In 2018, Beehive Strategic Communication earned its B Corp certification to deepen our commitment to being a purpose-driven company. Since then, we’ve been recertified, shared our B Corp story with numerous clients and peer organizations, and sparked curiosity about what it means to become a Certified B Corporation.
Members of our team are also active in Minnesota B Local, a community of volunteer social impact leaders working in, with and alongside Certified B Corporations in Minnesota who believe in business as a force for good.
We’ve compiled some of our B Corp insights to inspire even more organizations to explore B Corp certification for themselves.
What is B Corp Certification?
B Corp certification evaluates the overall impact of a for-profit company. B Corp companies are legally required to balance profit and purpose. How? By altering their governance to support decisions and practices that weigh not just shareholder value but the holistic impact on all stakeholders, including employees, customers, society and the environment.
Certified B Corps meet the most rigorous standards of:
- Verified social and environmental performance
- Public transparency
- And legal accountability
The fundamental role of business is changing, and Certified B Corps are responding accordingly. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
3 reasons Beehive believes in B Corp certification
Beehive’s purpose is to use the power of communication to build better businesses for a better world. One important way we demonstrate our commitment to our purpose is through our B Corp certification. Below are three reasons Beehive believes in certification and why more businesses should consider it for themselves.
1. Business can be a force for good
We believe businesses have a responsibility to intentionally create a positive impact. Essentially, companies can and should use their power as a force for good.
Putting our business through the B Corp certification process showed us how we could strengthen our impact. It demonstrated where we were strong and where we could make immediate improvements. It also provides a roadmap for future improvements related to our governance, employees, clients, community and the environment.
As a result of our B Corp certification process, Beehive has implemented new policies and practices to become an even stronger force for good. Some changes include:
- Updated policy language in our employee handbook to be more inclusive and gender-neutral
- Implemented salary transparency and wage equity
- Rolled out new work arrangements that meet employees’ needs and promote well-being
Made the following information publicly available and transparent: beneficial ownership of the company; financial performance (employees) and social and environmental performance
2. Businesses must meet rising expectations to stay relevant
Employee expectations are rapidly intensifying. One of these expectations is for greater purpose at work. People are much less willing to stay in unfulfilling jobs or work for companies that don’t treat employees, people or the planet well.
We believe B Corp certification can help meet these rising expectations and support an organization’s employer brand by connecting employee work to a larger purpose. When employees’ work feels meaningful, they’re more likely to stay at or join the organization. Becoming a Certified B Corp can clarify an organization’s purpose. This matters, given people are 78% more likely to want to work for an organization that leads with purpose.
Businesses that want to remain relevant and retain top talent must make it clear how the organization makes a positive impact. They must also empower employees to play a role in driving this impact. Becoming a Certified B Corp is a great opportunity for employers to communicate why an employee would choose to work for the organization.
3. Businesses can create ripples of change
Consumers’ expectations are rising, too. People are more conscientious about what they buy, the services they use, the food they eat, where they work and how they invest. A recent study by IBM and the National Retail Federation found that the top reason consumers choose a brand is based on how well it aligns with their values.
We believe B Corp certification is an effective way for businesses to demonstrate their values and impact. With consumer trust in brands declining, it’s not enough for companies to say they’re making a positive impact. They have to prove it. B Corp’s rigorous certification process does just that.
When businesses put the planet and people first — their employees, clients, partners and communities — profits follow, and everything else rises. Ripples of change happen on a brand level and also on a global scale.
Igniting a movement
Earning our B Corp certification is only the beginning for Beehive. Each year, we put annual goals in place to improve our impact score. We know small, consistent changes implemented over time are how we make meaningful progress.
And we’re not stopping with our organization. We want to inspire other organizations to become Certified B Corps. Get started on your B Corp journey by:
- Reviewing the B Impact Assessment process for B Corp certification. The B Impact Assessment evaluates how your company’s operations and business model impact your workers, community, environment and customers.
- Downloading Beehive’s Guide to Getting Started with B Corp Certification and B Lab’s B Corp Certification Readiness Resources
- Attending a B Lab event, like the organization’s regular B Corp Certification Readiness – Preparing for Your B Corp Journey events.
- Connecting with your local, regional or state B Local community.