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B Corp 101: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Jun 18 • 3 min read

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There are over 2,500 Certified B Corporations in over 50 countries around the world today. But back in 2006, there were just three friends looking to make a positive impact on the business world. These three friends set out to define a way for mission-driven companies to blend profit with purpose in a meaningful way, leading to the creation of Certified B Corporations. But what is B Corp, and how can it influence your future in business?

B Corps defined

B Corps, also known as Certified B Corporations, are businesses that adhere to the “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability,” according to B Lab. For a company to reach the point of certification as a B Corporation, it must be driven by vision and not simply by profit. B Corps strive to solve environmental, communal and global challenges. They do so by supporting their employees to complete their mission, holding themselves accountable and aspiring to benefit all.

How does a business become a B Corp?

For a business to become a B Corp, they must first be leaders of a global movement to use the power of business for the greater good. Businesses must be accountable, transparent and high-performing. They must also achieve the minimum score on the B Impact Assessment, which is a measurement of the impact the business has on its stakeholders.

Who certifies B Corps?

Standards Analysts administer B Corp Certifications in the nonprofit B Lab. These analysts are located in three B Lab offices: Pennsylvania, New York and Amsterdam. Companies must also pay certification fees based on their revenues and undergo recertification every two years to meet the universal standards.

How can I work for a B Corp?

Excited by the mission behind B Corps? Meaningful jobs are available at B Corps around the world. Using B Work, the official B Corps job board, identify what type of position you’re looking for to narrow down your job search.

Do I know any B Corps?

You may be surprised that some well-known household brands are in fact B Corps. Even though having a B Corp Certification is very impressive, the main priority of a B Corp is their humble commitment to the greater good. Here are just a few B Corps that you may have heard of: Patagonia, Toms, Athleta, New Belgium Brewing, Ben and Jerry’s, Greyston Bakery, C.F. Martin & Co., The Myers-Briggs Company and Techstars. For a full list of B Corps, search the B Corp Directory.

Are there any B Corps based in Philadelphia?

There are 28 B Corps in Philadelphia alone. These companies include education services, hospitality, healthcare, cleaning, environmental, graphic design, real estate, technology and more. New businesses earn their B Corp Certifications every day. These are real businesses driving real change in the world through their individual missions.

Are you looking to make an impact on your own? Even if you do not work for a B Corp, there are ways that you can practice social responsibility by supporting businesses that you believe in—businesses that are there for the greater good.

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.