10 Tips to Help Your Company Become B Corp Certified
Corporate social responsibility has become the standard for doing business. Consumers around the world prefer companies that engage in environmentally sustainable activities, and an effective way for organizations to become more socially responsible is to receive B Corp certification. Certified B Corps (benefit corporations) take part in environmentally friendly practices, and as a result, create trustworthy branding, employee wellness and stronger community connections.
Achieving B Corp certification is not easy. It requires commitment from an entire business, but there are several specific ways that facility managers can help bolster the strength of their company's assessment.
1. Design for wellness and comfort
Promoting workplace wellness and comfort by providing exercise space and ergonomic furniture can help create a healthy and nurturing environment for your employees to work in, not to mention increase workplace productivity and overall happiness amongst your team.
2. Champion contractor feedback
Create formalized feedback systems that allow your contractors to share comments before, after and during work with your company.
Need ways to gather feedback as a Facility Manager? Check out these 6 free tools every FM should know.
Doing so will have the benefit of increasing clarity and trust among your contract partners, while also showing a dedication to connecting with the local community.
3. Choose local suppliers
When it comes to your facility needs, opting for local suppliers represents a commitment to the success of the community. However, for this to properly benefit your ability to become a B Corp, you must have an official document that states a preference for local suppliers and includes a list of specific companies.
4. Use environmentally friendly products
Using eco products such as recycled office supplies or non-toxic cleaning chemicals reduces your negative environmental impact and supports businesses that create these products.
5. Optimize energy and water usage
Use information management systems and building automation so your facility can use water and energy more efficiently; these tools will also track how much you use. This will not only help you improve your assessment but also run a more resource-efficient building(s).
6. Implement a recycling program
Along a similar vein, implementing a diligent recycling program — that includes compost — allows your entire facility to contribute to environmental conservation while increasing your resource efficiency. Be sure to complement your system with data tracking that covers your impact and recycling performance.
7. Strive for green certifications
Achieving green building certifications like LEED or Energy Star are great environmental milestones and benefits in themselves, but they'll also help strengthen your ability to achieve B Corp certification.
8. Encourage audits
Audits can be scary because of their harsh scrutiny, but being able to supply third party information regarding your environmental and social performance helps present more objective data; it also creates a sense of trust and integrity within your organization
9. Establish social KPIs
Mission focus is a major component of achieving B Corp status and doing so is a company-wide activity.
Facility managers can help drive this focus by establishing official KPIs for environmental impact, community involvement and employee well-being in the workplace.
Doing so can help you accurately track progress — even more, it shows that your company has ingrained its desire for impact into its business processes.
10. Be diligent with data
Providing a sufficient amount of accurate and useful data is a point that permeates throughout all components of B Corp certification guidelines. The initial assessment requests several pages' worth of documentation and information.
Beyond the assessment, companies also have to follow specific policies, deliver due diligence documents and periodically apply for reassessment—all of which will require a steadfast commitment to gathering and presenting your company's data.
B Corp certification can build your company's brand, empower your employees and provide you with a sense of positive impact on the environment. Achieving it isn't easy, but thanks to a stringent yet clear assessment process, you can take many steps to help you get closer to certification.