Applying for B Corp Certification? Want to ensure that your verification process (when B Lab engages you to confirm the most significant responses to your B Impact Assessment) is moving forward as quickly as possible? Prepare yourself for each stage in the process by reviewing the steps and best practices in each stage listed below.
#1 Submitting the assessment
Submitting the assessment is a first step in the review process.
We will ask several key questions on the submission page to confirm the company is eligible for the Certification. Once you’ve submitted, a “Review” is created, which puts the company in the Evaluation Queue Stage of the process.
#2 Evaluation Queue Stage
In the Evaluation Queue stage, you will provide information to our team to help us understand your organizational structure and business model. This information is typically provided in the Eligibility Spreadsheet.
Here are some details we request in this stage:
Company’s full legal name and date founded;
Related entities: is your company part of a larger legal entity, or does it contain other legal entities? If so, we will require a clear explanation of how these entities interrelate;
Total Revenue figure of your last full fiscal year (without deducting any costs or taxes);
Website address (if available).
#3 Evaluation Stage
#3 Once this information is provided, your company will move to the Evaluation Stage of the process, in which our our team will review these aspects of your business and may ask for follow up information. Please find more information about the Evaluation Stage here.
While our team is reviewing this information, we encourage you to prepare for a successful verification process by providing a clear written or documented explanation to any question over 1 point in the assessment.
To do so, log in to the B Impact Assessment platform. Click on QUESTION FILTER on the left hand side menu. Once you are in the Question Filter, click on “FILTER” on the right hand side of the page. From here, click into the POINTS dropdown and type in “1” in the Min. points field.
This is a good time to review your responses and ensure they have been answered appropriately.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Be aware of the scope of your operations included in the assessment. For example, if the company has operations in multiple countries, the policy or practice in question may specify that it needs to cover all, the majority, or at least 80% of operations/employees/facilities.
Answering questions with “No”, “None of the above”, or “We don’t track this” is commonplace when completing the B Impact Assessment.
Responses should reflect the reality of business operations, not the aspirations of the company; we are more than willing to recognize policies, practices, or programs that are in nascent stages, but can not celebrate those that are ‘soon to be implemented’ or ‘will be true when…’, etc.
#3 Verification Queue Stage
Once you have completed the Evaluation stage with our team, you will need to upload documentation to begin the Verification stage with a Standards Analyst. If you haven't done so already, this is also a good time to provide responses for questions above 1 point.
#4 Verification Stage
You will then move into the Verification Stage in which your Standards Analyst will review the comments you have already left in the questions and all documentation you have provided thus far. They will also ask for additional documentation, explanation, and/or a call to verify and confirm responses to each question in the Verification Report.
The Verification Report is an abbreviated list of questions selected from your B Impact Assessment whose responses must be confirmed by your Standards Analyst. To obtain B Corp Certification, each question found in this report needs to be accompanied by a document or comment that clearly explains each response.
Communications should be explanatory as opposed to affirmative; elaborate on your original answer to describe why each response is true.
If a question is marked with the ‘cloud’ symbol, the responses must be accompanied by a verifying document.
Submissions of documentation should be accompanied by a comment identifying where in the document the relevant information can be found.
When presenting comments or documents written in a language that is not currently supported by the BIA ( English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish), please provide translated or searchable documents (file formats that allow text to be highlighted and copied).
Note: If a written or documented rationale explaining each response is not provided or is incomplete, the Standards Analyst will update question answers to reflect the information available.
For more detail on the process of verification for most companies (the process may vary), please refer to this article.