The following describes the specific steps we will take together to validate the company's social and environmental performance measured through the B Impact Assessment. This process is designed to be rigorous yet straightforward. Please reach out to us, and we can help you get started (firstname.lastname@example.org, +61 3 8534 8021).
A) Take the B Impact Assessment
The first step in becoming a Certified B Corporation is taking the B Impact Assessment, which assesses the overall impact of your company on its stakeholders. The assessment varies depending on the company's size (number of employees), sector, and location of primary operation. Completing the assessment typically takes 1-3 hrs; we encourage using your best estimates the first time around. Once you've completed the assessment, you will receive a B Impact Report that contains an overall score.
B) Submitting Supporting Document, and prepare for your Assessment Review
Once you submit your B Impact Assessment, you will be sent an email asking you whether you would like to take the next step toward certification. If you would like to be certified, you will then be invited to book in an Assessment Review call with a Standards Associate based in the US. Before the call, you will be required to submit supporting documentation for a randomly selected 8-10 questions that were answered in the affirmative. The document list will be generated once you have booked in your Assessment Review.
C) Complete an Assessment Review
During the Assessment Review call (usually via Skype), B Lab staff will review questions that may have been difficult to answer or are unclear; which will give you a chance to refine your answers so that they fit the intent of the questions. The review also helps us understand more about the unique circumstances and best practices related to your company. On average, it takes about 60-90 minutes to complete a review. There will also be the opportunity for you to submit documentation to support your Impact Business Model, if you have selected one.
D) Complete Disclosure Questionnaire
The Disclosure Questionnaire allows your company to confidentially disclose to B Lab any sensitive practices, fines, and sanctions related to your company or its partners. This component does not affect the company's rating. Typically, the majority of these responses are minor in nature and therefore no further action is needed. However, if B Lab identifies one or more items in the Disclosure Questionnaire or in a background check of the Company and its senior management to be material, it may merit further transparency, and the Company will be notified to provide incremental disclosure on www.bcorporation.com.au. Acceptance into and continued participation in the B Corp community is at the sole discretion of the Standards Advisory Council and B Lab's Board of Directors.
10% of Certified B Corporations are randomly selected each year for an on-site review. This component of the B Corp Certification is critical in maintaining the authenticity of the Certified B Corp Seal. Our goal for the review is to verify the accuracy of all affirmative responses (not just the top 8-12 responses) in the company's B Impact Assessment. An on-site review typically takes between 6-10 hours depending on the size and scope of business.
In order to maintain B Corporation Certification, a company must complete Steps A-D every three years* and achieve at least 80 out of 200 available points. This process ensures that companies who become certified B Corporations continue to engage in a high level of impact with their stakeholders, even as the business grows or changes. The B Impact Assessment is updated every three years, so recertification also gives companies the opportunity to set improvement goals against the most-up-to-date standard and benchmark their performance over time.
*Recertification previously took place on a two-year cycle. Read about the change to a three-year Certification term.