By Blake Becker
Did you know March is recognized as the official B Corp Month for all certified B Corporations in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom? Every year, we collectively gather and shine a light on the companies that are fervently devoted to balancing profit and purpose in the pursuit of a more inclusive and sustainable world. Cloud for Good is recognized as one of the select few B Corps dedicated to fighting inequality, empowering local communities, and making a positive impact on the lives of our employees and the world at large.
“Cloud for Good is proud to be a certified B Corporation since 2013 and a 5-time Best for the World Honoree. As 1 of only 2,500 B Corporations worldwide, our mission statement of helping clients create transformational value with technology falls directly in line with the ethos of a B Corp, and we strive each and every day to uphold those values of community, environmental, and global responsibility.” – CEO & Founder, Tal Frankfurt
What Exactly is a B Corp?
To understand the significance of a B Corporation certification, we must first understand what that certification means and how corporations can obtain that certification. Bcorporation.net provides a perfect summation on the significance of this certification: “Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”
Only the businesses most concerned with operating with the purpose of doing good in the world will even be considered for B Corp certification. These corporations push our collective culture forward toward a world where businesses operate with the interest of all people in mind, not simply their shareholders; where success doesn’t come at the detriment of others; where people band together to ensure our present benefits the future as well.
B Corp certification is more than just a title, it’s a true lifestyle. As a B Corp, Cloud for Good takes a moral and ethical stand to promote goodness throughout our business values, and that mentality trickles down to inform the lives of every employee. Like all B Corps, we’ve adopted a declaration not of independence, but of interdependence. This declaration solidifies the pursuit of a purpose-driven business mentality and states a purpose of intent that we all be the change we seek in the world. Whether through the products they create, the practices they make routine, or the use of profits earned from their missions, all B Corps commit themselves to the wellbeing and progression of all people and places – and Cloud for Good is no exception.
Obtaining a B Corp certification can also have profound effects on hiring like-minded employees seeking work with an ethical, globally-minded company. Cloud for Good Senior Cloud Consultant Sarah Lambertson adds her own personal experience with this fact by recollecting, “I did an MBA in Sustainability and met the founders of B Corp in 2011. I was really impressed with the level of rigor required to become certified. When I was looking for a new job, the fact that Cloud for Good was certified signified to me that there was an attention to detail and a commitment to positive change at the company. Both of those were signs that it would be a great place to work!”
How Do You Become Certified?
As Sarah attested to, achieving B Corporation certification is rightfully rigorous and difficult to achieve. Only the corporations with an undeniable combination of verified performance, legal accountability, and public transparency are even considered for certification. Through the B Impact Assessment, a company’s entire social and environmental performance is analyzed. This meticulous process considers every facet of a company’s overall mission and operations, as well as how that mission and operation affects the company’s workers, their community, the environment, and their customers/constituents.
Every aspect of performance is considered during the process. Additionally, to maintain certifications, B Corps are required to update their BIA and verify their updated score every three years. Not only does this protect the sanctity of the B Corp designation, but it also encourages certified organizations to remain progressive in their improvement and benchmark themselves against competitors in their industry.
While the certification process is malleable, depending on the size of a company, every B Corp hopeful must complete an assessment of evaluation and meet legal requirements that factor in stakeholder consideration of the company. The B Impact Assessment (BIA) utilizes an exhaustive 80-point bar for certification. This process comes at no cost to a company (although there is an annual certification fee if/when your corporation becomes certified) and has been utilized by over 50,000 businesses worldwide. With that number in mind, it should speak volumes to the exclusive honor of an official certification that there are only 2,500 certified B Corporations across 50 countries today.
Life After B Corp Certification
As with the certification process, the post-certification period for the fortunate few companies focuses heavily on transparency and visibility. All companies currently certified are listed publicly and can be found using bcorporation.net’s B Corp Directory. B Lab goes even further to ensure the best of the best are honored each year through their Best of the World honoree lists, wherein B Lab releases a list of the Certified B Corps with scores in the top 10% of the B Corp community, broken down by size and area of impact. Honorees are individually distinguished for ranking the highest in terms of environmental, community, customer, worker, and overall impact, respectively.
Cloud for Good enjoyed the distinguished privilege of receiving the Best for Community honor in 2014 and Best for Workers honor across four consecutive years from 2016-2019.
Building a B Economy
There will, inherently, be many businesses that aspire to B Corp Certification but fall just short of the mark. These companies should reflect on the factors that led to them falling short, of course, and continue to strive for improvement, but even those who aren’t officially certified can make a difference through the continued building of what bcorproation.net calls the B Economy.
In this new economy, corporations both certified and non-certified work together towards a common goal: hone your competitive business instincts and funnel that energy into the moral, ethical, and virtuosic practices consistent with B Corp certification. Through building a progressive business that balances purpose and profit, corporations and their thought leaders create the B Economy with a focus on progress and using their businesses as a force of good in the world.
Simply speaking, the B Economy is concerned with matters larger than simply achieving certification. While certification is certainly the goal for businesses seeking to make the world a better place and earn the designation to prove it, building the B Economy is the larger, overarching goal of both certified and non-certified companies worldwide. From small businesses to multinationals, we are all mutually responsible for the wellbeing of our communities, our environment, and our future. Through a global perspective and a commitment to dignity and purpose, we can all do our part and do more good together.