B Lab is excited to release, following the conclusion of the Multinational and Public Markets Advisory Council (MPMAC), the B Corp Certification process & requirements for companies with over $5 billion USD in annual revenue.
While the early success of the B Corp movement has been driven largely by innovative small and midsize companies, an increasing number of large, multinational and public companies have expressed interest in B Corp certification. B Lab created the MPMAC, a multistakeholder advisory body tasked with making recommendations to B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council on how to create a meaningful, manageable path to certification for multinational companies. Following a two year development and feedback process, the certification requirements were approved by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council at the end of 2018.
The resulting requirements provide a meaningful and rigorous process for these companies to certify as B Corporations. In addition to adapting the standards in the B Impact Assessment to better reflect the nature of these large and often global companies, the MPMAC and Standards Advisory Council also recommended and approved an additional set of Baseline Requirements to reflect the level of impact and influence these companies have on their stakeholders.
The approved certification requirements for $5B+ parent companies are outlined in brief below. To learn about each requirement and the process to certify as a B Corp in more detail, click below.
- Baseline Requirements: Companies are required to meet the following baseline requirements in order to qualify to be a B Corporation:
- Annual sustainability reporting
- Materiality assessments
- Management strategies and targets for material issues
- Tax philosophy and government affairs disclosure
- Human Rights policy
- B Impact Assessment Scope and Score Requirements: At least 95% of the business’s operations must be assessed and verified using the B Impact Assessment with a bottom up approach, earning a weighted average overall score of greater than 80 to qualify for the certification. This includes completing a “Global Headquarters” version of the assessment and separate B Impact Assessments for different parts of their operations.
- The Global Headquarters version of the B Impact Assessment is not yet available for self registration on bimpactassesment.net. If your business is interested in viewing or taking the Global Headquarters version of the BIA, contact email@example.com to get started.
- Verification and Recertification: Companies will undergo the verification procedures of assessment reviews, documentation review, and onsite reviews, conducted by B Lab staff. Companies will be required to recertify on three year cycles.
- Disclosure Review Requirement: All companies pursuing B Corp Certification undergo a disclosure review that consists of completion of a “Disclosure Questionnaire,” a background check, ESG risk analysis, and (once certified) a public complaint mechanism for stakeholders to share concerns about company performance to B Lab. Controversial issues or practices are flagged and, if a precedent has not been set, presented to B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council for a decision regarding the company’s eligibility for achieving or maintaining their certification. See here for existing precedent on controversial issues and how this impacts B Corp Certification.
- Transparency Requirement: Once a company has met all other certification requirements, large scale companies are required to make transparent, as part of their B Corp public profile their overall score: the scores of their underlying units / subsidiaries that have completed a separate BIA, answers to the questions that represent the top 25 most material points each assessment, compliance regarding the baseline requirements highlighted above, and any incremental disclosures deemed necessary from their Disclosure Review Process.
- Legal Requirement: All companies are required to fulfill the legal requirement of certification by amending their corporate governance to legally require the consideration of stakeholders in their decision making. This legal requirement is identical to the legal requirement for all other companies to be eligible for B Corp Certification.
More on the certification process for companies with over $5B USD is also featured here. Contact B Lab if your company is interested learning more about the certification or about other engagement opportunities.
B Lab is grateful to the members of the Performance Standards Working Group, Mission Alignment Working Group, testers and comments of the MPMAC. A full list of those organizations and individuals is available here.
As with the B Impact Assessment itself, the requirements and processes are intended to be iterated upon as needs and opportunities for improvement are identified in the future. B Lab always welcomes feedback on whether the standards, requirements and processes are in fact meaningful and rigorous while simultaneously manageable and efficient. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.