A couple of weeks ago we kicked off our journey towards B Corp certification, which we're aiming to complete later this year.
A B Corp is a for-profit company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The certification tool is managed by B Labs, who describe it as, "B Corp is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee".
The certification process involves scoring your business against 200+ questions and implementing changes in your business policies and practices to get you over the threshold for B Corp status. A company can further their B Corp score each year by implementing more changes in line with the certification tool.
There are a range of reasons why companies pursue B Corp certification - the brand value that comes with it, connection to a network of businesses who share the same principles, or a means of testing you're actually the kind of business you think you are.
We're doing it for all of those reasons, but it's also a really good framework for a small company to steer itself. We have aspirations to be a force for good but as a small business don't have an HR team, an accounts department, supply chain staff or anything like that - which means we don't have the expertise to steer things like hiring people, publishing annual accounts or sourcing products in ways that we're confident would align with our values. The 200+ questions B Corp certification forces us to answer - and the case studies they steer people towards - are great guides as we grow and expand the business.
The biggest kick we've had to get our B Corp certification journey underway was a fortuitous meeting with someone at one of our student recruitment events earlier in the year. After one of our presentations Chaitra Parashar, an MBA student at AUT, approached us to offer to work with Evident on a consultancy project as part of her coursework.
While the whole Evident team is collaborating on the B Corp certification, Chaitra is pulling it all together for us. We're really excited about where it's going to take our company, and I'm quietly interested in what impact being deep in B Corp territory for three months is going to have on Chaitra once she's graduated...