Best for NYC Methodology & FAQ

What is Best for NYC and the Best for NYC Challenge?
What was the time period for competing?
How do I participate in Best for NYC?
Who is eligible?
What are the criteria for earning the Finalist and Honoree designations?
How were Honorees selected?
How has the veracity of companies’ answers been ensured?
What is the B Impact Assessment?
Who created the standards?
Who is B Lab?
Have a complaint about a company or the process?

What is Best for NYC and the Best for NYC Challenge?

Best for NYC is a city-wide initiative championed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and B Lab that celebrates companies in New York City that are using business as a force for good. Businesses participate in Best for NYC by measuring and improving their social and environmental performance through the Best for NYC Challenge, a tool built on the on the B Impact Assessment platform. The Best for NYC Challenge is a shortened version of the B Impact Assessment, focusing on key concepts that the B Impact Assessment assess in much greater detail. Each year, B Lab honors companies for participation and high achievement through the Best for NYC Awards celebration hosted by the NYCEDC.

What was the time period for competing?

The Best for NYC Challenge took place between October 2015 and March 2016. NYC-based companies that submitted a complete B Impact Assessment before March 15 were eligible to be considered for the Best for NYC Awards 2015.

How do I participate in Best for NYC?

Simply take the Best for NYC Challenge! All NYC-based companies who wish to compete to be Best for NYC Awards can take the Best for NYC Challenge by clicking here.

Who is eligible?

Companies that have been operational* for at least one year and have a majority of their operations within the limits of the five boroughs of New York City by the time of submitting their B Impact Assessments are eligible.

*Operational has been defined as having at least one worker dedicated towards operating the business in a full-time capacity.

What are the criteria for earning the Finalist and Honoree designations?

All businesses that take the Best for NYC Challenge are recognized as competing to be best for NYC. The Best for NYC Challenge is a shorter version of the full B Impact Assessment, covering the same impact concepts but going into less detail in each impact area. There are three levels of participation and achievement in Best for NYC.

Best for NYC Participant

  1. Take the Challenge

Best for NYC Finalist

  1. Take the Challenge
  2. Finish the full B Impact Assessment
  3. Verify your B Impact Score with an Assessment Review

Best for NYC Honoree

  1. Take the Challenge
  2. Finish the full B Impact Assessment
  3. Verify your B Impact Score with an Assessment Review and Documentation Review
  4. Earn top scores and improve as compared to NYC businesses of your size

How were Honorees selected?

The Honorees were selected based on their performance on the B Impact Assessment. The categories highlight the unique ways these businesses positively impact the city. The companies that earned the highest scores, either within the top 10 percentile for overall score across all boroughs or among the top 10 scores by impact area within each borough, are recognized as Honorees:

Overall impact
Distinguished by earning an overall score on the B Impact Assessment within the top 10 percentile of all companies competing in Best for NYC.

Workers
Distinguished by earning one of the top 10 highest scores in the Workers section of the B Impact Assessment within that company’s borough.

Communities
Distinguished by earning one of the top 10 highest scores in the Communities section of the B Impact Assessment within that company’s borough.

Environment
Distinguished by earning one of the top 10 highest scores in the Environment section of the B Impact Assessment within that company’s borough.

NB: Some boroughs show fewer companies receiving Honoree status in certain impact areas due to a lower number of companies that achieved high scores in those areas.

How has the veracity of companies’ answers been ensured?

Finalists and Honorees are required to complete a verification process with B Lab Staff. This process follows the same verification measures that B Lab has already built for B Corp Certification to ensure responses are honest and accurate. The verification steps include the following:

Assessment Review

This call allows B Lab Staff to review the Assessment questions with the participating company that may have been difficult to answer or are unclear; this process gives the company a chance to refine their answers so that they fit the intent of the questions. The review also helps B Lab understand more about the unique circumstances and best practices related to that company, which allows B Lab Staff to provide tailored guidance to the company in how to approach certain questions. On average, it takes about 60-90 minutes to complete this review.

Documentation Review

Following the Assessment Review, the Assessment will randomly select 8-10 questions that were answered in the affirmative and ask the company to demonstrate those practices in more detail through documentation. After completing the documentation review process, B Lab Staff and the company typically make final adjustments to the Assessment answers and scores. The documentation step also helps the company establish systems that allow them to continually monitor and improve those practices in the future.

Learn more on how B Lab typically performs these steps.

Disclosure Questionnaire and Background Check

To supplement the verification process, companies voluntarily indicate sensitive issues in the Disclosure Questionnaire, the final section in the B Impact Assessment. In addition to this, B Lab staff have conducted Background checks on Finalists and Honorees. These include a review of public records, news sources, and search engines for company names, brands, executives/founders, and other relevant topics. The results of background checks undergo the same review process as items selected in the Disclosure Questionnaire.

B Lab has also conducted a background check to ensure that Finalists and Honorees have not done anything in the past that violates the spirit of the campaign. If it is discovered that a company has been involved in misconduct or misrepresentation, B Lab reserves the right to revoke the company’s award designation (see Complaints below).

Who created the standards?

The standards are created and revised by the Standards Advisory Council (SAC), a group of independent experts in business and academia. Learn more about SAC members and their role.

The Assessment also goes through a private and public beta period in which feedback is collected and integrated into final versions. Expert working groups are convened in order to explore specific issues more closely in an objective manner. The Assessment is updated every two years in order to accommodate new and innovative practices, respond to the feedback of its users, and to more accurately assess the impact of all types of businesses.

What is the B Impact Assessment?

The B Impact Assessment is a free tool that allows businesses to measure and improve their social and environmental performance. The BIA provides a holistic picture of a company’s impact, assessing over 200 policies, practices, outputs, and outcomes across all stakeholders a company affects. Over 40,000 businesses, across all industries, sizes, and markets use the tool to understand and improve their impact. Learn more about the B Impact Assessment.

The best way to explore the standards of the B Impact Assessment is to create an account and explore the tool directly. See a sample of the questions on the assessment.

Who is B Lab?

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. Learn more about B Lab.

Have a complaint about a company or the process?

In order to maintain the integrity and value of the Best for NYC Awards, B Lab welcomes inquiries and complaints regarding potential misconduct or misrepresentation by companies as well as complaints about the process used to determine the list of Finalists and Honorees that have received distinction through the Best for NYC Challenge. This serves as an essential complement in determining whether a company is truly impacting New York City in a positive way.

B Lab will investigate claims that are material, credible, and specific. More details about the complaint process.

Back to Top