1. What is the B Impact Assessment?
The B Impact Assessment is an online tool you can use to quickly and confidently see how your business measures up to the B Lab’s social and environmental standards. This 200-point questionnaire is designed for all organizational structures and industries. Company size is not an issue for the B impact assessment; you can have 1 or 1,000 employees and still quickly identify your social and ecological footprint. The tool is flexible and adaptable. It gives you the ability to pinpoint your exact areas for growth and development!
2. Does the B Impact Assessment Cost my Organization Money?
The B Impact Assessment is a no-obligation, FREE tool for use. The wonderful people at the B Lab have opened the door for businesses to measure their impact, regardless of certification standing. Maybe it is not the best time to undergo the B Corp certification process. Not to worry at all! You can complete the assessment and use it internally to pave the way for future efforts. The B Impact Assessment is a great tool to measure what matter most—people, plant, and your impact on the world. Just think about what “could be” in your business. And remember, there are no limits to success! Thanks, B Lab!
3. How much time are we talking here?!
This is probably the most asked question of them all… How much time should I expect to block out for the assessment? It will take a few hours to complete a draft of the B Impact Assessment. The goal is to get a “big picture” perspective on the different types of questions in the assessment. You do not have to answer all the questions immediately; providing ballpark estimates is perfectly acceptable. Check out my previous blog post on completing the assessment efficiency here for more information.
4. Who should champion my B Corp initiative?
I have a few recommendations for this question, depending on the size of your company. Small to medium-sized companies can gain maximum change traction and buy-in by having the CEO fill out the B Impact Assessment. The reason for having the CEO fill out the initial assessment is to (1) familiarize the top brass of what it will take in terms of organizational development, and (2) the CEO has the ultimate perspective on the strategic direction of the company. If you are a larger company, and the CEO does not have the time to complete the B Impact Assessment, I recommend having the CFO, COO, or sustainability coordinator champion the initiative. Whoever is taking charge of the assessment should be well-positioned in the company to gain quick access to different pieces of information.
5. How can I get help, and should I hire a consultant?
If you do find yourself stuck while filling out the questionnaire, there are a few options for gaining the needed insight to complete the assessment. First, try using the “Explain This” or “Show Example” buttons on the dropdown tabs. These quick-fix tools will provide definitions and tips for answering the question correctly. B Impact teams are another option for helping you move through the certification process. B Impact teams are self-organized cohorts of college students that assist businesses in the impact measurement process. These teams often volunteer time and resources for free. Check with some local universities in your area for more information. The B Corp movement has produced many B Corp consultants who are more than willing to help with your certification process (hint: yours truly is one of them!). Hiring professional help is a wise choice because there will be changes in your company. A consultant can help you through the B Impact Assessment, consultants can prepare a full scope change plan that fits your unique impact needs. The B Impact Assessment is only a small part of the process of setting your company up for long-term sustainability. Bringing on an expert can help ensure that your quest is successful! Check out my services page for more information about organizational development, the B Corp certification process, and change management.