Originally published at: https://bcorporation.com.au/blog/recertifying-your-b-corp-six-boxes-to-tick-before-you-hit-submit/
Time flies when you’re creating positive change – it’s time to recertify your B Corp!
Just like your business, certification requirements develop over time. They are strengthened as societal expectations evolve, and as we as a global community gain a better understanding of how business can be used as a force for good. This is just one of the reasons we require B Corps to recertify every three years.
Recertification also marks an opportunity to measure your impact, identify potential areas of improvement, and update your B Impact Score to reflect any exciting new initiatives or structural updates.
From growing your team to expanding overseas and everything in-between – we know that business moves fast, and yours might look very different to what it did three years ago. Which is why it’s so important to double-check these six areas before you hit ‘submit’ on your recertification assessment.
Doing so will start your recertification journey off on the right foot, ensuring that we assess your application in a way that best reflects what your business looks like today.
1. Has your business structure changed?
Acquisitions and change in control
Please let us know if over 50 per cent of your ownership has changed since you were last certified by emailing us at email@example.com. The questions you’ll answer as part of your B Impact Assessment (BIA) will differ from business-to-business based on your organisation’s structure, and so changes in control may mean we require new information from you.
“Complex” business (eg. subsidiaries, sub-brands, and expanding into new markets)
It’s important to let us know if you have acquired a subsidiary, launched a new sub-brand, or expanded into new international regions since you last certified, as we may require new information from you. We refer to these structures as ‘complex’ businesses. Click here to learn more about complex businesses and if your B Corp may fall into this category.
Please also let us know if your company contact for recertification has changed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Has your business changed in size, sector, or industry?
At B Lab we categorise your business based on your number of team members, your sector, and your industry. These details determine your ‘assessment category’, or as we call it, your ‘track’ – in other words, the type of assessment you’ll need to complete. If any of the below details have changed since you last certified, you can update your assessment track by following these steps.
3. Have you completed the B Corp purpose and stakeholder governance requirement?
B Corporations based in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand must meet the purpose and stakeholder governance Requirement before recertifying. This requirement is about ensuring that stakeholder governance is embedded within your company’s DNA, regardless of major changes that may occur such as mergers, acquisitions, and changes in leadership.
What does this look like exactly? The requirement involves updating your company constitution to include two new clauses: the ‘Purpose’ clause and the ‘Stakeholder’ clause. Once you have made the necessary amendments to your constitution, send a copy to us at email@example.com.
Please note that without completing this requirement, you will not be able to submit your assessment for recertification.
4. Is your Fiscal Year End Date up to date?
To recertify, we’ll require your most recent fiscal (financial) year information. If these details need updating, you’ll see an ‘update required’ message appear on your BIA dashboard. This means that the fiscal year referenced in your assessment is over a year old. To update, simply click the ‘create’ button and enter the last day of the fiscal year that you are reporting on.
5. Have you reviewed your last assessment?
Refresh your memory, where did you thrive in your last assessment, and where did you find opportunities to improve? At this stage, we also recommend exploring the ‘Improvement Report’ tool, which includes a range of tangible ways you can expand your impact and improve your score.
How to find your previously verified assessment:
- Log in to your BIA Dashboard
- Select the ‘Question Filter’ from the left-hand menu
- Select ‘filter’ then ‘metrics’ at the top right of your screen
- Select your most recently vertified assessment
6. Have you checked the two living wage questions?
The BIA contains two questions relating to living wages. These questions indicate whether your organisation’s wages, or the minimum wage in your location, meet a living wage. Use one of the B Lab approved living wage benchmark tools listed below to help complete this section.
These two questions are optional. If you’d prefer not to complete them simply select the N/A option. You won’t ‘miss out’ on points as they will be allocated to the ‘N/A’ points score in your assessment.
B Lab Approved Living Wage Benchmark Tools:
Submitting your Assessment
Congratulations! By completing these six areas you’re one step closer to hitting ‘submit’. Your assessment is ready to submit once you have:
- achieved 80+ points on your BIA
- completed 95% of your BIA
- completed the purpose and stakeholder governance requirement
- no ‘pending tasks’ in your BIA dashboard
Although you can submit the assessment with 80+ points, it is common for a company’s score to drop at least 5-10 points during the review process (you can learn more about why this is here). Because of this, we highly recommended that you a) submit with a score of at least 85 points, and b) submit at least three months prior to your deadline, allowing sufficient time to supply additional supporting documents if required.
Your recertification guide
For every step of your business journey, your B Corp community will be right there beside you cheering you on – and recertification is no exception. We encourage you to reach out to your fellow B Corps for support through the online community forum if you have any questions during the recertification process. This is a great space to share knowledge, and it’s likely another B Corp may be pondering the same questions as you!
For further guidance, visit our comprehensive recertification guide. Consider it your blueprint to navigating the recertification process. Use it to identify key deadlines, refresh your understanding of the verification process, and get up to date on any major BIA changes since you last certified.
For any other questions, we’re only an email away. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.