The B Impact Assessment
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is a free and confidential online tool to help you measure and manage your company’s impact on its workers, communities, customers and the environment.
Introducing the B Impact Assessment
If you're new to the BIA, our free 90-minute introductory training Behind the B will give you an overview of the assessment. You will learn how to use the tool to measure and manage your impact and hear from B Corps in our community including Y.O.U Underwear and Graze.
Why use the B Impact Assessment?
Business needs comprehensive, credible, comparable impact standards to support economic systems change. The B impact assessment is a free tool used by companies globally to measure the positive impact of their company in areas of governance, workers, community, customers and the environment.
How to use the B Impact Assessment
Step 1: Assess
Complete the B Impact Assessment by answering a series of questions about your company's practices and outputs across five categories: governance, workers, community, the environment, and customers.
Step 2: Compare
Evaluate your performance compared to the thousands of other businesses that have taken the B Impact Assessment. You'll see where your business is outperforming others, and where there's room for improvement.
Step 3: Improve
Use the B Impact Assessment platform to identify, track, and learn about improvement opportunities and best practices over time.
Step 4: Certify
Using the BIA is the first step in becoming a B Corp. Learn more about why you should certify, and the benefits that businesses experience.
What we measure as part of the B Impact Assessment
Your company's governance
The B Impact Assessment will evaluate your company's mission and engagement. The tool specifically looks at your social and environmental impact, ethics and transparency. Your company's ability to protect its mission and consider its stakeholders in decision-making through its structure or governing documents will also be reviewed. Completing the legal requirement is a great first step to improving your governance score.
How your company treats its workers
This section looks at how your company supports its employees. We'll focus on financial security, health and safety, wellness, career development and employee engagement and satisfaction. This section also recognises business models that benefit workers, such as companies that are at least 40% owned by non-executive level employees and those with programmes to support people with barriers to employment.
Your impact on the community
This section of the assessment evaluates how your company engages with and benefits the communities it works with. We'll cover things like diversity, equity & inclusion, your economic impact, community engagement, and your supply chain. This section also recognises things like fair trade sourcing, cooperative models, and formal charitable giving commitments.
Your company's impact on the environment
This section looks at your company's environmental management practices and their impact. This includes the direct impact of a company’s operations and when applicable its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognises companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact. We have some resources on our B Climate Tools Base that can help you with this step.
Your company's customers
This section evaluates a company’s stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security and feedback channels. This section recognises products or services that are designed to address a particular social problem for or through its customers, such as health or educational products, arts & media products, serving underserved customers and clients, and services that improve the social impact of other businesses or organisations.
What is the BIA?
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is a free and confidential online tool used to measure your company’s impact on its key stakeholders.
The BIA is the only tool that measures your company’s entire operations – from your supply chain and carbon footprint to your inclusion policies and employee engagement.
The BIA provides your company with valuable, insightful data and is the best way to understand how you are performing today and how to improve your impact for the future.
Using data from the previous 12 months, you will answer approximately 200 questions within the assessment, with responses verified by B Lab's independent Standards Team. A minimum score of 80 points is needed to submit your assessment to certify as B Corp. It's rare for companies to achieve this score initially and most are subsequently required to make improvements based on the policies and practices highlighted in the BIA. Don’t worry, there is no such thing as failing the BIA, you simply go back and improve.
Who is the BIA for?
Any organisation can use the BIA as a useful framework for measuring and improving their impact (you don’t need to be on the journey to B Corp Certification to use this tool!).
If a company is using the BIA to achieve B Corp Certification, it must be a for-profit company, with at least a year of operations to meet the eligibility requirements. You can find out more about how to calculate your operational start date here.
The assessment is tailored to your company’s industry, size, sector and location, and while it can be completed by anyone within the business, it is a rigorous process which can require input from multiple teams.
Start-ups, with less than 12 months in operation, can use the BIA to achieve Pending B Corp status, rather than certify as a B Corp, in the interim. Large or complex businesses may be required to take multiple assessments and should get in touch with the B Lab UK team to determine their certification approach.
Find out more about our eligibility criteria for B Corp Certification here.
How long does it take to complete the BIA?
The BIA is designed as a learning and improvement process. The time involved in completing the BIA depends on the size, maturity and complexity (number of operating locations) of your company.
The first step is to complete all the questions to get a baseline score for your company’s current performance. The BIA is comprehensive and challenging, and so this process can take around three hours for a high-level review, to three weeks if you need to get inputs from across the business. And of course, this time could be further affected by the size, age and complexity of your business.
This initial company score is rarely over the 80 points required for certification. The next step is then to review the improvement report and your score across the different impact areas to determine how to increase your score and, most importantly, your impact.
The questions in the BIA, along with B Lab’s free best practice guides and input from your employees are great sources of inspiration in identifying policies and practices that can improve your impact. Once implemented, the assessment can then be updated to reflect these positive changes.
When you reach a score of 80+ points and you have completed the confidential Disclosure Questionnaire, your assessment can be submitted to B Lab, marking the start of a rigorous review process leading to B Corp Certification.
Additional requirements for B Corp Certification
To achieve certification, you will also be required to disclose any sensitive practices, fines or sanctions related to your company or partners in a Disclosure Questionnaire. This is confidential and, while reviewed, does not affect your numerical score on the B Impact Assessment.
Another part of the certification process is the B Corp legal requirement. This commits you to consider the impact of your decisions on all stakeholders, not only shareholders by building it into your company’s legal governance.
Have more questions? Check out our FAQ section.
Looking to improve your BIA score?
Completing the Assessment is different for every company and while scoring is intentionally rigorous, you should aim to submit with a score of around 80-85 points.
To become B Corp certified, your company must first complete the B Impact Assessment, the free, online platform used by B Lab to measure your social and environmental performance impact.
Crossing the 80-point threshold doesn’t usually happen at the first pass, but improving your business’s impact is made easier thanks to a range of tools and resources built into the B Impact Assessment. These show which impact areas your company already excels in, how your practices compare to other businesses and which it could improve on.
Best practice guides, case studies and other dynamic tools will help you create a clear roadmap, set goals for improvement, and track your performance over time.
Tips from the community
An analyst's guide to the B Impact Assessment
An analyst's guide to the B Impact Assessment
Daisy Lavington, B Lab UK’s Business Sustainability Analyst, gives the lowdown on best practice for the B Impact Assessment.
“Accountability can be freeing”: How EQ Investors increased its B Impact Assessment score by 54 points
How EQ Investors increased their B Impact Assessment score by 54 points
Wealth management advisor EQ Investors has seen its B Impact Assessment score jump by a hefty 54 points. So, what’s led to this impressive change in practice?
How a three-person team became the UK’s highest scoring B Corp
How Y.O.U Underwear became the UK’s highest scoring B Corp
Find out how the team achieved this and advice for using the impact assessment tool.