How to Become a B Corp

March 13th 2018

by Shandy Carroll, Sustainability Manager, GloryBee

Being a B Corp means committing as a business to creating positive change. To do this, it means committing to following best practices, and checking our progress every two years against a global benchmark. At GloryBee we started this process in 2015, taking the Quick Impact Assessment (QIA) and working through the process with B Corp. One of the many benefits; fulfilling the assessment requires a high level of organization and planning, and has really guided the last few years sustainability goals.

Steps to becoming a certified B Corporation:

  1. Take the Quick B Impact Assessment:

It’s free, and takes about 20 minutes. The questions are more straightforward, and any business that claims to be sustainable should be able to complete it. A friendly B Lab staff member follows up, and can help you decide if you’d like to go further.  For more info, go to: How to Become a B Corp.

  1. The full B Impact Assessment:

Becoming a B Corp, and staying a B Corp means taking a 200 question assessment, and achieving a score of over 80 points. Some find the assessment daunting, but it’s a way to take big steps down the sustainability pathway. A B Corp business runs on metrics; employee retention, payroll, sales, income, bonus payments, greenhouse gas emissions improvements! All these numbers are housed somewhere. Spend some time going through the assessment and set up a spreadsheet of the metrics you’ll need to answer the questions.

As GloryBee’s full time sustainability manager, I worked on the assessment for a month before passing it over to the executive committee for review.

  1. Resist the desire to ‘quickly’ improve something!

It’s so tempting to quickly improve something, write a policy you’ve been meaning to get to, or wait a few months until that new benefit kicks in. Resist it! It’s so much better to roll out projects fully, taking the care needed. Those extra points will be there for the next re-certification.

  1. Desk Audit – the three hour conversation

The final step is to speak with B Lab and complete a desk audit. Ours took 3 hours! They help you answer any questions that may have been missed, and ask for proof of different numbers. A few lucky companies get an onsite audit. This increases the transparency and reliability of the assessment.

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Five years ago having a breakroom composting program was cutting edge. In 2018 an onsite recycling and food waste management program is a minimal expectation for a sustainable business.

B Corp is helping GloryBee navigate this sustainable journey, and keep moving forward. In the next few weeks we’ll talk more about the importance of using business as a force for good, making decisions based on our business values, and creating positive change from the ground up!

Shandy Carroll is the Sustainability Manager at GloryBee, a natural ingredient supplier in Eugene Oregon. Shandy has a bachelor’s of science in global environmental science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a master’s of science degree in marine science from Moss Landing Marine Labs at California State University Monterey Bay. Her passion for environmental conservation, particularly reducing contributions to climate change, led her to the sustainability field and the natural foods industry, where companies are working hard to be part of the solution. She will be leading a workshop at the 2018 Provender Conference on the hows and whys of becoming a B Corp with reports from different companies who have become B Corps.