A Certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp), is a for-profit business certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Certified B Corps are guided by the triple bottom line in their business, concerned with not only making a profit, but doing the best for their employees, community and our planet, as well. Learn more by watching this 2-minute video on the official B Corp site.
The concept of the triple bottom line was first founded in 1994 by John Elkington, the founder of a British consultancy, SustainAbility. Simply defined, the triple bottom line is defined as the 3 Ps: people, planet and profit. The traditional “bottom line” is primarily focused on corporate profit, whereas the triple bottom line aims to measure the financial, social and environmental performance of a business over time. Read this article from The Economist to learn more.
There are currently 12 certified B Corps in the state of Michigan, 9 of which are located in Grand Rapids! The following businesses are certified B Corps in Michigan:
Your first step to becoming B Corp certified is to complete the B Impact Assessment, followed by multiple interviews and further qualifications. The official B Corporation site lays out the steps of pursuing a B Corp certification on their website: https://www.bcorporation.net/become-a-b-corp/how-to-become-a-b-corp.
The process to become B Corp certified varies depending on the scope and complexity of your business, as well as the amount of time you are willing and able to dedicate to the certification process. It took TIS about 4 months to earn our official certification as a B Corp.
Beyond using business as a force for good to the planet, your community and your employees, becoming a certified B Corporation is a catalyst for other big milestones in your business, such as helping to pass legislation, attracting investors and more.
Businesses must meet the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency in order to become a certified B Corporation. You can become B Corp certified if you are a for-profit business, whether you’re a start-up or have been established for years.
As an ally for our community, we would love to help any business who is interested in pursuing B Corporation certification! Our first recommendation is to take the Local First Quick Impact Assessment, provided by Local First, B Lab and BALLE. At the end of the assessment, you will be given a list of recommended next steps before actively pursuing certification from B Corp.
There are 2,000 certified B Corporations (and counting) across 50 countries and 130 industries. Big-name companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, Patagonia, Warby Parker, Seventh Generation, and hundred of others are all certified B Corps.