B Lab was founded in 2006 in the United States by Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy and Bart Houlahan, three entrepreneurs committed to creating sustainable businesses. B Corp certification allows companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development, particularly with respect to their relationships with suppliers, employees and their impact on the environment.
It is an international certificate, of American origin, for companies with a positive societal and environmental impact. The company must have clear and precise social and environmental objectives.
For example, its energy consumption, business travel management, governance mechanisms, salary practices, impact on the biodiversity of its environment, customer data protection…
It must be managed transparently and be accountable to all its stakeholders.
This approach is in the interest of the community and also has an advantage in terms of employee recruitment (attractiveness to employees, especially millennials) and business development (as a business network). The B Corp label also allows for greater visibility and sharing of best practices. It is finally the guarantee of a responsible and sustainable positioning.
The B Corp (= Benefit Corporation) label was launched in the USA in 2006. It would concern about 5000 companies today, including 200 in France. There are large groups, SMEs, ETIs and start-ups, mainly in the service sector, but also in the agri-food sector.
The various parameters are analyzed in a questionnaire, the BIA (Business Impact Assessment), and an audit closes the certification process, which will be renewed after 3 years.
Such a questionnaire allows any organization to assess itself: https://bimpactassessment.net/
It can thus be part of a community of responsible companies, a community of committed companies, militating for a more ethical activity, with which to share good practices. It is also committed to working, to the maximum, with companies belonging to this community, to develop partnerships and mutual aid mechanisms.
It is a community of companies that emphasize values, combining societal, social and environmental (CSR) objectives in their economic and operational model. Being B CORP is a very strong identity. In fact, it is growing rapidly. It is an alternative to a French label, Responsable Numérique, which also has an international scope, or ISO 26000.
In conclusion, the B Corp label is a certification for sustainable businesses. It is a way for companies to show their commitment to social and environmental responsibility.