Operational Impact vs. Impact Business Models

Modified on Wed, 20 May 2020 at 11:24 AM

“Operations” and “Impact Business Models” are the two underlying aspects of a company’s social and environmental performance that are evaluated in the scored portion of the B Impact Assessment. The Operations section focuses on the operational performance of your company on its stakeholders as it is managed and operated on a day to day basis. The operations section applies to all companies. Impact Business Models (IBMs) are the ways that a business may be designed to create a specific positive benefit/outcome for one of its stakeholders. They may be based on their product, a particular process or activity, or the structure of the business.  


Operational Impact

When completing the B Impact Assessment, all users will see the same set of operational impact topics. The questions in these sections assess the inherent impact your company has on stakeholders from managing and operating a business on a day-to-day basis. All companies have an operational impact, regardless of their design or intent. Questions related to operational impact might assess the impact of your company’s facilities, purchases, internal policies, or governance structures.

Impact Business Models (IBMs)

In addition to operational questions, all users will be asked a series of unweighted questions to determine whether an IBM might be applicable. These questions appear at the end of each introductory impact topic: Workers Impact Area Introduction, Community Impact Area Introduction, Environment Impact Area Introduction, and Customers Impact Area Introduction. IBM impact topics will be unlocked based on your responses to these questions.

The questions in these sections identify whether and how your company is designed to create specific, positive social and/or environmental impact for its stakeholders. Unlike the operational questions, IBMs are rare and will not apply to every company taking the B Impact Assessment. They may be based on a company’s product or service, a particular process or activity, or the structure of the business itself.

Please note: most companies completing the B Impact Assessment have 0-2 IBMs. It is difficult to earn credit in an IBM, and extremely rare that a company has 3 or more IBMs that are applicable. If you have unlocked 3+ IBM topics in your assessment, it is recommended that you revisit the introductory impact topics and adjust your responses to focus on one or two IBMs that best describe your business model.

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