Unlike questions related to Operations, which focus on the operational performance of your company on its stakeholders as it is managed and operated on a day to day basis, Impact Business Models go a level deeper by identifying and evaluating whether and how a company is designed to create specific positive social and/or environmental impact. Impact Business Models are captured in blue in the B Impact Report. See below for an example of a company’s Impact Business Model score in the Environment section.
While the different types of Impact Business Models inevitably create some variabilities in how they work and the questions that a company will see, there are also common scoring structures .
The maximum number of points available within one individual Impact Business Model is typically 30 points. A few exceptions are identified below.
Intensity and Magnitude
Once a company has correctly gone through the gating questions and identified that they may have an Impact Business Model, the questions within the model itself are designed to evaluate the performance and potential impact of that particular model. Most Impact Business Models begin by asking a series of questions that differentiate companies by the “intensity” of the impact business model, which is used to differentiate different levels of potential impact and best practices for companies with that model.
After questions about the intensity of the model, questions will then generally measure the relative magnitude of the impact business model, generally as a percentage of the overall business that is oriented to the model. For most IBMs, particularly the beneficial products and services, twenty five out of the thirty possible points is focused on the intensity and relative magnitude calculation described above. In some, there are additional “parts” that further split the IBM into underlying sections of scoring, with different scoring methods varying.
In the Product and Services IBMs (found in the Environment and Customer section), the scores are determined via calculated questions. These questions are automatically calculated based on answers to other questions in the B Impact Assessment (that are themselves unweighted). The first key question used to calculate an IBM score in these impact topics is Revenue Last Year, found in the Governance section under “Governance Metrics”. The response to this question will dictate the scoring calculations later in the assessment.
Impact Measurement and Management
Weighted impact management questions generally begin with a framing question that outlines the many different ways a company can be managing the impact of the model. Based on the answers to this question, a company will see more detailed questions that dive further into impact management and the rate of positive outcomes demonstrated, totaling up to five points of the model.
Additional unweighted questions in each Impact Business Model are also included. While these questions do not factor into a company’s score, they do provide a mechanism for companies to share and track raw data regarding their impact business model, particularly the overall scale or reach of beneficiaries served through the Impact Business Model. In order to provide a comparable measure of performance across companies, the scoring of the assessment, particularly in this context, has been designed as scale neutral.
Finally, most Impact Business Models feature specific questions asking in more detail how your company is actively managing the outcomes produced by the particular model, including questions about having a theory of change related to the IBM, tracking beneficiary data, managing negative or unintended consequences, and producing both near and long term positive outcomes. These questions, and the structure of Impact Business Models on the whole (particularly the beneficial products and services models), have been designed to cover and be generally aligned with the dimensions of impact outlined in the Impact Management Project.
Example of an Impact Management Question