Exploring B Corp's New Draft Standards

By Divyansh Jain
December 11, 2023
5 min read

The B Corp certification has emerged as a significant indicator of a company's commitment to social and environmental impact in today’s business landscape, going beyond just evaluating the quality of a product or service.  By assessing the overall social and environmental performance of a company, B Corp has emerged as a leading differentiator for sustainability standards. 

In a recent press release, B Lab, the organization behind the B Corp certification, shared findings from a study conducted in late 2022. The report describes draft new standards for B Corp certified companies, currently under development, aimed at making ambitious yet attainable updates to the current B Corp requirements. The new standards were tested among a sample of over 1,000 businesses, public, and academic stakeholders and were found to provide clearer, more specific guidance across core topics, ensuring that all B Corp certified businesses adhere to rigorous criteria for social and environmental performance. The results from the study suggest these ongoing efforts by B Lab continue to reinforce and uphold the B Corp certification as the leading standard in corporate social responsibility and underscores its importance as a transformative tool in advancing businesses’ sustainability.

Positive Feedback on New Draft Standards

According to the report, 86% of B Corp respondents and 87% of non-B Corp respondents believe that the new draft standards represent high standards for social and environmental performance and will contribute to meaningful progress on pressing issues. This demonstrates a broad consensus regarding the significance and efficacy of the proposed standards.

Moreover, the majority of respondents, including 69% of B Corp respondents and 51% of non-B Corp respondents, consider the new draft standards to be attainable or possibly attainable within the given timeframe. This indicates that the standards strike a balance between ambition and feasibility, allowing companies to set and achieve realistic goals.

Enhanced Clarity and Understanding:

The study revealed that 71% of B Corp respondents and 77% of non-B Corp respondents believe that the new draft standards make it clearer to understand what is required for certification. This improved clarity will assist businesses in comprehending the expectations and requirements of becoming a B Corp.

Insights for Further Improvement

The study also provided valuable insights for the ongoing development of the standards. Respondents emphasized the continued importance of scoring as a tool for driving improvement, and the upcoming design work will explore ways to differentiate businesses based on their impact. The report also highlights the need for enhanced clarity and understanding of the requirements for certification, as well as the importance of incorporating stakeholder perspectives and engagement.

Next Steps

B Lab expressed its commitment to incorporating the feedback received and using it to shape the next iteration of the draft standards. The organization aims to finalize the draft and conduct a second round of consultation in late 2023. During this phase, B Corps will be given time and support to transition to the new standards once they are finalized.

B Corp Certification has gained significant recognition as a transformative tool for businesses seeking to create positive social and environmental change. The draft new standards for B Corp Certification, as revealed in the report by B Lab, have been met with enthusiasm and support from stakeholders. By providing clearer guidance and mandatory requirements, these standards aim to help businesses accelerate their impact and contribute to a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. As B Lab progresses with the development of the new standards, the input received during the consultation will shape their implementation and ensure that businesses across the globe can effectively pursue B Corp Certification.

To understand more about how your company can achieve B Corp certification efficiently, request a demo from Ecolytics today!

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