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The Consultancy Growth Network

How to become a B Corp – tips for consultancies

The practicalities of how to become a B Corp explained for consultancies, from how long the process takes, to what the journey looks like. 

The B Corp journey at a glance 

  • The first step is to complete the B Impact Assessment online form 
  • Undertaking the B Corp certification process can take anything from a matter of months for those operating to high social and environmental standards to multiple years for large companies 
  • A one-off fee ensures commitment, while an annual certification fee varies depending on the annual revenue of the company
  • It is a comprehensive and challenging process. If you don’t achieve certification at the first try, persevere 
  • Accreditation is not the final step. Recertification is required every three years to maintain B Corp status and maintain a good B Corp score 

Can any consultancy become a B Corp? 

To be eligible to apply for B Corp certification, a business must be for-profit and have been in operation for a year.   

Each prospective member then carries out a B Impact Assessment. This is an online form that calculates the impact a business has on the environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.  

What is involved in becoming a B Corp? 

To become a B Corp, you need to demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing a risk review. 
 
Next to that, you need to make a legal commitment by changing your corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders. 
 
Finally, you need to exhibit transparency by allowing information about your performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on your B Corp profile on B Lab’s website. 

How long will it take to become B Corp? 

The length of the process can vary. For businesses that are already operating to high social and environmental standards, the process might only take a matter of months.  

For Megan Taylor, MD at Rise Beyond consultancy, it took 6 months to press ‘submit’ and then 5 months to hear back and go through verification process, which meant almost a year in total. 

The wait time for verification can vary. B Lab advises that small to medium-sized companies should expect a wait time of six to eight months, while larger multinationals usually need longer. 

How much does it cost to be a B Corp? 

A one-off fee is required from all prospective B Corporations when they submit the documentation. B Lab says this is to “ensure the company’s commitment to the full verification process”. 

There is also a certification fee, which needs to be paid annually for the business to retain B Corp status. The amount payable varies depending on the annual revenue of the company. Businesses that make up to £149,999 in annual sales pay a fee of £1,000. Meanwhile the largest B Corps, which generate between £750m and £1bn in sales, will pay a £50,000 annual fee. 

See the full breakdown here.  

Resources

Find the legal process explained in this handy guide from our legal partner, Wallace.

Article | Strategy and leadershipUncategorised

Written by

Amy Rashbrooke

The Consultancy Growth Network