Tips For The B Corp-Curious

Tips For The B Corp-Curious


Aileen Lerch, Senior Manager of Sustainability, Allbirds

Anna Kallett, Manager of Social and Environmental Responsibility, Allbirds

We’re big admirers of B Corp. It’s one of the most recognizable, revered, and rigorous certifications to show a company’s commitments to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. And having just wrapped up our recertification, we’ve been thinking a lot about exactly what it means to be a B Corp.

We’re thrilled to share that, in our recent reassessment, we earned an overall score of 96.5, representing an 18% increase since our first B Corp Certification. It’s a great point of pride for us, but we also know that our score doesn’t amount to much if we don’t share our learnings and motivate other businesses to come into the B Corp community.

We often chat with industry peers who are B Corp-curious, but don’t know where to start. What that underscores to us is the massive desire to do good, but equally, the massive need to share knowledge and resources.

So, we thought we might take the first step by sharing some advice for businesses considering B Corp Certification. TL;DR: It isn’t ‘easy.’ It really requires the entire business to be on board. But it is incredibly worthwhile.

Talk to other B Corps.

One of the biggest perks of becoming a B Corp is the connection to the community. It’s an amazing ecosystem of more than 7,000 businesses worldwide that are pushing boundaries and learning from one another.

So before you get going on the certification process, as a first step, we’d strongly suggest tapping into the community by speaking with current B Corps. These organizations can give expert advice on the assessment process, timelines, and expectations. Yes, this is absolutely an invitation to reach out to us directly. We’d love to talk to you about our experience as a B Corp and answer any questions you might have. Email:

Get leadership engaged and invested.

Bearing the B Corp badge requires buy-in from the entire business, especially the folks up top. Oftentimes, it means closely examining your corporate governance structure. It also requires extreme transparency. Businesses are scrupulously reviewed, after which the information about a company’s performance is measured against B Lab’s standards and made publicly available on its B Corp profile on B Lab's site. (You can find ours here!) This is only possible if you have a leadership team that believes in the value of this work, and the meaning of becoming a B Corp.

Here’s what we’ll say to that: Among so many other benefits, the B Corp symbol signals to consumers that your organization “walks the walk,” and has a demonstrated commitment to social, environment, and transparent governance responsibilities. Having been a B Corp since day one, our team certainly believes there’s no better way to tell the world what you’re about.

And, remember, the name of the game is progress over perfection. You have to start somewhere.

Take some internal inventory.

Something that differentiates B Corp from other certifications is that it isn’t just one auditor doing a single on-site visit; it’s an entire team that reviews a business for many months. Depending on the complexity of your business, certification can take more than six months, and companies must be recertified every three years. B Corp is incredibly thorough and in-depth in their assessments of businesses.

Frankly, the certification process is incredibly intensive. But that’s the exact reason we see so much value in it: unlike many other assessments, which often use select data points, B Corp undertakes significant due diligence on every company it assesses.

As part of the certification process, you’ll be prompted with about 300 multiple choice questions covering five topics: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. Before you get going on certification, organize any back-up documentation key to these areas, and identify where you might have gaps. This will significantly ease the assessment and verification phases of the certification.

Tap your teammates.

Attaining B Corp Certification can’t just be a job for a sustainability or impact team. We had more than 20 contributors from 13 teams supporting our recertification efforts; setting clear expectations and bringing everyone along on the journey was crucial to our success.

The B Corp assessment has questions that will need to be answered by legal, human resources, and workplace teams. So get cross-functional partners on board from the beginning, and stress that they are equally important stakeholders.

Adopt a spirit of continuous improvement.

B Corp Certification isn’t a one-and-done. Businesses undergo reassessment every three years, which gets more difficult over time. But it’s also a great opportunity for organizations to highlight their ongoing commitment to environmental, social and governance matters AND improve their scores.

We’re big on always pushing ourselves to be better, and B Corp Certification has been integral in always keeping us accountable. For example, in our 2019 assessment, we knew we had room to improve our fair labor and environmental responsibility program with our suppliers. We were able to take that learning and develop workstreams that invested in these areas – and we saw score improvements in 2023! And similarly, this time around, we’re walking away with learnings and focus areas to improve in advance of our next reassessment. For example, based on feedback from our most recent certification, we’re setting targets with suppliers related to water and waste management and offering support to implement improvements. This is all about bettering our business and the ways we work.

Get going!

It’s true that certification is not a light lift. But as more and more brands espouse their commitment to environmental, social and governance matters, B Corp Certification is a key way to show that your organization really walks the walk. For us, B Corp Certification has been a motivator, an accountability measure, and a connector to other like minded brands. It’s hard work – but it will absolutely be worth your while.

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