THE TOP FOUR LESSONS WE LEARNED DURING OUR B CORP JOURNEY
1. Move from practice to policy
After the initial assessment eight years ago, we realized that we were doing a lot of things in practice but we didn’t have formal policies in place that communicated to staff how we make decisions. As a result of going through the certification process, we documented things like our green procurement policy, people-related policies such as overtime, and our Code of Ethics. We became much more conscious of explicitly spelling out how we do things and what we stand for.
2. Engage staff in the results – and the actions
Our team is made up of some of the most committed sustainability and climate experts around, so they really care about these issues. This week we held a Town Hall with our team to walk through the certification process, our results, and how they can help us go even further in our B Corp journey. They have been a critical part of our improvements to date: after the first certification, we pulled together a green team who have been instrumental in developing strategies and suggestions. More recently, we convened a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) committee, who are helping us shape our actions in these critical areas.
3. Focus on impact, impact, impact
Assessing impact is a huge part of the certification process. Qualifying and quantifying impact can be challenging for services organizations like GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group. We were able to find plenty of stories about how we have helped our clients abate their GHG emissions and/or environmental impact, often after years of working with them.
We want to go further when it comes to quantifying our impact. To that end, we are updating the way we track and measure our progress towards each entity’s mission and our shared vision and look forward to sharing more on this soon.
4. Pace yourself
The certification process is intense – they really make sure you’re doing what you say you’re doing. Count on at least a day for the initial assessment, and that is if you know where most of the information is (such as your HR manual, code of conduct, staffing and associated salaries, your governance structure, GHG emissions data, etc.). The subsequent verification stage can take weeks, as the B Corp team takes a deep dive on your application and requests more information on key issues.
After that, you have a verification call to go through any clarifying questions, and then a final assessment. Once you have the green light, you need to amend your articles of incorporation and then let the world know you’re certified!
If you have any questions about the B Corp certification process or how you can do more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our group of organization’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ted Ferguson, and for additional resources, check out the B Impact Assessment and the list of B Corps.