The B Impact Assessment relies on third party standards to inform and verify different topics. Within relevant portions of B Impact Assessment, companies can therefore receive credit based on third-party certifications they have earned. It is necessary to distinguish certifications from membership networks, as well as to confirm that a certification is credible and sufficiently addresses the relevant topic featured in the BIA. Below are the guidelines of B Lab’s process to give credit for third-party certifications.
B Lab’s Credible Certification Process
Any third-party certification that is a full member of ISEAL automatically receives credit in the B Impact Assessment.
Our team looks for the following to determine if a certification is eligible to receive credit in the B Impact Assessment:
The structure of the organization is made transparent (Is information about the composition of the governing body, how it operates and makes decisions available on the website (e.g. funders, owners, governance system, members, its business model and funding sources)?
The standards setting organization has a clearly defined, public-facing mission statement or vision statement that focuses on a specific social or environmental issue/area/practice of concern
The standard setting organization has a clear statement on the objective of the certification and the information it is claiming to verify
The organization has a mechanism in place to manage conflict of interest
The standards (questions) are available to the public
There is a minimum performance required to achieve certification (minimum score or separation of certified and non-certified entities)
There is a clear explanation of the requirements to achieve certification (what is the minimum score, how does scoring work)
The information in the assessment is verified for accuracy by the certifying organization or an approved third party
Comprehensive information about the verification requirements is publicly available (interviews, documentation, etc.)
Some examples of certifications that receive credit in the B Impact Assessment, for specific topics, are:
If your company has another product or practice that is certified by a different third party certification, we may be able to conduct research internally to determine if that certification can earn credit within the B Impact Assessment. Until that review is complete, we recommend answering any questions conservatively.