By Adriana Cárdenas (Colombia), originally published in Blog Idealistas

Being profitable and betting on a better world is possible

This is the bet of Companies registered in B certification system, a movement of companies and people convinced that a successful economy can only be achieved when companies include in their model a good social, environmental, and financial performance.

There are more than 1,600 B corporations in the world already; 205 of them are in South America, according to the official website of B system. That number for many people might not mean much, but it represents a significant beginning in the way companies operate, compared to a few years ago, when it would have been highly questionable to think it possible to combine profitability with sustainable practices.

The B Corporation competes for being the best for the world and not only of the world.

If you think the sentence above makes sense, and you have a business or social company, you might like to consider the B certification, which in addition to being delivered by B Lab, a non-profit organization in the United States, rates your company as a reliable, fair, and transparent organization.

A triple win-win: you win as a company by attracting more and better customers, the world wins thanks to your sustainable practices, and your work team wins.

What is the difference between Social Entrepreneurship, B Corporation, and CSR?

Social enterprises like B Corps generate both a positive social impact and a positive environmental impact.

However, B Corps do not necessarily work on solving a social problem. That is to say, although the model works to avoid the generation of social and environmental negative impact, a business can be dedicated to commercial activities that have nothing to do with innovation/social entrepreneurship itself.

Among them we find the Patagonia company, a B Corp that is dedicated to make and market tools and clothes for mountain climbers.

It should be noted that a social entrepreneurship can be certified as  B Corp. In addition to carrying the social value in its DNA, that is its main objective, its activities can be on the same line. However, if a social entrepreneurship is not certified as a B Corp, that does not necessarily imply its activities are harmful to the environment or social quality.

However, we should not confuse CSR programs that are not social companies or B Corps; their Social Responsibility program is part of their work portfolio, with the objective not to avoid, but to counteract the negative impact that the company generates on its regular activities.

How does the B Corp idea sound to you?

Here are some of its benefits:

  1. Certified B Corps create jobs of higher quality and improve the life quality of our community.
  2. You increase your positive impact permanently and not occasionally.
  3. You become more attractive to impact investors.
  4. You have more opportunities to create new alliances across multiple sectors, diversifying your potential.
  5. You attract internal talent to your organization, people not only committed but looking for better places to use their talent.
  6. You legally protect your mission.
  7. You have access to benefits such as Pro Bono consultancies and special discounts for members through B Lab.
  8. You measure what really matters, which will allow you to improve your performance.
  9. You will become an inspiring and leading company in times of crisis.

How to register as a B Corp  – B of Better

You can access the B System website in English, where you will find detailed information on the steps to follow.

Generally, you will need to submit a form with information about your business model, and your environmental, work, leadership, and social practices.

According to a score, it will be determined if your company is eligible or not to acquire the B corp seal. All detailed information can be found by clicking here.

Adriana CardenasAdriana Cárdenas is a Colombian living in New York, working as a volunteer and intern in the third sector, helping people who do not have access to the health system, translating from English to Spanish and vice versa free health events and managing outreach activities. She supports research and construction of articles and resources connecting people and organizations to move from intention to action at Idealistas.

Featured Image credit: Freddy Castro, Unsplash.

English Translation by Catalina Flaño, Enlivening Edge Magazine Translation Team 

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