification process, companies must undergo an assessment of risk factors based on their industry and other practices.

  • Documentation Provided

    B Impact Assessment answers are validated through documentation of your company’s business model and information about your operations, structure, and various work processes

  • Reviews and Site Visits

    Taking company size and profile into account, verification may also involve a review of potential public complaints and possible site visits.

  • Recertification every three years

    B Corps are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, ensuring standards continue to be met and promoting long-term resiliency.

Why does the B Corp certification exist?

Business needs comprehensive, credible, comparable impact standards to support economic systems change. B Lab was founded in 2006 with the idea that a different kind of economy was not only possible, it was necessary – and that business could lead the way towards a new, stakeholder-driven model.

What is the certification based on?

High-quality social and environmental business standards demand continuous improvement in order to meet principles of inclusion, independence, and credibility.

Developed according to standards best practices and informed by stakeholder input and research, our standards have continuously evolved since our founding in 2006.

The B Impact Assessment and our standards are independently governed by our Standards Advisory Council and Board of Directors with input from external stakeholders and various working and advisory groups. 

Your questions about B Corp Certification explained

The growing visibility of the B Corp movement invites added scrutiny, and rightfully so. There have been increased conversations about B Lab’s standards and certification among B Corps, sustainability advocates, consumers, and other stakeholders. In listening to this commentary about our work, we have identified some common questions about B Corp Certification, which we walk through.

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Discover our B Impact Assessment

The B Impact Assessment is a free digital tool that can help businesses measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders, used by more than 150,000 organizations. Receiving a minimum verified score of 80 points on the assessment is also the first step towards B Corp Certification. 

Frequently Asked Questions