Over the past 12 months, Four Drunk Parrots has been investigating how to become B Corp Certified. Given that July is B Corp Month, we thought it was time we shared our mission with you, some of the challenges, and what we’ve learned so far on our quest.
What is B Corp Certification?
With the exponential growth in global B Corporations since its inception in 2007, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the trademark “B” badge on a business’ website footer, packaging, signage or email communications. There are over 300 B Corps in Australia and New Zealand, including brand names like Stone & Wood, KeepCup, etiko, and Outland Denim.
Certified B Corporations (B Corps) are independently reviewed and verified to balance purpose and profit. These are organisations and businesses who have committed to making decisions that positively impact workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
B Corp certification means the organisation has been through the rigorous assessment and verification and achieved sufficient points in order to qualify for the certification.
Why Become B Corp Certified?
4DP has been operational for over two years now, and we’ve evolved pretty significantly during that time. In the course of considering our vision for the future, and defining what we want our mission to be, we identified that we want to be a force for good. We believe businesses have a responsibility to create a positive impact wherever possible. We choose to prioritise this value just as much as making a profit.
We liked the idea of being independently assessed and earning a certification that we could reference as a guiding light for our decisions and direction. The B Corp movement is a community we aspire to be a part of.
How to Become B Corp Certified
Starting the assessment is as simple as familiarising yourself with the process and requirements, and signing up for an account with the B Impact Assessment. This is the tool that’s used to measure your organisation’s current status, impact and processes and to identify where you can make improvements.
From there, it becomes much more involved.
As you move through the questions in the assessment, you identify areas you may be able to make a more positive impact. In many cases, it’s probably not that you deliberately ignore certain factors, but you simply haven’t considered that your decisions have the potential to create a more positive impact.
For example, do you track your suppliers and purchase from those led by minority groups? Do you measure your carbon emissions and waste outputs? Are you involved in your local community? Do you have internal policies to guide employees towards making more positive decisions?
The process following the assessment is making improvements in your organisation. Then you engage with an assessor who verifies your answers (which can take 2-6 months depending on required changes & complexity).
Once you’ve reached the required 80 out of 200 points, you can sign the declaration and pay the certification fee – and become officially certified.
What has 4DP Learned?
In the course of completing the assessment and beginning the journey of making improvements, we’ve identified areas in which we had the power to make positive change – but had so far not done so. We’ve implemented several internal policies to guide our decision making (for example, for our suppliers and purchasing, travel, waste and more) and have been communicating a lot with each other about what it means for us, and how we can be a better business.
The journey has been a long one so far, and we’re not quite ready to officially apply. We’re getting very close though, and very much look forward to the day we’re officially certified.
It’s taught us a lot about our power to make a positive impact and inspired us to encourage our community to do the same. Long term we’d like to inspire our suppliers and our clients to make positive change where they can, too.
It’s part of our direction now, and we’re baking it into our DNA.
Watch this space in the coming months!
In the meantime, we came across Offset Earth, an organisation that plants trees and funds science-backed climate crisis solutions. It’s probably not the ultimate solution we’re looking for as it’s based on averages rather than specific measurements, but we’re happy to have made progress while we continue researching our options.
Contact us if you’d like to find out more and connect on how to become a B Corp.
You can also view the journey so far in a handy PDF we’ve put together.