How to turn your business into a B Corp‍

The founder of luxury bedding brand Secret Linen Store explains the method and the benefits
Molly Freshwater
Sisters Hatty and Molly

Getting our B Corp certification has been an exciting but tough journey. At Secret Linen Store, we're all about being the UK's most ethical bedroom dressing brand and our passion for sustainability and social responsibility fuels us. Our 20-month quest for B Corp certification was full of commitment, reflection, and big changes. Here’s a peek into our process and what we learned along the way.

Starting the B Impact Assessment (BIA)

The first step to becoming a B Corp is the B Impact Assessment (BIA). This free online tool helps businesses look at their social and environmental impact and offers a roadmap for improvement before going for certification. For us, the BIA was a vital starting point, showing us where we were strong and where we needed to improve.

  • Thorough Check: The BIA looks into various aspects of your operations, from governance to community involvement and eco-friendly practices.
  • Scoring: After the assessment, your answers get scored based on BIA criteria. You need at least 80 points to move forward with the official application.
  • Document Review: B Lab reviews your submitted assessment to verify your answers with supporting documents.
  • Certification: Once you complete the assessment, document review, verification, and meet legal requirements, your business gets B Corp certification.

However, certification isn't the end of the road. Certified businesses must recertify every three years, continually improving against B Corp standards. This is where the BIA becomes more than an assessment tool; it helps you measure your impact and refine your practices across the board.

The legal requirements

Besides meeting performance standards, companies aiming for B Corp certification must fulfil specific legal criteria. This usually entails updating governing documents to incorporate social and environmental responsibilities, and ensures that these commitments are ingrained in the company’s culture, operations, and decision-making processes.

At Secret Linen Store, making these changes was a major but essential move, strengthening our dedication to responsible and sustainable operations.

Where aspiring B Corps can get help

The B Corp community offers an array of resources to guide you through the certification process. The ones we found the most help were:

  • Workshops/webinars: Expert-led sessions and peer insights covering everything from the BIA to legal compliance.
  • Official BIA support: The BIA includes a ‘learn more’ feature for each question, ensuring accurate and comprehensive responses.
  • Guides/toolkits: These provide detailed instructions and best practices for each step of the certification.
  • Community engagement: Engaging with other certified B Corps can be incredibly valuable. The B Corp movement thrives on teamwork to tackle society's critical challenges.

Why we chose to become B-Corp certified

There’s no doubt that the path to B Corp certification is rigorous, but it’s absolutely worthwhile. Here's a glimpse into the benefits we've reaped from this prestigious certification:

Boosted brand reputation

Earning the Certified B Corporation badge told our customers, stakeholders, and investors that we uphold high standards in social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It’s massively bolstered our brand reputation and made us a trusted choice for eco-conscious shoppers.

Access to a greater talent pool

Getting B Corp certified has opened up our talent pool and made our company culture even better. It shows we're committed to the B Corp values - that businesses can make a positive impact. This certification highlights our focus on people, purpose, and social impact, helping us attract and engage employees who share our values.

Innovation and operational efficiency

The certification process made us look at every part of our business, from supply chain tactics to employee perks. This self-check showed us what we're good at and what needs work. The changes we made boosted efficiency, sparked innovation, and set us up for lasting success.

A nurturing community

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a B Corp is joining a global community of like-minded businesses. This community provides opportunities for learning, collaboration, and support, as well as access to resources, events, and initiatives aimed at advancing the collective impact of B Corps worldwide.

One of the best perks of getting B Corp certified is joining a global network of business owners just like us. This community offers tons of opportunities for learning and collaboration, plus access to valuable resources, events, and initiatives that amplify the collective impact of B Corps on a global scale.

Getting our B Corporation certification was a big milestone for us. It showed our dedication to using business for good and connected us with a global network of like-minded companies.

For any aspiring B Corps, the certification journey is truly transformative. It pushes you to take a hard look at your operations and make meaningful changes that benefit your business, society, and the environment. Don’t waste any more time thinking about it; get involved with the B Corp community, use the resources available, and dive into the process. You won’t regret it.

Written by
June 26, 2024
Written by
Molly Freshwater