How to B better: a guide to becoming B Corp Certified

Aurore Jaugin
Deputy CEO
February 28, 2023

Looking to become B Corp Certified? You’ve come to the right place.

In November 2022, UpSlide proudly joined the B Corp community. Now, we want to help other companies reach their sustainability goals and create a better future for businesses, people, and the planet. Read on to discover our top tips for navigating your B Corp journey: from the B Impact Assessment to renewing your Certification in three years’ time.

TL;DR

  • Our top tips for nailing the B Impact Assessment are to discover the theory, leverage B Lab’s free resources, and establish topic owners.

  • Ask for client feedback as early as possible on your B Corp journey. Use these insights to improve your business practices and processes.

  • Make sure to gather evidence and keep records for each question in the BIA. Clear evidence makes it much easier for B Lab to assess your actions, and will spare any unnecessary delays down the line.

Start the B Impact Assessment

The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is the first step in your B Corp journey. For many businesses, this may be their first time investigating their social and environmental performance. The BIA is a great tool to assess areas for improvement and ultimately push your company to improve its positive impact. By the end of the process, you’ll have a clear idea of how your business can meet B Lab’s requirements for Certification.

How does the B Impact Assessment work?

Depending on the size and structure of your business, the time it takes to complete the BIA varies from a few hours to a few weeks. You’ll be asked a series of questions that focus on your company’s practices and outputs across five categories:

  • Governance
  • Workers
  • Environment
  • Customers
  • Community

You can read B Lab’s definitions and requirements for each category here.

Our top tips to ace the B Impact Assessment:

  • Discover the theory
    To get a better understanding of what the B Corp community is all about, read B Lab’s Theory of Change or browse through their blog archive. Struggling to navigate the Workers and Governance sections? B Lab provides some great resources on stakeholder governance, a model whereby companies consider the impact of each decision on all their stakeholders. Once you get to the Environment section, we suggest reading through the B Corp Climate Collective resources page.
  • Leverage B Lab’s free resources
    Some of the BIA questions can seem intimidating at first. Don’t let this put you off! Use the Learn button above each question to see an explanation of the terminology and why the question is relevant to B Lab’s mission. Within the Learn window, you can also click the Implementations button to read B Lab’s recommended solutions for how to put each change into action. Take your time reading these, click the links and find out as much as you can.
  • Establish topic owners
    B Lab recommends assigning topic owners within your business to help with each section of the assessment. For example, to get to grips with the Governance section, you can draw on the expertise of your CEO, CFO as well as your HR and Legal teams.
BIA topic owners across Pyramid, UpSlide’s parent company.

If your company is under 12 months old, you may want to first consider applying for B Corp Pending status. This gives you a bit more time to understand the Impact Assessment process and better prepare your company to go the distance.

Discover more about becoming a Pending B Corp >

Connect with your community

To understand how best to support your clients throughout your B Corp journey, ask for their feedback as early as possible. These questions are a good place to start:

  • Do they feel well supported by your product/service?
  • Are your ESG goals aligned?
  • What more could you be doing to support their sustainability goals?

Use this feedback to improve your business practices and processes for the future.

Internally, regularly share information on the B Corp process with your teams as much as possible. Have informal conversations, conduct surveys, find out what impact areas they want to prioritize and let them know how they can help. Not everyone will be aware of B Corp’s mission, so now’s your chance to inspire them. Why not get creative with it? Create email campaigns, share some of the links you’ve discovered, run a mini webinar: get your employees in the know!

Climate Fresk workshops are a fun initiative to engage and educate your teams about climate change solutions.

Find out more on how to organize a Climate Fresk here >

A Climate Fresk in our London office, December 2022.

Implement key changes

After the BIA, and your conversations with employees and clients, you should see some areas for improvement. Now’s your chance to take steps to address them. At UpSlide, we made a few operational changes to improve our environmental impact. For example, improving the insulation in our Paris office, setting eco-friendly temperature windows for our air con systems, and limiting inter-office travel by plane.

Use the BIA platform throughout your B Corp journey to track your improvements over time and view your customized improvement report.

The B Impact Report for UpSlide’s parent company, Pyramid.

The BIA platform also allows you to compare your impact to thousands of other businesses that have gone through this process before you. Use the search tool on the B Lab website to find Certified B Corps in your sector and see which areas they succeed in. Why not connect with some B Corps that inspire you and learn from their experiences?

To learn more about UpSlide’s B Corp journey, read this blog by our Chairman and Co-founder, Philippe Chazalon.

Submit your assessment

It’s time to make it official! Once your BIA score reaches 80 points, you can submit your assessment and start the review process. This evaluates the commitments and legal frameworks your company has implemented to meet B Lab’s standards.

The length of this process can vary – on average it takes between six months to over a year. For us, it took closer to two years, during which we learnt how to be patient and to continue improving our policies and practices. Remember to stay focused and use this time to get a head start on developing your positive impact initiatives for the future.

Remember: evidence is everything.

Make sure to gather evidence and keep records for each question in the BIA. Clear evidence makes it much easier for B Lab to assess your actions, and will spare any unnecessary delays down the line. Within Pyramid, our parent company, we found it helpful to combine all of our findings and actions into our 2021 CSR report.

Make sure to gather evidence and keep records for each question in the BIA. Clear evidence makes it much easier for B Lab to assess your actions, and will spare any unnecessary delays down the Our B Corp journey boosted collaboration across our entire business. Teams across different functions and geographies are now working together to reach our sustainability goals and create positive change.

Aurore Jaugin

Deputy CEO

Don’t be shy, recertify

Well done, you’re officially B Corp Certified! Here’s where your real B Corp journey starts. B Corp Certification is valid for three years, and companies must recertify within this time to maintain their status. This involves reviewing your legal framework and completing the most current version of the BIA.

Our top tip is to keep up to date with B Lab’s latest policies. The B Impact Assessment is updated every three years to respond to the latest global, environmental and industrial developments. A lot can change in your business during this time, so make sure you stay in the know and identify any room for improvement.

This is a chance to reflect on your progress, reassess your positive impact goals for the future, and help push your company even further to be a force for good.

Think you’re ready? Start your own B Corp journey here >

We’ll be sharing more updates throughout B Corp month in March! Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn to stay in the loop.

Aurore Jaugin
Aurore is UpSlide’s Deputy CEO. She is an inspiring leader, recognized for her team spirit, management and empowerment skills. After over 11 years at UpSlide, having founded our New York office, Aurore is now an internal expert on UpSlide’s mission for positive impact.

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