HR Leads Business

Dec 18, 2019 | Clare Chiappetta

The Value of Becoming a B-Corporation

“Sustainability” is not just a buzzword — for many companies, embracing a sustainable model has become a business necessity. Over 90% of CEOs see sustainability as integral to their company’s success, and early 200 top executives have recently committed to making their organization more ethical and sustainable. 

But in the face of increasing pressure for big business to reduce its environmental impact and concerns regarding whether the free-market system itself is sustainable, many business leaders are questioning whether these efforts are enough.

And that’s where B-corporations come in. “B-corporation certification is a globally-recognized third-party certification for for-profit companies,” says Jennifer Cantero, director of marketing and sustainability at Sensiba San Filippo. “ ‘B-corp.’ certifies that you are walking the talk when it comes to being sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally conscious.”

Here are three advantages that becoming B-corp. certified can offer your organization.

Purpose and Mission Build a Healthy Company Culture

To achieve B-corporation status, employers have to go through a rigorous assessment process that measures five impact areas in day-to-day operations: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Check out Patagonia’s scorecard for an example. “Becoming a certified B-corporation means completely overhauling a business to commit to social good,” says Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation. This holistic approach to social good can have hugely positive repercussions for your company’s culture.

Employees are more excited about their work when they feel like it has a purpose, and that sense of purpose is a significant collateral benefit for companies that become B-corporations. “Business owners are becoming more aware that businesses with a mission and purpose are simply better-run companies,” Cantero says. “They have a stronger foundation and more passionate employees.”

B-Corp. Status Gives You an Edge in Recruiting

But it isn’t just existing employees who love working for B-corporations; this status is an excellent tool for talent attraction and acquisition too. “B-corp. certification is a huge differentiator,” Cantero says. “You’re able to approach folks who are more experienced and offer them a chance to work for a company that has more purpose and a mission-driven process.”

In our tight economy, being more socially and environmentally conscious is an attractive differentiator. “Skilled and talented individuals want to work for companies that align with their beliefs,” Case says. And, being able to advertise that sense of purpose at the attraction and recruitment stage can put your organization on par with the top players in your industry. “There are huge advantages to showing how your business works to be the best for the world, rather than the best in the world,” Case says.

Retention and Production Blossom in a B- Corporation

B-corp. certification emphasizes creating a good working experience for employees at every level of the organization. Certification puts employees first and allows them to exercise control over their career paths. In many cases, the culture shift that follows B-corp. certification can lead to increased retention and engagement, which offers real savings by reducing the need to replace and retrain employees each year.

“Employees can leave work every day feeling accomplished, and that reverberates across the organization,” Cantero says. In addition, she says, satisfied employees produce more quality work compared with employees who feel stagnant in their careers. “It's exciting to see people have ownership over their own professional growth and demand to create change,” she says.