What are B Corps?
A B Corp is a company that redefines success in business - it looks at the positive impact on people and on planet as well as on profit.
A B Corp is a for-profit business that has social and/or environmental outcomes as part of its mission. They are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
What are the benefits of certifying as a B Corp?
Click here to find out more about the benefits of joining this community of businesses using business as a force of good.
Can my business certify as a B Corp?
What companies can become B Corps? Any UK business is likely to be eligible for B Corp certification as long as the business can demonstrate:
- it generates the majority of its revenue from trading;
- it competes in a competitive marketplace
- it is NOT a charity;
- it is NOT a public body or otherwise majority owned by the state
Can public companies become B Corps? Yes (e.g. Etsy and Natura)
Can a subsidiary of a company become a B Corp if the holding company is not one? Yes (e.g. Ben & Jerry’s is a subsidiary of Unilever)
Can multinational companies become B Corps? Yes (and in 2016, B Lab will create an Advisory Council to support companies who want to do this)
Can start-ups become B Corps? Yes (Start-ups (operational for less than 12 months) can earn a temporary Pending B certification, which is valid for 12 months, while they pursue the steps to full certification. Click here to find out more about Pending B certification.
Is this a US thing?
No! Although B Lab was founded in the US by a trio of very cool guys, the movement is going global. Quickly.
B Corps are currently active in 43 different countries around the world. 35% of all B Corps are outside the US. And with regional hubs in Canada, South America, Australia & New Zealand, Europe and the UK, this reach continues to fuel the momentum of a truly global movement.
What does this look like in the UK?
B Lab UK is the charity coordinating B Corp activity in the UK. B Lab UK has been incorporated as a not for profit company limited by guarantee. It received charitable status from the Charity Commission in November 2015.
B Corps were launched in the UK on September 24th 2015 with 62 UK founding B Corps – see the video of our launch here. They have a combined revenue of close to £0.5bn and represent 13 sectors. We have continued to grow since our launch and here is a list of our current UK B Corp community. And if you want to reach out to a B Corp near you, please see our map of where our B Corps are located.
What does this mean legally?
Companies and other business forms wishing to become a B Corp in the UK will need to have or adopt governing documents which include a commitment to a ‘triple bottom line’ approach to business. In practice, for a typical business, this is likely to mean having an objects clause which states that it exists to promote the success of the business for the benefit of its shareholders but also to have a material positive impact on society and the environment.
The governing documents of B Corps will also need to state that the board members of the company need to consider a range of ‘stakeholder interests’ – including shareholders, employees, suppliers, society and the environment – when making decisions and, critically, that shareholder value is not the supreme consideration but is one factor amongst the many stakeholder interests which board members need to take into account when running the business.Click here to download a Step By Step Legal Guide to Becoming a B Corp in the UK
How much will it cost?
There is an annual certification fee which ranges depending on your businesses’ turnover. Click here for more information.
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is to dive in! Visit the B Impact Assessment online and begin going through the process. We have access to many UK specific resources that can help you through the certification process, including a Step By Step Guide to Becoming a B Corp in the UK. If you have any further questions along the way please get in touch at email@example.com.
I’m interested. Where can I get more information?
We are building a community here so we are keen to meet face to face whenever we can! Our B Corps often host events, we gather for regular breakfasts, netwalks, drinks, and for awareness raising events as well as events designed particularly for certified B Corps such as our B Corp retreat. Please see our calendar to see what is happening and join us when you can! If you would like to host an event or ask us to come to your region, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org