February 5, 2023

Further Benefits of Adopting the B Corp Model

Becoming a Certified B Corp or adopting a similar approach provides environmental and social good. But, evidence is increasing that doing so can improve a company's financial performance. "Doing Well While Doing Good" is the ideal approach to achieve more significant business success.

As a thought leader, author, educator, and consultant on humanist manufacturing, I write a weekly article that benefits leaders who want to improve their organizations using elements of my Humanist Manufacturing framework.

Continuing the B Corp Conversation

Last week we asked: To Be or Not To B Corp?  In doing so, we looked at two companies that said yes, Impact Makers and Cascade Engineering.  Two early adopters of the B Corp movement and long-time Certified B Corporations.  Their success and that of many others will hopefully encourage others to adopt the B Corp model.  Additional benefits of adopting this approach will be our focus this week.  

Finding something good to do is not merely a cliche or catchphrase; it is a driving force behind all we do.  We believe that business can have a profound and positive impact socially, environmentally, and financially. – Fred Keller
Do Well While Doing Good

The work of those embracing the B Corp model occurs in a positive whole system setting that compels the natural human tendency of innate good to motivate the organization's members to generate positive environmental and social impacts.  Ultimately, it has the additional beneficial outcome of all stakeholders of its ecosystem doing well financially.  As shared last week, Keller stated, "I started out trying to do what I could as a child of the 60s to live up to the principles of having a business that works for everyone." As a result, his company, Cascade Engineering, is highly successful by all business measures with an approach of "a meaningful culture devoted to make things better – people, planet and profit."  

Certified B Corp Benefits

In The B Corp Handbook: How You Can Use Business as a Force for Good, the authors provide a list of benefits of becoming a Certified B Corporation including:

• Being a part of a global community of leaders – Leaders of B Corps have collectively addressed issues like climate change, creating industry standards that are sustainable and equitable, dismantling white supremacy, and gender inequality.  They attack these issues collaboratively while embracing the diversity of thought, innovation, and positivity with a clear sense of purpose to make the world a better place for all citizens.

• Attracting talent and engaging employees – The opportunity to work for an organization with a more profound meaning unleashes imagination, initiative, and passion. Moreover, it is an expectation of the younger generations that increasingly comprise a more significant percentage of the workforce.  I have seen the embracement of the for-benefit approach in personal interactions at the Certified B Corp companies I have visited.

• Increasing credibility and building trust – The B Impact Assessment is a rigorous third-party assessment that allows consumers confidence that they are purchasing products and services from a trusted brand with environmental, financial, and social credibility.

• Benchmarking and improving performance – The B Impact Assessment is an evolving standard for measuring overall organizational environmental, financial, and social performance as a benchmark against other Certified B Corps.  Additionally, companies gain valuable insight into opportunities to increase their overall positive impact.

• Protecting a company's mission for the long term – The Certified B Corp designation provides companies with legal protection to ensure that the environmental or social purpose continues beyond current ownership or protection against activist shareholders willing to place profit above the mission.

• Generating press and awareness – Significant attention has been paid to the B Corp movement across various media platforms.  Many prestigious media outlets have proclaimed the work of B Corporation to be one of the twenty moments in the last twenty years to move the whole world forward.

These and other benefits of becoming a Certified B Corporation create a compelling business case for adopting the model.  Each year, it further escalates from being a good idea to becoming a business imperative.

Thirdman on Pexels
Aligning with Like Minds

The B Corp movement is one of many with a focus on using the power of business to improve the world.  Other groups with similar mindsets are Conscious Capitalism, Small Giants, The B Team, and the Tugboat Institute.  When aligned with like intentions, for example, two companies that are Certified B Corporations, the supplier and customer relationship would have the opportunity to build upon a solid foundation.  Where the saying "a rising tide lifts all boats" comes to mind.

Key Takeaway

Becoming a Certified B Corp or adopting a similar approach provides environmental and social good. But, evidence is increasing that doing so can improve a company's financial performance. "Doing Well While Doing Good" is the ideal approach to achieve more significant business success.

First Step

Individuals interested in best practice guides should explore the knowledge base provided by the B Impact Assessment group.  Community, DEI, environment, finance, governance, and worker guides exist.  Additionally, they have compiled a vast list of resources to support the evaluation of an organization's readiness to become a Certified B Corp.  Finally, there are a series of guides for their SDG action manager.

My Gratitude

I am grateful to the ever-growing number of organizations that have become Certified B Corps.  Now, over 6,000 companies are case studies for the significant results possible through this certification process.  A global movement that expands each year of other organizations making a better world through the power of business.

Sneak Peek

Next week's blog will continue to expand our knowledge of Dr. W. Edwards Deming to deepen employee engagement which is essential to humanist manufacturing.  

Additional Information  

To learn more about our work or read more blog posts, visit emmanuelstratgicsustainability.com.

I encourage you to read my book Humanist Manufacturing: A Humanitarian Approach to Excellence in High-Impact Plant Operations.  The paperback and eBook versions are now available at Amazon and many other booksellers.  You can also view the Humanist Manufacturing Book Launch to gain additional insight into the Humanist Manufacturing framework.

I invite you to join the Humanist Manufacturing Group on LinkedIn if you want to interact with others interested in the topic.

If you like what you have read, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with the manufacturing support services of consulting, coaching, Fractional Chief Sustainability Officer, or training/reskilling at 734-664-9076.

See my virtual TEDx Videos at Reinventing the Prison Industrial Complex and Humanist Manufacturing.

Feel free to sign up for my newsletter or email me at Contact Me.

Cover Image Credit: Austin Chan on Unsplash

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