Complying with B Corporation Certification and Legal Requirements

Because the B Corporation certification requires ongoing and annual third-party impact reporting, tracking, management, policy, and governance compliance, experienced counsel should be recruited to ensure compliance with certification and legal requirements.

B Revolution helps companies achieve compliance by assisting with document aggregation, impact tracking, impact management and reporting, policy oversight, and governance process development.  And because required B Corporation practices present unique opportunities to leverage the structure to create both profit and impact, B Revolution offers a suite of certification and compliance services to help businesses leverage the certification to their advantage.

  • Quarterly Impact Assessment Review and Performance Improvement Recommendations
  • Developing and Implementing Program Compliance Guidelines
  • Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement Analysis
  • Revising Existing Policies and Procedures to Achieve Compliance
  • Authoring of Annual Benefit Report
  • Statute-Compliant Publication of Annual Report
  • Interactive Benefit Reporting & Communications Recommendations

Preparing for an On-Site Review and Re-Certification Audits

Each year, 10% of Certified B Corporations are randomly selected for an on-site review. B Lab, the certifying body, views these reviews as ”critical in maintaining the authenticity of the Certified B Corp Seal,” and uses the review to verify the accuracy of all affirmative responses (as opposed to the 8-12 responses that are randomly reviewed during initial certification).  On-site reviews typically take one full day, but may exceed a full day, and are comprised of intensive document review, visual verification of practices, and verbal discussion of the measured areas of performance.

Preparation for the On-Site Review typically entails several weeks of preparatory work, although the intensity of preparatory work can be mitigated if ongoing compliance efforts have kept performance records and  other compliance documentation up to date.  B Revolution assists businesses in mitigating their time-cost in achieving compliance by applying its expertise in documentation generation, impact tracking and calculation, compliant practice and program development, and certification interview advocacy.  As trained advocates, we ensure that your materials are developed and packaged to most favorably represent your impacts, ideally resulting in an increased score upon audit completion.  Below is a summary of our services, although services are customized to the individual needs and compliance gaps of each client:

  • Document Aggregation
  • Policy and Program Guideline Compliance Analysis and Revisions
  • Retroactive Impact Tracking and Calculations
  • New Policy and Program Guideline Formulation
  • Pre-Audit Training Workshop
  • Audit Interview Preparation and Coaching
  • Live, On-Site Audit Interview Advocacy and Representation
  • Post-Audit Documentation Revisions and Submission

Building Compliant Board Processes

Every certified B Corporation is required to consider stakeholders at the Board level, meaning that stakeholder consideration must be integrated into the Board decision-making process.  We have discussed the importance of this for legal concerns here.  All benefit corporation statutes also require Boards to consider their public benefit purpose in their decision-making process, and many benefit corporation statutes require Boards to have a Benefit Director or Benefit Officer.  Even if there is no such requirement for a B Corporation, and perhaps especially if not, it is essential for B Corporation Boards to structure board processes that ensure statutory and certification compliance.  There are several ways in which B Revolution assists boards in addressing compliance while also seeking to maximize return on impact:

  • Creating Purpose Structure: B Corporation entities are often mandated to have a public  benefit purpose.  Creating an appropriate definition of such purpose, and building a purpose structure that reflects the owners’ intentions, is key to mitigating litigation risk and ensuring board process will be attuned to serving these ends.
  • Identifying Key Stakeholders: Many B Corporation entities are required to consider certain stakeholders.  Because stakeholders can also be sources of shared value, Boards should be particularly intentional about identifying, prioritizing, and engaging stakeholders.  B Revolution helps clients integrate stakeholder consideration into board process.
  • Developing Compliant Monitoring Processes: All corporations have a duty to monitor operations.  Under the landmark Delaware case of Stone v. Ritter, this means that Boards have a duty to implement adequate reporting systems and controls to prevent harm to the corporation’s interests, and have a duty to monitor the results of those reporting systems, and oversee that the controls are being implemented. B Revolution helps Boards integrate third-party standard and reporting requirements into board decision-making processes to ensure certification and legal compliance is achieved.
Learn more about our Board Governance services here.

Leveraging Compliance Requirements to Optimize Performance

Rather than relegate compliance to a cost center, B Revolution distills the B Corporation compliance requirements into a strategic innovation opportunity for companies, focusing on reaping financial value from the certification’s reporting and impact management requirements.  Reporting and performance improvements are strategically aligned with business goals and the broader competitive strategy of the firm.

B Revolution leverages compliance to Optimize B Corporation performance in the following manners:

  • Score Improvements: Improve your B Corporation performance through profit-aligned Business Model, Program, Practice, Procedure, and Policy Development.  Enhance your score at minimum cost, with maximum financial return.
  • Strategic Alignment: By analyzing areas for improvement and correlating improvements with relevant financial opportunities by reformulating impact practices to more closely and intelligently align with the firm’s competitive strategy, we integrate B Corporation excellence with financial performance.
  • Stakeholder Enagement: By leveraging shared value creation opportunities to engage stakeholders, ventures can tighten their value chain and reap efficiencies and productivity enhancements.  By identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, B Corporations can leverage their impact practices to build closer relationships with the constituencies that are key to the financial and moral integrity of the firm.
  • Reporting B Corporation certification and legal requirements create an impact reporting baseline protocol that must be followed in order to maintain the integrity of the legal structure and certification.  B Revolution helps companies leverage the reporting requirements to boost stakeholder engagement, generate innovation, drive sales, and improve brand positioning.

Through each service, B Revolution helps clients structure optimal policies and practices to maximize impact and generate the highest-possible B Corporation score.  Learn more about  B Revolution’s Optimization services here.