Exploring awareness of B Corp certification in the UK - B Lab UK

Exploring awareness of B Corp certification in the UK

The UK B Corp brand survey results are in. Hannah Reiss, Head of Communications, shares 5 key takeaways.

People in the UK are expecting more than business as usual. Last year, Thinks Insight and Strategy published a report concluding that “optimism for the UK is at a record low” and that this pessimism is “rooted in a feeling that, across multiple issues, ‘everything is broken’”. Meanwhile, Edelman’s 2023 Trust Barometer indicated higher trust for business than government,  reinforcing B Lab UK’s opinion polling that showed three-quarters of the public agree business should have a legal responsibility to people and the planet. 

It’s clear we expect business to play a role in creating the world we want to live in, but do they see B Corp as a solution to addressing society's problems? Our role as communicators and advocates of the movement has never been more important. As more businesses join the movement, we unlock new opportunities to reach a broad range of stakeholders, such as customers, clients, workers and investors – accelerating a shift in culture around business. Thousands of businesses across the world are celebrating B Corp Month this month — an example of this in action. 

To better understand the public’s perceptions of B Corp, and the role of business in society, we’ve been working with B Corp research agency Fors Marsh. In October 2023 we surveyed over 2,200 UK adults and the data were weighted to be representative of the UK population (see methodology in the footnotes). Here are five headlines from the results, followed by some actionable ideas for our community. 

Sharing Images For Websitesocial (7)

1. For the majority of people, business certifications help them make decisions about businesses 

More than half of UK adults (58%) use business certifications to make decisions about businesses to buy from and work for. Only 11% of respondents disagreed with this statement. 

This sentiment is supported by data showing that 73% of people believe that “consumers can impact environmental sustainability through their purchases” and 66% felt the same with regards to creating social change. But are they looking for B Corp as a signpost that a company is walking the walk? 

Website General Square Template (26)

2. Brand awareness for B Corp in the UK is 38%

Fors Marsh combined logo and name recall to give us our “aggregate awareness” (38%) which is the highest known figure in any country*. For an idea of change over time, in 2020 logo recall alone was 10%, this is now 24%.

Aggregate awareness fluctuates when you take different subsections of the population. London is the region with the highest awareness (53%) and this figure also peaks amongst the 30-39 age group (53%) followed by 25-29 year olds (48%) and then 40-59 year olds (40%). 

So, although B Corp is not yet a “household name”, awareness is increasing along with the growth of our community. 

Sharing Images For Websitesocial (8)

3. B Corps are the driving force for raising awareness 

When you survey those with awareness of B Corp, you can understand where or how they have come across the certification. 41% of respondents recall seeing the logo on a product, 33% on a website or blog and 30% on social media. 

These results demonstrate that the UK’s high awareness (compared with other countries) can be attributed to the growth and energy of our B Corp community. With projections of the UK B Corp community set to increase by 25% in the next year, this presents an opportunity for further growth in awareness. It’s essential we continue to give B Corps the tools they need to advocate for the movement  – and that alongside increasing awareness, we’re building understanding of what being a B Corp means.

When it comes to building understanding, there’s always work to be done. There’s a common perception that B Corp certification measures “environmental practices” (82%) versus combined “social and environmental practices” (48%). 


Sharing Images For Websitesocial (10)

4. Favourability for B Corp has increased in the last 6 months

With increasing awareness, we know there will be growing scrutiny – particularly within a context of caution around greenwashing and the continued diversification of our community. To understand how this impacts perceptions around B Corp, we asked respondents who were aware of B Corp before beginning the survey whether they felt more or less favourable about the certification than they did 6 months previously. While 23% felt more favourably, just 3% felt less favourably and 74% recorded no change. 

Similarly, 71% of respondents aware of B Corp agreed or strongly agreed that B Corp certification is making a positive impact. 85% have some, a lot, or a great deal of trust in the certification and only 11% felt it wasn’t rigorous. Open questions for those reporting low trust showed that this is often due to low knowledge, “I do not know enough about it to form a judgement”. 

The results show we’re maintaining credibility as we grow. Given that awareness and knowledge are associated with more favourable perceptions (including trust and rigour), our messaging will continue to make a large impact on positive associations of the movement.

Sharing Images For Websitesocial (11)

5. Two-thirds of respondents believe the government should introduce measures to encourage businesses to behave like B Corps 

While most of the survey was unprompted (meaning it provided no background on what a B Corp is) we also surveyed respondents following a brief description of B Corp certification. This helps us understand whether better business is really what the UK public wants. After learning more about B Corp, 67% said the government should introduce new measures to encourage all businesses to behave like B Corps, 61% were interested in purchasing from a B Corp and 56% wanted to find out more. 

So in general, the more people learn, the more they like – and our ambitions to change the culture around business alongside regulation is aligned with the public’s thinking. It’s why we’re campaigning for a change to UK law to ensure every company in the UK aligns the interests of shareholders with those of wider society and the environment. And, past research shows 78% of UK adults back this change.

The B Corp community’s role in building awareness, understanding and trust

  1. Continue to display your certification with pride on your website, print materials, packaging, presentations, store signage, and more. 
  2. Engage your employees in your impact journey — there are over 80,000 people working for a UK B Corp after all. Try linking objectives to impact, talking about B Corp in internal newsletters and hosting impact engagement sessions. 
  3. Leverage the tools available to you, including the brand book, the B Hive and the B Corp community communications circle (email: media@bcorporation.uk if you’d like to attend the next one). 
  4. Broader storytelling is important for deepening understanding and each B Corp has a unique and inspiring story to tell. Focus on the journey to become a B Corp, the changes you’ve made to your business and your ambitions to improve. Publishing and sharing your annual impact report on your website is another great way to communicate your achievements and areas of focus.

What’s the awareness of B Corp Certification in other countries? 

    1. US & Canada 2023 
    2. Europe 2023
    3. Australia & Aotearoa New Zealand
    4. The Netherlands and Belgium 2023

*About the data 


A web-based survey of individuals based in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland was drawn from a pool of non-random panel members. 

Data were weighted to be generalisable to the UK population in terms of country, age (18+), gender, and education using UK census data.

Fielding Dates: 18/10/23–24/10/23