Whilst working through the B Impact Assessment (BIA), you might come across questions that refer to a policy or practice that your company does but hasn't got a formal written policy on. During verification, your analyst will be looking for formal written policies (e.g. in the employee handbook) for any questions referring to policies, as this is crucial for ensuring their longevity. As you’re checking your BIA, make sure you have formalized any policies which you claim to have in place.
Upload Standardized Documentation
Depending on your company size, you may be required to complete the “Upload Standardized Documentation” task prior to starting verification. This task will require you to upload:
The company's income statement (i.e. Profit & Loss)
The company's Employee Handbook (if it has one)
The company's Supplier Code of Conduct or screening criteria (if it has one)
This task will also require you to complete a template with information about your employees and suppliers. The template has been designed so that the information provided can be used to verify multiple questions within the assessment.
Please list all workers that were working for the company at the time of the B Impact Assessment completion and all workers that were in the company 12 months before the date of reference used to complete the B Impact Assessment. Also, include in the list all workers that started and left the company during the 12 months reported. Please use the same date of reference that was used when collecting data and answering the B Impact Assessment. You may redact employee names and use anonymous identifiers instead.
Please use the last fiscal year to complete this information, ensuring that the fiscal year aligns with the reporting fiscal year of your B Impact Assessment. You must list enough suppliers to ensure that at least 80% of the company’s total expenses in the last fiscal year are accounted for, excluding labor, bonuses, rent and utilities costs. Costs from labor benefits (e.g. private health insurance supplier) should be included. Independent contractors that are not considered workers within the BIA (i.e. do not work indefinitely or greater than 20 hours per week for + 6 month period) should also be included.
You will need to provide evidence of the company’s revenue during the reporting fiscal year of your assessment, typically in the form of your Profit & Loss. Please ensure that the fiscal year you are reporting on throughout the assessment is consistent and is the most recently completed fiscal year, so please check this is the case when you submit your B Impact Assessment. Areas to align the fiscal year include the products & services section of the company details page, the governance metrics section (particularly the last fiscal year and revenue last year questions), any other questions throughout the assessment relating to the last fiscal year and revenue questions within Impact Business Models.
Impact Business Models (IBMs)
Note: this IBM guidance is based on the most common scenarios and further documentation may be requested during verification.
This documentation does not have to be uploaded at the point of submission and you will be notified when this is required.
The only documentation you will need in order to gain 10 points under the Mission Lock IBM is your amended governing documents (e.g. Articles of Association). More information on how to amend these documents can be found here.
The two IBMs within the Workers impact area are Worker Owned and Workforce Development. For the Worker Owned IBM you will need evidence that the company is >40% owned by non-executive employees. The documentation required could be evidence that the employee trust owns >40% of the shares in the company and that all employees are able to join the program. It could also be a spreadsheet which includes the following details:
Non-executive employee name or identifier (e.g. Owner 1, 2, etc.)
Employee job title
Number of shares owned
Type of ownership held (i.e. stock, stock options, stock equivalents)
Total amount of all company shares owned
You will also be required to provide documentation to illustrate the governance structure that your company has set up to enable employees to make substantive decisions that impact the direction of the company. Typical documentation required would be an employee handbook, policy, etc. that details the responsibilities of the governing body and how employees nominate or elect representatives.
For Workforce Development, you will need to provide detail about the chronic barrier to employment your company is trying to address and the program the company has in place to target this specific group during recruitment. You will also need to provide a list of workers that have this barrier to employment, with the following information:
Evidence that they are paid the living wage (e.g. a list of employee salaries)
Notes about which employee is full time, part time, temporary or informal
Evidence of professional or technical training provided
Evidence or anecdotes of rehiring seasonal or day workers (if applicable)
Typically, for Community IBMs, such as Designed to Give and Local Economic Development, the documentation required will be formal written commitments to meet certain thresholds and evidence that the commitment has been met in previous years, in particular, the reporting fiscal year of your assessment. The formal commitments should either be publicly available (e.g. on your website) or an internal policy signed by an executive.
For Supply Chain Poverty Alleviation, depending on which areas of the IBM you are gaining credit for, you will typically need the following documentation:
Documentation demonstrating a quantifiable increase in productivity/efficiency of your small-scale suppliers due to your capacity building services
Copy of training materials or photograph depicting training provided to suppliers
Copy of contract or agreement demonstrating that the contract price was partially or fully paid in advance to significant suppliers
Copy of contract or agreement demonstrating contracts for input materials are signed and executed in advance for the next year with significant suppliers
Evidence of fair-trade certification of suppliers, such as a copy of supplier fair trade certification(s) or photographs of the Fair Trade Certified logo on products from suppliers
Additionally, you will need to provide documentation detailing the percent of total Cost of Goods Sold spent on products that are sourced through small-scale suppliers (suppliers or cooperatives with supplier members that have fewer than 50 employees) and indicate which of the above is relevant to each. You may upload a spreadsheet or list of all of your suppliers and the amount spent with each, indicating those that are small-scale suppliers.
In most cases, the documentation that would be required for Environment IBMs is evidence of 3rd party certifications to back-up your claims that your products or services have a positive impact on the environment. For example, if you claim that your products are organic, you will need to provide evidence that your products have been organic certified by a 3rd party (e.g. Soil Association Organic Certification). You will also need to provide a breakdown of products or services that have the certification, which should align with the reported revenue within the IBM.
If you do not have a 3rd party certification to support your claims, other documentation may be acceptable. For example, if you are claiming that your products reduce energy, water, waste or GHG emissions, you can provide documentation that shows that your products are a clear alternative to another product and that your type of product has substantially reduced emissions (e.g. life-cycle analysis).
The Environmentally Innovative Process is designed differently and requires some more specific and extensive documentation and research, including:
A comprehensive Environmental Management System that measures energy, water, waste and carbon emissions with objectives and targets
Extensive research into the industry with particular focus on why the issue that you are addressing is of significant concern in your industry
Benchmarking data comparing the company’s environmental performance with other companies in the industry or the industry in general
Evidence that the innovative process is truly innovative and you are an industry leader in developing and implementing this process
Data that shows that the innovation affects the majority of the company’s products or services and significantly reduces the total environmental footprint of the company
The Customer IBMs are quite varied, but the documentation should clearly show what the positive outcome is for your customers and, if applicable, evidence that your customers are underserved individuals or businesses. You will also be required to upload data that shows the percentage of revenue generated from your products or services that can be attributed to the positive impact you are creating for your customers.
If you are asked for documentation to show that your end beneficiaries are underserved individuals, you must have evidence that these individuals have a specific characteristic that would always categorize them as underserved, taking into account the context in the region your company operates in. For example, if your customers are women, that would not be enough evidence to gain credit, as not all women in the UK are underserved. However, if you can provide evidence that a percentage of your customers are low-income individuals, then you would be able to earn credit for serving low-income individuals.
The key to the documentation for the Customer IBMs is that you track the end beneficiaries of your products or services so that you can evidence who they are and what the positive impact is.