We are excited and proud to announce that Koup is officially B Corp Certified!
After months of assessments and evaluations, we have finally received our B Corp Certification, confirming that we demonstrate high social and environmental performance, have an accountable corporate structure, and exhibit transparency by having our performance be publicly available on the B Corp website.
What is B Corp?
B Corp Certification is a designation that a business meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency on supply chain practices, materials, employee benefits, and more. The process of becoming B Corp certified is a rigorous and thorough one that takes into account the company’s business model, operations, structure, policies, and impact on their community, workers, environment, suppliers, and customers.
There are currently over 5600 certified B Corps around the world from 85 countries and over 150 industries.
How did the B Corp movement start?
The Certified B Corporation Movement was started in 2006 by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Cassoy who together shared a vision to make business a force for good. They recognized that businesses need to have more structured practices and prioritize transparency surrounding their social and environmental practices. B Lab was then launched as a nonprofit organization; the first 82 Certified B Corps were certified in 2007.
What is the process of getting certified?
Step 1: Complete the B Impact Assessment
Companies must complete the B Impact Assessment, an online assessment examining a company’s social and environmental impact, answer questions regarding business operations (day-to-day activities) and impact business models (how the business is designed to create positive impact), and score at least 80/200 or above in addition to passing the risk review. Once completed, companies will receive a B Impact Report, summarizing their B Impact Assessment by category.
B Corp Certification evaluates companies on the following five areas of impact:
- Governance: Company's overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency.
- Workers: Company's contribution to its employees' financial, physical, professional, and social well-being.
- Community: Company's contribution to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which it operates.
- Environment: Company's overall environmental stewardship, including how the company manages general environmental impacts.
Customers: The value that your company creates for your direct customers and the consumers of your products/services.
Step 2: Evaluation and Verification
Once the B Impact Assessment has been completed, and all documents submitted for evaluation, it can take anywhere between 6-8 months for small to medium sized companies (depending on the complexity and structure of the business) to be verified; larger companies with more related entities are expected to have a longer wait time.
Step 3: Sign the “Declaration of Independence” + Pay Fees
Applying and becoming a Certified B Corp requires companies to pay a one-time submission fee of $150, in addition to an annual fee based on the company’s annual sales. Along with publishing your profile publicly to the B Corp Directory, the final stages also include signing the B Corp “Declaration of Independence”:
As Certified B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
Step 4: Maintaining the B Corp Status
B Corp certifications are renewed every three years. To maintain certification, Certified B Corps must update their B Impact Assessment with their updated scores.
Why B Corp Matters
While “traditional businesses typically measure Profit alone…Sustainable businesses measure and prioritize [People, Planet, and Profit (3Ps)] and consistently work to improve them over time” (Valley to Summit). Companies that have been certified through B Corp show that they have gone through and passed the assessment, are verified in their social and environmental performance, legal accountability, and public transparency, and can be recognized for the above in a credible manner.
“When it comes to identifying a sustainable business, B Corps truly separate the wheat from the chaff. No amount of talent, good marketing, or unrealized but noble intentions can earn a company the mark of a Certified B Corp unless they actually put in the work.”
– Valley to Summit Sustainability LLC
By having a standardized, quantifiable, and recognized way of measuring a company’s social and environmental impact, organizations and businesses across the globe are held accountable through the B Corp Certification, and can strive to improve and showcase their sustainability efforts.
Furthermore, becoming a Certified B Corporation has both internal and external benefits. Getting B Corp Certified means that the company’s core values, structure, and impact align with their sustainability goals. This acts as another seal of approval for the company. On the other hand, becoming a B Corp can strengthen both employee and customer loyalty, improve stakeholder relations, attract investors, and open doors to connecting with more like minded people and businesses.
“There's no Planet B. Our international network of organizations leads economic systems change to support our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.”
— B Lab