skip to main content

Our B Corp Journey Part 2: The B Impact Assessment

Base Creative is working towards B Corp Certification. In this series, we tell you about everything we’ve learned each step of the way to help other businesses making the leap.  

Back in August I announced that Base Creative is starting its journey to becoming a B Corp. B Corps are businesses verified to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. 

Businesses can’t have morals – at least, not ones reliant on the personal attitudes of the people working at them.

That’s not me being cynical. They might not be able to have morals, but they need to work in an ethical way – real, measurable practices infused throughout their systems of governance to make sure that their commitments to their people and the planet aren’t just hot air.

In this series I don’t just want to track our own progress. I want to help other businesses which are considering going for B Corp certification themselves.

In this article, I’m going to explore the first steps we’ve taken towards B Corp certification, some of the challenges we’ve come up against, the solutions we’ve found, and our next steps.

The B Impact Assessment 

The first thing you should do if you’re considering becoming a B Corp is to fill out the B Impact Assessment. This official, multiple choice survey allows you to figure out where your organisation currently stands on a number of issues across the following five categories: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. 

Most questions are assigned a number of points – the more points you get when you answer honestly, the less work your organisation has to do to become a B Corp.  

The first stage towards receiving a B Corp Certification is to get a minimum of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment, but you can learn all of this on the B Impact Assessment page on the B Corp site. 

The real question is, having been through this stage, what did we learn?

There are different paths to gaining 80 points

You have to get at least 80 points in the B Corp Certification to move onto the next stage – but that’s 80 out of 200 total possible points

That’s because a lot of the questions won’t be relevant to your business. After all, it’s not fair to penalise a business for not having a plan in place to ensure that its suppliers are ethical if that company is in B2B services and doesn’t have any suppliers.

You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing to start making changes where you can. That leads into the next thing we learned.

You can gain a lot of points just by updating your paperwork

There are loads of points to be gained in the B Corp Impact Assessment that don’t take a lot of effort right away.

For example, you’ll lose points if your business doesn’t have a formal, written Code of Ethics that the board has signed up to, even if everyone in the business adheres to an as of yet unwritten code. Draft a Code of Ethics that meets B Corp requirements, sign it, and you can receive points for things you’re already aligned with, but just needed to formalise.

Of course, long term, it’s more complicated than that. This first stage is really about making sure you’re ready to begin the later, more rigorous parts of the B Corp certification process, so there are a lot of simple fundamentals that can get you more points

This will probably leave you with a lot of questions. What are the best things to focus on to get more points? What should I prepare for when that next stage comes? 

That’s where our final, most important lesson comes in.

Ask for help

Find other businesses that have been through the process and ask them questions. You can ask me directly at [email protected] about our journey so far.

We chose to get the help with our B Corp application from an outside expert, Andy Hawkins and the team at Business on Purpose, who specialise in guiding businesses on their B Corp journey. We’re currently in the process of going through our B Corp Impact Assessment with them, looking for opportunities to improve our score. That Code of Ethics document I mentioned earlier? They already had a template.

Gaining B Corp certification should be a challenge to achieve – after all, the standards should be high. That doesn’t mean it should be a challenge to understand.

I’ll be back when we get to the next stage of our B Corp journey. Until then, always feel free to reach out.

Related articles

More help

To discuss digital marketing or our B Corp journey so far, email me at [email protected].

I’ve got plenty to say

View my other articles and opinion pieces below

Base Creative has achieved B Corp™ certification: So what?

Base Creative has achieved B Corp™ Certification!  It shows that we have met high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors ranging from sustainability and employee benefits to charitable giving and supply chain practices.  As a milestone, our certification underscores our commitment to leveraging our digital marketing expertise to have a positive impact […]

Our B Corp journey part 3: The journey so far and looking ahead to 2024 

Your business won’t do good just because your team is full of good people. However, if we’re going to take the next step and ingrain high environmental and transparency standards into companies across the UK, each company needs to be judged relative to its ability. For example, a 4000-person international corporation should be held to […]