How often is the Assessment revised

A new version of B Impact Assessment is released approximately every three years, with the next version scheduled for release in January of 2019. Prior to Version 5, launched in January 2016, the BIA was updated every 2 years:

  • Version 5 Release: January 2016
  • Version 4 Release: January 2014
  • Version 3 Release: September 2011
  • Version 2 Release: January 2010
  • Version 1 Release: October 2007

Prior to the release of each new version of the Assessment, B Lab conducts both a private and public beta period that allows all stakeholders to provide feedback to the standards before they are published. Find more information about the scope and timeline of V6 here. All are welcome and encouraged to provide feedback on how the B Impact Assessment can be improved. Users can leave feedback directly in the B Impact Assessment platform using the Leave Feedback button next to each question. See this document for guidance on submitting feedback directly to the Standards Management Team: V6 Public Feedback Guidelines. If you are interested in learning about updates and opportunities to provide feedback as drafts are made available for testing and public comment, please subscribe to our Version 6 distribution list.

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My B Impact Score only increased by a few points, but our impact has increased dramatically. What happened

The Assessment is far from being perfect, and it is possible that a significant change in the company is not perfectly correlated with the number of points earned. We would love your help on reweighting items that you feel should be worth more.

However, this occurs most often when one practice is achieved but other answers have changed, thus neutralizing the positive score change.

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My company is a start up. How will that affect my score

The Assessment is a measurement of current and recent past performance on different dimensions of impact. The Assessment is not aimed at rewarding future intentions (e.g. the company plans to give away 5% of its profits to charity), as these items would be difficult to verify.

As a result, many startups find the Assessment is useful as a learning tool to help shape policies of flag practices to incorporate into their company in the future. We encourage companies to begin assessing their impact from day one, and find that those companies that do experience significant score improvements over time.

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What is the highest score achieved on the Assessment

The highest scores achieved that are also verified by B Lab typically vary from year to year but are generally between 160-170 points. To see the companies that achieved the highest scores, view the Best For the World lists.

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What does the Assessment cover

The Assessment comprehensively covers the impact of a business on all of its stakeholders, including its workers, suppliers, community, and the environment. The Assessment also captures best practices regarding mission, measurement, and governance. The last, heavily weighted, portion of the Assessment identifies the company’s specific “Impact Business Models,” which include the targeted, formal focus on a benefiting a particular stakeholder through products and services or internal practices.

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How is the Assessment scored

The Assessment is scored out of 200 possible points. The weightings of each question and section depend upon the specific “Assessment track” — determined by industry, size, and geography — of the business taking the Assessment. Points are received for every positive answer to a question and points are never lost. In certain sections points are rewarded for calculations and combinations of a number of different questions. So, while certain questions may not be “weighted” on their own, they contribute to the overall score. The Assessment is scored automatically and in real time so that at the conclusion of the Assessment it is immediately possible to review the results.

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Why is the qualifying bar 80 points to become a B Corporation

Setting this threshold is admittedly a work in progress, but here is how the Standards Council arrived at 80.

Since each impact area (ie. Workers, Community, or Environment) is worth roughly 40 points, achieving 80 points total would mean that the company has to excel in multiple areas to achieve B Corp Certification.

Philosophically, the Standards Council aims to recognize those companies as B Corporations that create positive impact in multiple impact areas, instead of just one. As an example, a company that achieves 80 points is more likely to be one that produces chairs from recycled metals AND pays fair wages to its employees (amongst many other practices). In this way, the Assessment is asking businesses who might only be using recycled metals in manufacturing but not necessarily creating positive impact elsewhere to aim higher while simultaneously acknowledging that this one practice alone is creating positive impact.

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What are stakeholders? Why do they matter

Stakeholders are the individuals that are most closely affected by a business's activities. These may include workers, customers, suppliers, shareholders, community members and others. All of these constituencies contribute to the success of a business and/or are affected by the business. Research shows that companies that engage with their stakeholders tend to be more successful in the long term. We embrace a stakeholder model of business, and the BIA is a tool to help companies assess their impact on different stakeholder groups.

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Our company does not have suppliers. How should we answer the questions about suppliers

Suppliers may include both companies that provide durable goods (e.g. your raw materials) as well service providers (e.g. your accounting firm). If in the rare instance, your company does not procure any goods or services, please leave the questions blank.

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Who is B Lab

B Lab is the non-profit organization behind the B Impact Assessment.

B Lab is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

B Lab envisions that all businesses in the world will measure and manage their impact as readily as they do profitability. Read more about how B Lab hopes to achieve this vision.

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