Ethical Certification: A Guide to Working for B Corps
B Corporations - what are they?
You may have seen the logo: a circled uppercase letter B above a thin black line. The B Corporation movement started in 2006, and currently, over 4,000 businesses across 150 industries in more than 70 countries are Certified B Corporations. This growing cohort includes some very big names. Yet ‘B Corp’ status can still seem a little obscure.
Simply put, B Corporation is a certification that for-profit businesses can achieve to prove their commitment to having a positive social and environmental impact. It is a framework for moving away from a narrow focus on shareholder returns, and toward a model of sustainable value creation for stakeholders and the environment. It aligns with the ‘triple bottom line’, which requires giving equal weight to people and the planet alongside profit within a business’s strategy and governance. Achieving B Corporation certification is a highly rigorous process, meaning companies need to cut through the greenwash to demonstrate real-world impact, transparency, and accountability.
What opportunities currently exist?
In addition to Certified B Corps, more than 150,000 companies have taken the first step towards B Corp certification by self-assessing their performance against 200 metrics covering impacts on the environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders. Certification levels are tailored for companies of all sizes. This represents a wide range of options for job seekers looking for a company with a purpose beyond just profit. Essentially, B Corps offer most of the roles found in other businesses, but with additional values alignment. Some of the key work streams for B Corps include:
Marketing and communicating impact
B Corps need to share their value-adding activity and to maintain a tone of voice that will chime with their target audience. Roles such as Communications Manager, Marketing Lead, UI/UX Designer, and Brand Creative Lead are in demand and require a talent to connect brand-specific content with wider CSR (corporate social responsibility) topics and trends.
Ethical business is at the heart of operations for B Corps, and this dedication can be a powerful selling point for attracting new business and retaining loyalty from clients and customers. Many certified companies are looking for Investor Relations Managers, Commercial Managers, and Sales Managers who understand the issues and can be a knowledgeable and trustworthy point of contact for their clients, who may be looking to green their own supply chains.
An important goal for all UK-based companies, as well as many others, is reducing operational carbon emissions to slow the pace of climate change and to meet legislative requirements to achieve Net Zero by 2050. B Corps need Sustainability Consultants, Net Zero Analysts, and Supply Chain and Operations Managers who understand the difference between scope 1 and scope 3 emissions, and can advise on strategy, policy, and procedures that will enable the company to meet their carbon reduction targets ahead of legal deadlines.
Developing products and content
B Corps are often early adopters of new ideas and technologies, and may see innovation as a key element of their product offering. Software Engineers, Product Leads, and Web Developers are needed who can think outside the box yet are detail-oriented, and who can deliver fast solutions that will help the company stay ahead of the curve.
The future of B Corp
As more and more businesses see value in assessing their impacts on society and on the environment, the number of Certified B Corporations will only increase. Understanding the assessment process and what is required to achieve and maintain certification will ensure job seekers across a wide range of skill sets and roles are a valuable asset to forward-thinking companies.