What is a Site Review?
The Site Review process is a deeper level of verification which helps B Lab to guarantee the credibility of our Certification by further ensuring the validity of a Certified B Corps’ assessment answers. This process has been established by the B Lab Standards Advisory Council, in accordance with best practices for credible certifications. Site Reviews may be conducted virtually (via web conference) or onsite (in-person) depending on the company size, location and other standards-related factors.
Every year, 10% of recertifying B Corp companies are selected for this deeper level review based on a number of standards-related factors, such as company size, ownership structure, additional terms of a company’s certification, disclosure questionnaire items, etc. The Site Review is the highest level of verification in the B Corp Certification and most companies are selected for this review at least once in the life of their B Corp Certification.
For some companies, the Site Review is a required part of their certification. Companies who are wholly-owned subsidiaries, or majority-owned by $1B+ parent companies, or public companies, or >$1B companies themselves, will have additional terms included in their certification agreement, which includes having a Site Review conducted at each recertification period. Additionally, $500M+ companies are required to have a Site Review conducted before they can certify.
Do we have to do a Site Review in addition to our recertification?
The Site Review is typically incorporated into a company’s recertification process, and at its close, will fulfill both the recertification and site review requirement in order to maintain the company’s B Corp Certification. Companies selected for a Site Review are typically contacted via email notification several months before their recertification due date with details for scheduling the Site Review. Simultaneously, companies will receive automated email reminders regarding their recertification. These two processes, Recertification and the Site Review, will be combined for your company.
What is required of my company for a Site Review?
These are some general guidelines for preparing for either a Virtual or Onsite Review:
Ensure the B Corp legal requirement has been met.
Provide supporting documentation for a majority of your assessment answers. This could be 20-50 questions, and will be determined once your assessment has been submitted.
a. If selected for a Virtual Site Review: Participate in a virtual meeting/web conference with B Lab Standards Analysts (1.5 - 2.5 hrs) which includes:
-discussion of assessment answers,
-a virtual tour of offices/facilities,
-15-20 minute interview with several employees.
b. If selected for an Onsite Review: Participate in an in-person meeting with B Lab Standards Analysts (~4 hrs) which includes:
-discussion of assessment answers,
-tour of your offices/facilities,
-15-20 minute interviews with several employees.
What is the timeline?
Companies will be contacted by B Lab several months prior to the site review meeting. Companies are typically asked to complete the Site Review in the month that they are due for Recertification. This requires that companies start the process several months before their Recertification date in order to update their assessment, submit documentation and prepare for the virtual meeting or onsite visit.
Following the Site Review meeting, there are typically several weeks of follow-ups between the company and B Lab, and then 1-2 weeks to review the Site Review Report.
From start to finish, most companies will be engaged in the Site Review process anywhere from 3-6 months.
Sample agenda for Virtual Site Review meeting:
Overview of Virtual Site Review Process (10 min)
Assessment and Documentation Review (~1 hr)
2-3 Employee Interviews (45 min)
Virtual Tour (10 min)
Review Next Steps (5 min)
Sample agenda for Onsite Review visit:
The visit will be a half day visit beginning at 9am or 1pm.
Introductions (15 min)
Overview of Site Review Process (10 min)
Assessment and Documentation Review (1-1.5 hrs)
2-3 Employee Interviews (45 min)
Facility Tour (30 min)
Review Next Steps (15 min)
These agendas will vary depending on the company size, sector and industry.
What are the logistical requirements for the Site Review meeting?
A functioning web camera and ability to conduct a virtual tour with web camera
Make 2-3 employees available for the interviews. The employees will be selected by B Lab based on an employee roster provided the company
Private room for employee interviews to be conducted
Conference room with wifi/internet connection
Slideshow presentation capabilities (monitor/screen/projector/etc.)
Private room for employee interviews to be conducted (could be the same as conference room)
Access to areas of company facilities related to environmental practices at the company (like recycling, environmental management systems, energy and water efficiency systems, etc.)
Who should participate in the Site Review meeting from my company?
The main B Corp contact person at your company, who coordinated the completion of the B Impact Assessment, is asked to attend the full meeting (excluding the employee interview portion)
Any representative from departments who filled in sections of the assessment may wish to attend the Assessment and Documentation Review portion of the meeting.
Employees randomly chosen for the interviews will only be required to attend for 15 minutes.
Does it cost me anything?
For most companies, there is no additional cost for the Site Review. The cost of the Site Review is included in your annual B Corp Certification fee.
For some companies, however, for whom the Site Review is a required part of their certification, the Site Review is conducted at the expense of the company. This is outlined in the terms of the company’s B Corp Agreement, which is signed upon certification or last recertification. The Onsite Review fee ranges on average between $3000-$5000 USD, and includes a $2500 Verification fee plus the cost of onsite travel for the Standards Team.
What should I expect after the Site Review is conducted?
Upon completion of the Site Review, your company will be recertified for another 3 year term and will receive a summary report detailing the results of the Site Review. Additionally, your company will be removed from the list of companies that can be randomly selected for a Site Review for the next term. For companies with a required Site Review in the terms of certification, you will continue to be required to have a Site Review during each recertification period, at B Lab’s discretion.