Five huge benefits to becoming a B corp

Source: Sustainable Industries.com

B corporation certification sets organizations apart as mission-based businesses.

There are many benefits to becoming a B Corp.

B Corp certification sets you apart as a thought-leader, distinguishes your business in a crowded market, and helps associate your brand with the most socially and environmentally responsible companies on the planet–including Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Method, Etsy, Cabot Creamery, and 600 other B Corps with over $4 Billion in global revenues.

While other third-party certifications like LEED, Fair-Trade, and Energy Star are beneficial for any business, B Corp certification is particularly noteworthy and well-respected because it evaluates your entire business model–from your workers, to the community, to your impact on the environment.

Inc. Magazine calls B Corp certification “the highest standard for socially responsible businesses,” and The New York Timessays, “B Corp certification provides what is lacking elsewhere: proof.”

Here are 5 huge benefits of B Corp certification:

1)   Thought-Leadership

B Corps are leaders in the eyes of the media, consumers, entrepreneurs, and investors around the world because they use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

The B Corp community, for example, has led the push in California, New York, Illinois, Louisiana, South Carolina, and six other states to create a new type of corporate structure called a “benefit corporation.” Benefit corporations are a distinct legal entity (similar to a traditional corporation or LLC) that are required to create a positive impact on society and consider the effect of its decisions on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, says that “benefit corporations create the legal framework to enable companies like Patagonia to stay mission-driven through succession, capital raises, and even changes in ownership by institutionalizing the values, culture, processes, and high standards we have put in place.”

In other words, B Corps are not getting attention because they are merely an exciting type of certification. B Corps are getting attention from people like Bill Clinton, Nicholas Kristof, CBS News, and PBS NewsHour because they are changing the old rules of business.

2)   Increase Consumer Trust

According to the brand innovation firm BBMG, less than 1 percent of consumers believe what businesses claim or advertise. Rigorous, transparent, and independent third-party assessments like B Corp certification can increase trust in your business and attract more customers.

Indeed, the B Corp logo has been recognized by the Sierra Club as one of the most trustworthy eco logos, and the only certification that evaluates the entire company, rather than focusing only on the attributes of a building, product, or service.

3)   Attract the Best Employees

Want to attract top MBA students?

The Yale School of Management and NYU Stern School of Business recently announced a new financial aid program for graduates who want to work for certified B Corps or benefit corporations.

At NYU, for example, graduates of the full-time, part-time, and executive MBA program are eligible to receive up to $15,000 a year in loan-repayment assistance if they work for a B Corp.

Alumni of both NYU and Yale are eligible for the program as long as they graduated within the last 10 years.

4)   Save Money

The B Corp certification process is a great benchmark to help you identify ways to save money. For example, the B Impact Assessment looks at your energy efficiency, supply chain efficiency, worker benefits, training programs, job flexibility, corporate culture, and health and safety.

There are also a variety of service partnerships and discounts offered to certified B Corps. In 2011, for example, B Corps saved a collective $2 million by taking advantage of discounts offered by organizations like Salesforce, Netsuite, Intuit, and Care2.com.

5)   Reduce Risk

B Corp certification helps you stay in compliance with strict new regulations such as California’s AB 1103 and the SF Commercial  Benchmarking Ordinance.

Now that Wal-Mart has a zero waste goal, McDonald’s has fair-trade coffee, and Coca-Cola is using plant-based bottles, “green” has become an expectation for many industries. B Corp certification helps ensure that you remain innovative and stay ahead of the competition.

Interested in Learning More?

Check out the B Impact Assessment at www.bcorporation.net. It’s free, confidential, and a highly useful management tool to benchmark your current performance.