May 6, 2016
What Becoming a B Corporation Means to Us
You Should Know
- B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
- Visceral is extremely proud to have joined this growing community of organizations using business as a force for good.
It’s official – Visceral is now a Certified B Corporation as of April 2016. We could not be more proud and excited.
After some preliminary research to survey what a B Corporation is, we discovered our values are closely aligned with the nonprofit B Lab so we made the decision in late 2015 to pursue it. There have not been many processes that were as intense, rigorous and rewarding. This is a designation we, and other Certified B Corporations, have truly worked hard to earn – if not in the assessment itself then in cultivating the principles and culture to become certified.
Doing Business for the Greater Good
Years ago we made the decision to focus on helping organizations and individuals who are dedicated to helping others. Our belief is that providing help to causes makes a more productive impact on our communities, our environment, our team and finally, our client’s benefactors. We treat this as our personal responsibility.
Applying our approach to the B Corporation’s principles made perfect sense. Their model is one that ensures our company operates on a socially-conscience level that promotes positive change. As a small company it’s important to us that we maintain practices that fosters good business operations through our communications, management practices, and internal governance. Through B Corp Lab’s guidance we now have a better oversight process to maintain these policies and hold us accountable to the requirements of the certification.
The Assessment Process
The path to becoming a B Corporation was a revealing one. In completing the pre-assessment we scored high which opened the door to the deeper assessment track to become certified. The questions were surface level to pre-screen viable candidates. Upon the first phone review with our assigned representative, and after a thorough review of our answers, several points were taken away that put us out of range from the certification. This was not going to be easy after all. The representative assigned to us was encouraging, comforting and insightful along every interaction. There was never a time we felt lost or confused with the process, but it was made clear this is a serious process not to be taken lightly. It was an eye-opening exercise and we are a better company for sticking with it.
“B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
Going Forward as a B Corporation
Visceral will shortly enter its second decade in business. Being recognized as a Certified B Corp not only enhances our commitment to doing work for the greater good it also represents the following:
- We will continue to seek out and work with those who care about affecting positive change globally.
- We now have policies in place for civic engagement and giving. Visceral acknowledges and encourages our team to seek and take time off to volunteer and donate time to causes they feel passionate about.
- As Visceral grows and evolves, we want to have our team evolve with us – we are adding broader parameters around paid family leave time.
- We value the transparent culture of our team in regards to corporate accountability, local involvement and sharing financial information.
More About Certified B Corporations:
Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 1,500 Certified B Corporations in over 120 industries and 40 countries with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business. Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders, but also on their stakeholders (e.g., workers, suppliers, community, consumers, and the environment).
- B Corps are important because they inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best FOR the world.
- Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
- The performance standards B Corps meet are comprehensive, transparent and verified. They measure a company’s impact on all of its stakeholders (e.g. workers, suppliers, community, customers and the environment).
We encourage any organization concerned about how they can measure their impact on their stakeholders to join the B Corporation movement.