Certifying the impact: the example of B Corp


Since 2006, the American B-Corp certification has been awarded to companies that, beyond their own profitability, meet very specific and high level social, environmental, transparency and governance criteria. To obtain certification, a company submits its application to the B Lab organization, which evaluates it using its B Impact Assessment (BIA) tool. The organization then determines a score out of 100 (to be a minimum of 80) and then awards the certification [1].

B-Lab evaluates companies through a detailed questionnaire that addresses five specific categories: how governance works and the company’s impact on the environment, employees, communities and customers. All these categories can be seen through 200 questions that evaluate the commitment of the company but also of its suppliers. The questionnaires are then analyzed and reviewed by a selection committee every eighteen months, which gives the company time to adapt to the changes to be made. The procedure may vary somewhat, both in terms of process and price, depending on the size and structure of the company. Nevertheless, the entire evaluation is transparent and can be monitored by the company.

With more than 2800 certified companies, B-Corp represents not only a label but also a broader international movement that tries to influence the internal functioning of new and old companies and political decisions. B-Corp certification works to reduce inequalities, poverty, safeguard a healthier environment and stronger communities through, among other things, the creation of quality jobs [2]. There are several well-known companies such as the Ben & Jerry’s icecream makers [3] but also emerging companies such as Kazidomi, currently in fundraising and presented at a Solifin matchmaking session in October 2019.

[1] Thomas Lestavel, “B Corp, dix questions pour tout comprendre”, 22 juillet 2019, site de HEC.Stories

[2] Site web de B Corp, “About B Corporation”

[3] Thomas Lestavel, op.cit.