March 20, 2023
Why B Corps matter more than ever in 2023
The movement for social business has made significant progress since B Lab was founded in 2006. If you’ve been immersed in the impact world for a while, you might even wonder: is certification still relevant at a time when so many clients and consumers have learned to vote with their wallets? It’s true that businesses having a net positive impact on the world is more of an expectation in 2023 than it ever has been. But B Corp certification, and the community that comes with it, is just as important now as it was in 2006.
In honor of B Corp Month, here are four reasons why B Corps matter more than ever in 2023:
It’s one thing to meet the threshold for being a “net positive” business. It’s quite another to back up your claims of goodness and social impact with data. The public have developed excellent BS detectors for companies attempting to causewash or greenwash. They aren’t shy about asking for proof to back up claims.
Submitting to the B Lab Assessment every three years helps to keep B Corps honest by regularly assessing their impact on employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment. They are required to meet high standards in areas such as governance, worker treatment, community engagement, and environmental stewardship. If a company falls below a score of 80, its certification can be revoked.
Greater impact in numbers
One of our proudest moments to date as a B Corp was in making a contribution to fighting House Bill 2 in North Carolina, also known as the “Bathroom Bill,” which would force transgender citizens to use the bathroom listed on their birth certificate as well as remove the rights of all citizens to file anti-discrimination lawsuits with the State based on race, religion, color, nationality, age, sex, or handicap. In response to the bill’s assault on trans rights, a number of businesses made a public show of moving their events and conferences out of the state.
B Lab asked its membership (then 1,700 global B Corps) whether the organization should relocate its annual Champions Retreat to another state in protest. When they responded in support, Yulu saw an opportunity for B Lab to speak openly with the press about how its decision came about. We helped B Lab craft a statement that was picked up by Fortune, Buzzfeed, Mashable, The Atlantic and Associated Press. HB 2 was repealed the following year.
Eight years ago, Yulu was among the first PR firms to achieve B Corp certification. A number of neighbouring companies in Vancouver had recently become B Corps as well, and we all took turns hosting monthly meetups to review case studies and crowdsource ideas on how to make more of an impact. The creative teams within those Vancouver B Corps became our close friends and allies, those friendships have endured. When social impact conferences have come to town, we’ve loved hosting meetups for visiting B Corps on our rooftop patio. It’s a powerful feeling to have constant reinforcement from our peers that the work we do really matters. And when those conferences are in other cities, it’s great to reconnect with like-minded people in other markets.
We attract great people
The job market has shifted some since the Great Resignation of 2020-2021, but it’s clear that people don’t want to settle for work that lacks meaning anymore. B Corp certification signals to potential hires that your organization walks the walk when it comes to making an impact. That you care about your people and the planet as much as you care about profits. And here’s the cherry on top: committing to an impactful business model often results in greater profits, anyway.
Thinking about becoming a B Corp? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or take the B Impact Assessment here.