New to the UK in 2015, the B Corporation certification is awarded to for-profit companies meeting specific social and environmental standards. The Social Investment Consultancy (TSIC) has published a new research report (download here) to share exploratory research on the impact of B Corporation certification on organisations’ performance and growth thus far.
Drawing on academic theory and previous studies, this research used a questionnaire and follow-up interviews to gather quantitative and qualitative data about B Corporations’ financial performance, non-financial performance, and future plans to grow into multinational or publicly traded companies. The initial questionnaire was distributed to 340 B Corporations and had 103 respondents from 21 industries (a response rate of 30%). 82% of overall survey respondents were American organisations as these organisations have had the opportunity to be certified for the greatest length of time. The B Corporations surveyed varied in size from less than 10 employees to over 1,000 and were certified between 2007 and 2016. After an initial analysis of questionnaire results, interviews were conducted with 10 organisations.
By investigating these financial, non-financial, and growth effects of B Corporation certification, this research gathers hard data and evidence from current B Corporations to help potential applicants (including the public and multinational organisations required to bring the brand mainstream) predict the impact of certification. In highlighting benefits and identifying challenges of B Corporation certification, this research suggests opportunities to grow the B Corporation movement.
Much like TSIC’s own corporate methodology (“Fuse” – see the research here) the B Corporation movement supports a systemic approach to corporate social performance, integrating social and economic value into all aspects of a business. Both Fuse and the B Corporation approach see social performance as a positive contributor to an organisation’s core brand, staff engagement, partnerships, and community involvement. For these reasons, TSIC is proud to be a certified B Corporation – one of the 62 Founding B Corporations in the UK – and a leader helping navigate other organisations through this rapidly growing movement.