B Consultants Help Build B Corp Community and Impact

February 14, 2024

Consultants Provide Guidance for Companies Through Certification Process 

B Consultants can be a valuable resource for purpose-driven companies looking to build upon their positive impact by becoming a Certified B Corporation. Ensuring companies meet the rigorous social and environmental standards of B Corp Certification takes diligence and intention, and B Consultants have the skills and resources to guide that journey.

For Cultivating Capital Founder and CEO Carolina Miranda, becoming a B Consultant was the end of a long path through various careers focused on doing good, including jobs as an editor, teacher, and nonprofit program director. Miranda says she eventually realized that to truly effect change would require working in the private sector, so she went back to school, where she learned about B Corps. 

“I started Cultivating Capital to focus on helping small businesses improve their social and environmental practices, and supporting companies with B Corp Certification has been the best way to do that,” Miranda says. “Helping our clients to improve the impact that they have, in ways large and small, enables them to run a better business while also using the power of business to make the world a better place.”

Miranda and other B Consultants work with companies to establish meaningful data collection and impact measurement to formalize and build upon practices and policies. B Consultants can also help companies navigate the B Impact Assessment, which evaluates a company’s operations and impact on stakeholders for B Corp Certification. Miranda says B Consultants can assist companies with recertification as well, which can help to further embed positive practices.

B Lab is currently updating the standards for B Corp Certification. Miranda says Cultivating Capital started preparing its clients for the new standards last year by helping them review the proposed requirements, understand what they will mean for their companies, and start to benchmark current performance against the new standards.

“Internally, we’re also building out new resources to support our clients in implementing the practices captured in the new standards,” Miranda says. “This will be a big transition for all of us, so I’m very committed to positioning our clients for success and to also sharing what we know with the rest of the community as we navigate this change collectively.” 

Share Your Feedback on the Draft Standards

The second public consultation on the draft standards for B Corp Certification has now launched! We invite you to help shape the future of B Corp Certification by sharing feedback online.


How B Consultants Help Companies Measure Impact

For LIFT Economy Impact Consultant Emmy Allison, her role as a B Consultant is the product of many years of empowering organizations to be better for people and the planet. Allison previously worked in workforce and economic development at Drexel University and at B Lab U.S. & Canada, supporting B Corps in recertification. She says the certification process brings a company’s efforts into sharper focus. 

“I really enjoy having a consistent framework for which to measure the impact of all kinds of businesses,” Allison says. “I get to work with small businesses and multinational corporations, in industries ranging from financial services to pet products. I get to dig around in the B Impact Assessment almost every day, and I absolutely love doing so.” 

Allison says attaining the required score on the B Impact Assessment, the tool used in the certification process, is challenging for most businesses. B Corp Certification is a long game for companies that lack a defined impact business model — such as a buy one, give one program — and the data to demonstrate their impact. As a B Consultant, her goal is to support businesses in navigating the process  — and they continually inspire her with their commitment to a sustainable and responsible future. 

“We spend months drafting and operationalizing policies that either codify existing practices or introduce entirely new ways of doing things,” Allison says. “We rake through data and research to craft a compelling yet proven narrative about a company’s theory of change. We analyze and reorganize data to demonstrate metrics like supplier diversity, volunteer service per capita, and waste monitored. Although this process can be challenging, it’s exciting to see the ways it prompts businesses to think about the possibilities of aligning their operations with their values and vision for their communities. I really love helping these companies walk the walk.” 

Decade Impact Chief Strategist Kristy O’Leary says many times the B Consultant process can be a matter of helping companies recognize the impact of their existing practices, bringing their potential to contribute positively to society and the environment to the forefront. “Through our work, we reframe these everyday actions to highlight their inherent value and progressiveness,” O’Leary says. “We continually work to design impact business models for our clients. We want our clients to understand what they are doing that is positive today, and see how they can leave the world better every time they turn a dollar. Permission giving through examples, and impact creation through design are critical for B Corp consultants.”  

Similarly, Enharmonic Encounters Founder and Executive Director Jeffrey D. Stewart says one of his key roles as a B Consultant is guiding companies to formalize policies and operations. This involves producing physical documents for things that companies already do, even if they don’t have official evidence of it.

“An important piece of my work is assisting companies to organize — and even create from scratch when appropriate — the documentation necessary to substantiate a company’s selected answer options,” Stewart says. 

Profitable Purpose Consulting Founder and CEO Nathan A. Stuck agrees. Stuck says helping his clients address a need for more data is a common component of his work as a B Consultant. For example, he says a company may volunteer regularly but often doesn’t track the number of hours, employees, or percentage of paid time off for volunteering. Profitable Purpose Consulting helps companies create new tracking metrics and key performance indicators that can be used to analyze impact data. 

Shaping a Stakeholder Economy

Building a Community of Purpose-Driven Businesses

The fruits of this labor are plenty. O’Leary says Decade Impact’s engagements with B Corps invariably lead to pivotal shifts in companies’ strategies and operations, empowering companies with the knowledge and tools to view sustainability as a catalyst for innovation and market success. Part of this transformation includes helping businesses see that social and environmental impact initiatives are not cost centers but revenue opportunities and integral components of a business model poised for growth and profitability. 

“Our role as B Consultants goes beyond consultation; we act as catalysts for change, challenging and supporting businesses to reimagine their impact on the world,” O’Leary says. “Each project reaffirms our belief in the power of business as a force for good, driven by the conviction that sustainability and success are not just compatible but complementary forces shaping the future of commerce.” 

The process also helps build community. For example, Stuck introduced clients Adrianne Gordon of Practical Insight and Kenji Kuramoto, CEO at Acuity, to each other. Gordon was seeking advice on a partnership opportunity. Kuramoto gave Gordon advice but then hired her to consult on Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) adoption when she launched her company, eventually introducing her to several new clients. 

“She, in turn, referred members of the B Corp community when they mentioned needing a good accounting firm,” Stuck says. “So one email sparked this entire chain reaction of new business development, which is what this community should be all about: growing a circular economy of purpose-driven businesses doing business with each other, supporting one another, and helping each other grow.” 

With their expertise and guidance, B Consultants can be a valuable resource to companies working to verify their impact with B Corp Certification, helping build the collective impact of the B Corp community.

Explore these resources from B Lab U.S. & Canada:

• Become a B Consultant

• B Consultants Directory 

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    Business Strategy

    Q&A: How to Know Whether a Company Is Really Purposeful or Just Marketing That Way

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    Systems Change Through Business-Led Policy Advocacy

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