The B Impact Assessment is scored to measure a company's social and environmental performance, both overall and within key impact areas. Scoring within the B Impact Assessment is designed to allow comparability and to identify and track opportunities for improvement over time. Scoring evolves with each version of the B Impact Assessment, and is complex and customized based on your company’s specific track.
Scoring in the B Impact Assessment is based on five key themes. It is:
Objective: Determined by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council
Normalized: All companies can earn the same total points in the assessment
Materiality Based: Determined by relative materiality of a particular topic to a company’s sector
Outputs/Outcomes Oriented: More heavily weighted towards direct indicators of “impact”
Balanced: Comparable scoring for Operational Impact and Impact Business Models, and across different Impact Business Models
To learn more about Operational Impact and Impact Business Models, see here. It is important to remember that the B Impact Assessment is a positive assessment—you are not losing points for any of your answers, only gaining them!
Total Points Available in the Assessment
Most companies have a total of 140 operational points available in the assessment, distributed across the different impact areas—Governance, Workers, Communities, Environment, and Customers. The exact value of each impact area varies by sector to reflect different levels of material for the topics covered. Please see the below chart for a score breakdown. Companies on the zero worker track, however, have a unique scoring structure as a result of their assessment not including a Workers Impact Area and their lower overall operational impact. To learn more about the scoring of the zero worker track, see this article.
*In previous versions of the BIA before Version 6, a scoring cap of 90 points was imposed on Impact Business Model points. Given the contingent nature of IBMs, in that a company only opts into, and is evaluated and scored only if an IBM is applicable to them, this meant that while the sum total of points across all IBMs would be greater than 90 points, any individual company would stop earning points for the IBMs they earned beyond 90. In order to more easily communicate our scoring methodology and to recognize the aspirational opportunity of companies adopting multiple Impact Business Models, this 90 point cap was lifted.
In addition, companies may earn credit in Impact Business Model (IBM) sections if the business is designed to create a specific, positive social and/or environmental impact for one of its stakeholders through one of the assessment’s predefined Impact Business Models. Each IBM section is typically worth 30 points , although there are some exceptions. To learn more about how IBMs are scored in the assessment, click here.
The specific questions that appear in your assessment depend on your company’s track, which is the sector, size, and geography of your business (click here to learn more on assessment tracks).
Each question is assigned a relative weighting based on how difficult the practice is to implement and the directness of the indicator in assessing a positive impact on workers, communities, environment, and/or customers (click here to learn more assessment impact areas), as determined by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council. For example, there are equally weighted questions, heavily weighted questions, less weighted questions, and unweighted questions. Generally speaking, questions measuring specific outputs and outcomes are more heavily weighted than questions about policies and practices. that you frequently don't need to answer all options to get full credit, that "other" option is weighted less, etc.
The total available points in a given impact topic are then distributed across questions based on their relative weighting within that section. You can see how many points each question is worth at the bottom left corner of the question box.
Companies earn points for every affirmative response to a question. In certain sections, points are rewarded for calculations and combinations of a number of different questions. So, while certain questions may not be "weighted" on their own, they contribute to the overall score. The assessment is scored automatically and in real time so that at the conclusion of the assessment, it is immediately possible to review the results. It is important to note that if a company downloads their completed assessment in excel these will still show up as 0.0 out of 0.0 despite the back-end calculation