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B Corp certification is becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia, as conscious consumers, especially younger generations, are seeking to support and purchase from companies that share their values and positively impact the world.

By becoming a B Corp, SMEs can demonstrate their commitment to doing good and appeal to the values of these consumers.

Moreover, B Corp certification offers numerous benefits for SMEs, such as helping businesses improve their social and environmental performance, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive brand recognition. Additionally, B Corps have access to a network of other socially responsible businesses and resources that can help them grow and succeed.

Gavin Bunshaw, the Co-Chief Executive Officer of DB Results, a technology company based in Australia, recognizes the importance of B Corp certification.  According to Bunshaw, organizations that achieve B Corp status have understood that profitability and doing good are not mutually exclusive and have provided a clear intent and commitment to achieving both. 

“B Corp certification has become an important differentiator in the marketplace, highlighting companies that are committed to creating a positive impact on society and the environment,” Gavin said.

“We have observed a significant change in the Australian workplace as more and more employees, customers, community and government seek out companies that align with their personal values to benefit all people, communities and the planet. At DB Results, B Corp has positively impacted our culture and perception, internally and externally, increasing employee morale, recruitment, and customer and public awareness.

“The certification validates and recognises outstanding performance across Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers, providing us and other companies with a framework to continually improve impact on society and the environment.”

Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a meticulous process that assesses a company’s social and environmental impact, public transparency, and legal accountability. SMEs seeking B Corp certification must complete the B Impact Assessment, which examines their influence on workers, customers, the community, and the environment. Upon completing the assessment, SMEs must provide documentation to verify their responses, such as financial statements, tax returns, and other relevant documents.

After the verification, SMEs will receive a report that highlights their strengths and weaknesses based on their score. SMEs can then create an improvement plan to address any areas that require attention. Once the improvement plan is implemented, SMEs can submit their final documentation for review. If the company meets the B Corp standards, they will be certified as a B Corp. B Corp certification remains valid for two years, and SMEs must undergo recertification every two years and sustain or enhance their score to maintain certification.

B Corp certification is a rapidly growing movement in Australia and New Zealand, with around 460 businesses in the region currently certified. Globally, the number of certified B Corps exceeds 4,900, with more companies joining the movement every year. The majority of B Corps are small and medium-sized enterprises, as the certification was originally designed to target this sector.

B Lab, the non-profit organisation behind the B Corp certification, believes that SMEs have the most potential to create positive social and environmental impacts. SMEs are often more agile and able to pivot towards sustainable and socially responsible practices more easily than larger corporations. This is because SMEs are typically less bureaucratic and more focused on building strong relationships with their customers and communities.

By prioritizing social and environmental responsibility, businesses can positively impact the world while improving their business performance and building a strong brand reputation.

For detailed information on the B Corp process, including the Small Enterprise Guide for SMEs, visit the website at https://bcorporation.com.au/.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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