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Doing Good and Doing Well: The Case for B Corp Certification

According to the Harvard Business Review, millennials will make up about half of the global workforce by 2020. These millennial employees are demanding work that connects to a larger purpose. At the same time, 66% of global consumers say they will pay more to support companies that are committed to making a social and environmental impact (Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report).

Some companies – such as New Belgium Brewing, West Paw Design, Dansko, King Arthur Flour, Cabot Creamery, and Patagonia – undergo B Corp certification to demonstrate their commitment to being transparent, treating their employees well, making their community a better place, and actively working to preserve the environment. There are currently more than 1,600 Certified B Corps in 120 industries and 42 countries, all committed to being “not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World®.”

What is B Corp certification and what does it entail?

B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. While B Corps are firmly committed to their financial stakeholders, they are also committed to their employees and the communities in which they are based. The first step in becoming a B Corp (or learning more about what it entails) is completing either the condensed 30-minute or the complete 90-minute B Corp assessment to get a sense of how your company stacks up against other businesses. There is also the opportunity to create a customized improvement plan. Firms must achieve at least 80 points out of 200 to be considered for B Corp status, and then their answers are audited for accuracy. Companies practicing open book management will likely score well in transparency and accountability.

Why consider becoming a B Corp?

B Corporation status isn’t for all companies. But for those that want to attract and retain millennial talent, differentiate from competitors, benchmark their performance against other companies, and protect their mission, it can be a great option. In addition, it is a chance to partner with like-minded companies – B Corps often say they prefer to do business with others in the B Corp network.

To learn more about the B Corporation movement and how it might benefit your open-book company, join Anne-Claire Broughton of Broughton Consulting (a newly certified B Corp as of late June), Spencer Williams of West Paw Design (the first pet product manufacturer to become a certified B Corp), and Joe Herrick of New Belgium Brewing (a certified B Corp since 2013, a year after becoming 100% employee owned) at the 25th Annual Gathering of Games, where they will present an educational session on the topic. The Gathering of Games takes place September 7-9, 2016 in Dallas, TX. To learn more about the conference or to register, visit the Gathering of Games website.

 

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Topics: The Annual Gathering of Games

Anne-Claire Broughton

Anne-Claire Broughton is Principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC, a firm which helps organizations engage employees at all levels for business success through open-book management, employee ownership, and healthy organizational cultures. Broughton is active in educating retiring business owners about the possibility of exiting via an ESOP or co-op. Publications include The Hitachi Foundation's Human Capital Advantage: A Curriculum for Early Stage Ventures, The Hitachi Foundation’s Business Action Guides to Innovative Employee Engagement Strategies, Employees Matter: Maximizing Company Value Through Workforce Engagement, and Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability. Broughton previously spent more than 13 years advising early stage business as co-founder and senior director of SJF Institute (a business accelerator affiliated with SJF Ventures and Investors Circle). She brings all of her unique experience with her into her role as business coach at The Great Game of Business.

About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.