Skip to content
Learning and Teaching Sustainability

How to become a B Corp


If you are wondering if your organization can or should become a Certified B Corporation, the answer is yes, so keep reading.

If you are wondering what a B Corp is, keep reading. This article should help clarify what B Corps are and why you should buy B Corp goods and services.

B Corp is short for Certified B Corporation. B Corps are for profit companies that have met the minimum standards set by B Labs, a nonprofit organization that created the Certified B Corporation designation. A company must take the B Labs Impact Assessment and score a minimum of 80 out of 200 to meet B Labs minimum standards before becoming a Certified B Corp. The Impact Assessment is step one of a only a few to becoming a B Corp.

A company interested in being a B Corp should go here for more details.

The process for becoming a B Corp is, in short:

  1. Take the B Labs Impact Assessment to determine how your company impacts environment, workers, community, and customers.
  2. Review your results. B Labs requires an 80 out of a possible 200 points to meet B Corp certification minimum.
  3. Develop a plan to improve your impact.
  4. Finally, finish and get certified by meeting the minimum requirements for accountability and transparency.

For detailed information on becoming a B Corps read this guide put together by Yale Center for Business and the Environment and Patagonia, Inc. They have done a wonderful job detailing everything you need to determine if a B Corp certification is right for your company.

Before writing this, I was confused about the difference between a Benefit Corporations and a B Corp. Truthfully, I thought that one could replace the other. That is not the case. In fact, they should be paired together. Benefit Corporation status is really just a legal move to protect the company. The one that matters is B Corp. A Certified B Corp is a vetted company that has gone through a rigorous assessment to be certain that they have a positive social and environmental impact.

The barriers to entry for Benefit Corporations are unclear and seem to be less stringent than the barriers for B Corp certification. The law varies from state to state, but in general a company has to only provide a “general public good” to qualify as a Benefit Corporation. See this link for information on state by state legislation regarding Benefit Corporation status.

Its not enough to simply say that a company has met a requirement of providing public good without establishing any quantifiable proof. That is why B Labs has established a quantifiable method for gauging where a company stands in terms of its environmental and social impact. This way a company, as the B Corps website puts it, can “Measure What Matters”.

About the author: Adam Cunningham
Tell us something about yourself.

Get involved!

Live to Sustain!

Join our community. Expand your network and get to know people interested in sustainability.


No comments yet
Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: