This February was B Corp month: a time to celebrate the brands driving positive change and using their business for good. We thought we would take this opportunity to share a bit about what B Corporations are, why they are so important and how you can start to build it into your food & drink startup with the aim of becoming a B Corp in 2021.
What is a B Corp?
- Certified B Corporations are a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Corps meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
- There are over 3,700 certified B Corps, across 74 countries and 150 industries.
Why do B Corps matter?
B Corps are agents of change that:
- Create higher quality jobs
- Improve the quality of life in our communities
- Address challenging environment problems
- Inspire others to measure what matters
Why become a B Corp?
- Becoming a food and drink B Corp can make business sense in addition to solving environmental and social problems. B Corp certification can help companies to differentiate, generate press, benchmark performance, attract investors and attract top talent.
- The certification gives you a network and a platform to collaborate and share best practices.
How does the process work?
- Meeting the performance requirement:
Complete the B Impact Assessment and earn a minimum reviewed score of 80/200 points. There are around 300 questions on this assessment and some of them are quite detailed so it would be good for a founder/someone who knows the business well to complete it. The assessment covers governance, workers, community, environment and impact business models.
- Meeting legal requirement: Bake sustainability into the DNA of a company as it grows.
- Make it official: Sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence and Term Sheet.
B Corps and MNCs:
- There has been a recent growth in not only the volume of companies interested in B Corp but the size of companies. We are working with a number of multinational companies who are either buying B Corps or are working themselves to become B Corp.
Key things to remember:
- Whilst sustainability is the driving factor of becoming B Corp, if your packaging is made of a non-recyclable plastic this does not mean that you cannot become B Corp. You need to show that you are committed to creating a social and environmental impact and this can be reflected in other areas of the business.
- There is an annual fee to pay that is based on a tiered system determined by the annual revenue of your company.
- Becoming a B Corp will not happen overnight. The assessment needs to be filled out in depth and the whole process typically takes several weeks.
- Your company has to have books for at least 1 prior financial year.
Looking to learn more? We are carrying on B Corp month with our brand new video series: Five Minute Opinions.
In episode one YF General Manager Lucy Brady speaks with Liam White from FMCG startup Dr Will’s, one of our Community brands and recently certified B Corp. They discuss why they made the jump; the most fulfilling parts; why consumers should care; and some top tips for other small businesses looking to gain the certification.
Visit our LinkedIn to watch the video.
As ever, if you are a FMCG business and are looking for support on your journey to £50m turnover, get in touch and one of our advisors can talk through how YF can help.