How to Capture Local Norms in the Assessment

Modified on Thu, 09 Feb 2023 at 09:21 AM

While the questions included in your B Impact Assessment are customized by your overarching  geographic markets—Developed Market United States, Developed Market Global, and Emerging Market—it is important to understand how to incorporate your local context into your answers to the BIA.

In some circumstances, questions have been designed to allow for flexibility in how a definition is applied in order to accommodate local context while maintaining overall standardization and comparability. For example:

  • The definition of “full-time” employee  is not based on a specific number of hours per week in order to accommodate working hour norms that vary by country.

  • The definition of “local” allows some flexibility in defining a “small-scale economically and culturally connected area” to accommodate varying geographic realities of what constitutes a local community.

  • Questions that refer to “underrepresented populations”specifically instruct companies to consider the barriers to economic opportunities in their specific geographic context when determining what groups are considered underrepresented, recognizing that this will vary around the world.

Because of the assessment’s structure, it will also cover topics that frequently intersect with local laws and regulations, which could either prohibit or require policies or practices assessed in the BIA. For example:

  • Questions about healthcare, caregiver leave, and other benefits available to your workers may be influenced by the government-sponsored benefits in your country.

  • Questions about diversity in the workplace may not be feasible to answer if you operate in a country that prohibits tracking the demographics of your workforce.

  • The status of benefit corporation legislation in your country or state influences the type of legal requirement available to company’s pursuing B Corp Certification.

Companies should answer questions, unless otherwise specified, about what is actually done, even if it is mandatory by law.

To learn more about the B Impact Assessment’s approach to universal standards and localization, see here.  

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