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May 23, 2024

From Purpose to Measurable Impact: A Guide for Future B Corps

Posted by
Christine Deckert

For purpose-driven companies looking to deepen their commitment to their corporate social responsibility goals, becoming a triple bottom line organization is a compelling opportunity. Among the forefront champions of this movement are Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, which are businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

B Corp Certification is more than a performative badge of honor. It’s a strict standard that drives businesses to benchmark, improve and sustain their impact as a force for good. Obtaining this certification requires more than just good intentions. It demands a strategic approach focused on translating purpose into tangible and measurable impact. For future B Corps, here are the essential steps they need to take before certification:

Conduct a Social and Environmental Impact Assessment

Before seeking B Corp Certification, conduct a comprehensive assessment of your company's social and environmental performance. The B Impact Assessment offers the most comprehensive assessment and guides you through evaluating your business based on the certification requirements. Companies that qualify for B Corp Certification achieve a score of 80 or higher. Based on your score, identify areas where your business excels and areas where there's room for improvement. This assessment will serve as the foundation for developing strategies to enhance your impact. 

Engage Stakeholders

Engaging your network of stakeholders is essential to defining your purpose, building a clear vision and generating the willpower to complete the full system transformation necessary to achieve your mission as a future B Corp. Collaborate with employees, customers, suppliers, investors and community partners to amplify your vision and foster a sense of collective ownership. Engage in meaningful dialogue, listen to diverse perspectives, and co-create solutions that address shared challenges and seize meaningful opportunities.

Define Your Purpose

Every B Corp starts with a clear sense of purpose that goes beyond profit. During your stakeholder engagement phase, define what your company stands for, what values drive its operations and what positive impact it seeks to create in the world. Whether it's environmental sustainability, social equity, or community engagement, articulate your purpose with clarity and conviction. These collective decisions form the basis for your organization’s identity, which will drive transformations to your culture, branding, image, operations, communications and reputation. Create a compelling story that brings these crucial connections to life.

Learn how idgroup builds purpose-driven organizations

Set Measurable Goals

Once you have articulated who you are, what you believe and why through an identity narrative, operationalize it in your strategic plan. Consider the strategic areas of focus you want to act upon and set clear objectives. Give your team the opportunity to weigh in on these decisions, strengthening them with diverse perspectives and expertise. To effectively measure your impact, set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals aligned with your company's purpose and the results from your impact assessment. Whether it's reducing carbon emissions, increasing diversity in the workforce or supporting local communities, establish targets that allow you to track progress and demonstrate accountability.

Integrate Impact into Business Practices

Embedding impact into every aspect of your business is crucial for achieving B Corp Certification. Implement policies, procedures and initiatives that prioritize social and environmental considerations alongside financial goals. From supply chain management and product design to employee benefits, integrate impact into your business practices to drive meaningful change. The path to do this is different for everyone and requires engagement from all levels of your organization. Ongoing stakeholder engagement workshops can help you address incremental changes through collaboration and purpose-driven planning.

Discover idgroup’s stakeholder engagement capabilities

Cultivate a Culture of Transparency and Accountability

Your culture is a direct reflection of your identity, driving performance and shaping your reputation. Transparency is a cornerstone of B Corp Certification, so be open and honest about your company's practices, performance and challenges. Publish a B Impact Report detailing your social and environmental impact, and undergo the rigorous assessment conducted by B Lab. Embrace accountability as a means of continuously improving and demonstrating your commitment to positive change. Install accountability frameworks within your organization and tie them to goals that you regularly revisit and redefine as you make progress. 

Pursue Continuous Improvement

Becoming a B Corp is not the end goal but rather the beginning of a journey toward greater impact. Commit to continuous improvement by regularly evaluating and refining your strategies, practices and performance. Stay informed about emerging trends, best practices and opportunities for innovation in sustainability and social responsibility.

The path to B Corp certification requires more than good intentions—it demands intentional action and a steadfast commitment to a triple bottom line. And this is where idgroup comes in. idgroup offers a structured transformation process, Core2BCorp, to help leaders transition their business to a triple bottom line model. We help you engage your team and stakeholders to explore what’s possible and position your company to become a force for good. Together, we can harness the power of business to create a more sustainable and equitable world for future generations.

Learn more about our transformation process