What does ‘Business as a force for good’ really mean?

Business as a force for good

For years, the goal of business was to maximize value for shareholders. However, social consciousness is taking a seat in boardrooms with B Corp certification taking center stage. B Corporations (B Corps) are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit to build inclusive and sustainable economies that work for all. The B Corp community redefines business success as not just the profit they make toward shareholders but in the overall impact they have on all their stakeholders. B Corp Certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee.

Recently, there has been a global rise of companies certifying as B Corps and committing to using business as a force for good to create long-lasting positive impact on their employees, customers, communities and the environment. These companies commit to adding momentum to an important movement and shifting their business image from greed to good. 

Certified B Corporations usually have met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance purpose and profit. B Corp certification doesn’t just prove where your company excels now, it commits you to consider your impact on stakeholders now, and in the future, by incorporating it into your company’s legal structure.

There are now over 3,400 certified B Corps across 71 countries and more than 150 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine business success. In Africa alone, we have over 43 certified B Corporations using their business as a force for good.

Why are companies certifying as B Corps?

Today’s consumers do not want to take a company’s social and environmental brand claims just at face value. They want them to be verified by independent, credible third parties. B Corp certification helps consumers filter through the marketing hype to find businesses and products that are socially and environmentally responsible.

Other than focusing on consumers who want to align their purchases with businesses that have embedded social and environmental values in their core mission, B Corp certification offers a host of other benefits:

  1. Attracting and retaining talent

More and more of the workforce today makes decisions about where to work based on the positive impact their work creates and how well an employer treats their team. Employees now want more from their employers than a paycheck. They want a sense of pride and fulfillment from their work, a purpose and more importantly, a company whose values match their own. Research conducted by the Cone Millennial Cause Group found that 80% of a sample of 1,800 13-25 year olds wanted to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society’s well-being.

  1. Attracting funding

Investors today are coming to the table with greater expectations before they commit to make an investment. That is, they are continuing to realize that investing with an environmental, social and governance (ESG) lens creates more long term value for their investment. B Corp certification goes the extra mile to assure your funders and investors, and demonstrate your company’s social mission to create shared and durable prosperity for all your stakeholders.

  1. Building credibility

B Corp Certification helps your company stand out and stand by your mission. The B Corp seal on a product, website, sales materials or business card instantly communicates that a company is a verified leader and that it meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.

  1. Building relationships

B Corp certification creates an opportunity to join a community of leaders who share a belief that business can solve social and environmental problems. Connect online, meet in person at events, or build client and supplier relationships.

  1. Improving impact

The B Impact Assessment is a powerful mechanism to help your company set goals for improvement, create more positive social and environmental impact, and track performance over time.

You can find more impetuses on certifying as a B Corp here

Ready to get started?

To start your journey to certification, register for the free B Impact Assessment and begin answering your questions about your company’s operations and business model. Along the way, you’ll be able to set goals for improvement, compare your performance to similar companies, and learn about best practice from the B Corp community.

Learn more about our certification requirements here.

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