B Corp Ambition or Not: why the B Impact Assessment can be a starting point for every organisation

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B Corp Ambition or Not: why the B Impact Assessment can be a starting point for every organisation

2024

Sustainability is no longer an optional addition to the agenda of board meetings; it has become a central topic. Yet, many companies face a challenge: where to begin? The thought of B Corp certification might seem daunting, as an insurmountable obstacle. But is that really the case? Or could exploring the path towards B Corp certification actually be a very good starting point?

In my role as a transformation and strategy consultant at Elemental, I am also trained as a B-leader. In this capacity, I guide companies aspiring to become B Corps on their journey to certification. Having gone through this certification process within our own organisation, I understand how challenging it can be. For many organisations, it appears to be a complex matter, particularly because of the extensive questionnaire they face. However, going through this process has made me realise that the path to B Corp certification encompasses more than just filling out a questionnaire or ticking off a checklist. For many companies, it can serve as a guideline for further improvement of the organisation in terms of sustainability.

Sustainability is not a side issue, but an essential part of business operations. Nowadays, every company is confronted with sustainability issues, whether it stems from their own ambition or the needs of suppliers or customers. This reality makes it even more important to have the right tools and insights to meet these sustainability requirements.

This is where the B Impact Assessment (BIA) comes in, a tool created by B Lab, which is essential for any company aspiring to B Corp status. This tool is more than a checklist and helps companies understand and improve their sustainability impact. For many companies, it represents the first step towards a new way of looking at themselves and their interaction with the world around them. Whether it’s about reducing ecological footprint, improving employee well-being, or making meaningful contributions to the community, the BIA provides insights into the current position and encourages the formulation of a clear sustainability ambition for the organisation. This gives companies concrete insights into areas for improvement, allowing them to gradually increase their positive impact.

Companies that feel anxious about the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) legislation can also use the BIA as a starting point. It initiates important internal discussions about sustainability and provides insight into where there are still ‘gaps’. This creates a broader understanding and engagement towards sustainability within the organisation, while mapping out where the organisation still lacks data to make an accurate assessment of its current stance.

The B Impact Assessment tool offers a practical and accessible way to make a real difference in an easy-to-approach manner. Whether the goal is B Corp certification or improving sustainability performance, the BIA can be an excellent starting point for any organisation that aspires to a more sustainable future.

This article was originally published on LInkedIn by our colleague Justin van der Starre on LinkedIn

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