History and Background
B Lab was founded in 2006 by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy. These visionary entrepreneurs aimed to create a new kind of economy – one that values not only financial success but also the welfare of people and the planet. They developed the Certified B Corporation (B Corp) certification to identify and recognize businesses that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
The B Corp Certification
The heart of B Lab’s work is the B Corp certification. This certification is awarded to companies that voluntarily meet high standards of social and environmental performance, legal accountability, and public transparency. B Corps are committed to using their businesses as a force for good. They consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
B Corps go through a thorough assessment process, examining various aspects of their business, including governance, workers’ treatment, community involvement, and environmental practices. This rigorous evaluation sets the bar high for responsible business practices.
Impact on Businesses
B Lab has created a community of businesses that are not only financially successful but also dedicated to making a positive impact on society. By achieving B Corp certification, businesses can differentiate themselves in a competitive market by demonstrating their commitment to ethical practices and sustainability. This certification has also been shown to attract consumers who prefer to support responsible businesses.
Influence on Policy and Legal Frameworks
Beyond individual business impact, B Lab advocates for changes in government policy and legal frameworks to support and promote responsible business practices. They work with lawmakers to create a legal structure called Benefit Corporation (B Corp), which legally requires businesses to balance profit and social impact. This legal framework provides protection to companies that are dedicated to their mission, even in the face of financial pressures.
B Lab’s influence extends far beyond its home in the United States. It has spurred a global movement of companies, organizations, and governments working together to change the way business operates. B Lab certifies B Corps in over 150 industries and more than 70 countries. As a result, thousands of businesses across the world have joined the B Corp community and committed to being a force for good.
B Lab is at the forefront of a transformation in the business world, inspiring a shift towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and responsible economy. By empowering businesses to become Certified B Corporations, they are not only driving change within individual companies but also contributing to the broader movement for a more equitable and sustainable world. B Lab’s message is clear: profit is not the sole measure of success; positive impact on people and the planet is equally important. Through their unwavering dedication, B Lab is shaping a future where businesses are a force for good.