B Corporations

Interesting idea from the US here: a few years ago a group of companies got together and decided to call themselves “B Corps”, a moniker they define as companies that “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency” (http://www.bcorporation.net/what-are-b-corps). To become B Corps, companies must take a “B Impact Assessment” which certifies whether or not they meet those rigorous standards.

I first came across the idea of B Corps through this article by Waddock and McIntosh (2011), and I’m including the link to the article here because it’s a good summary of what’s going on out in practice in the general area of business and sustainability/corporate responsibility.


Back to the B Impact Assessment (BIA), when they log on businesses can fill out a survey, get a BIA score and compare their score with that of their peers. It’s all very much within the business case paradigm, with the focus on competitive advantage and “attracting investors”, but it’s a interesting idea and there’s some innovative organisations behind it e.g. Seventh Generation, Patagonia. Think of the companies you know… wouldn’t you love to know who scores what! Here’s the link to the BIA and also to B Corp’s main page, where they have some good links and case studies:



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