14 Jun 2018

We’re a B Corp!

We’re proud to share that we have just received confirmation that Impact Hub Seattle has been re-certified as a B Corporation for the third time since our first certification in 2014!

What are B Corporations?

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

Why is it important that Impact Hub is a B Corporation?

To put it simply, we believe that business can be used as a force for social good, and we want to practice what we preach! There are tons of other good reasons too: to be leaders in a movement, to differentiate ourselves, and to better align our purchasing power with our values. The questions themselves challenge you to think differently about how to organize your business.

What does it take to become a B Corporation?

Take the assessment and see how you compare to other companies! Even if pursuing full certification isn’t your ultimate goal, taking the assessment can give you ideas on what it might take to become a better business for your workers, community and the environment. For example, encouraging your employees to participate in the community through volunteering or serving on a Board of a non-profit organization can increase your score, while also giving your company increased visibility, develop leadership skills of your employees and advance your own career.

Curious about serving on a board or starting a volunteer program for your employees? Talk to Seattle Works, an Impact Hub-based organization that is dedicated to connecting volunteers with service opportunities!

Here’s a sample question that you can find on the assessment:

Evey question is scored and weighed to add up to a total, where a score of 80 is the minimum to qualify. After the assessment, the B corp team reviews your answers and verifies the most critical questions in an interview.

How did Impact Hub’s score change between 2016 and 2018?

Great question! It’s a little tricky to answer because the assessment has evolved since 2016. This is the 4th iteration of the B corp assessment, and every iteration, the bar is raised. In the latest reassessment, we have been able to maintain our B corp status and raise our overall score by three points.

As Impact Hub, we make thoughtful choices about vendors, purposefully build a community of people that makes the world a better place through their work, have local board members and suppliers, have some basic sustainability measures in place for the building, and share all company information (such as financials) among our staff.

Having said that, we’re not, as B corp calls it, one of the ‘best for the world’ in any of these categories. And as you can see, we have some work to do when it comes to the Workers category. As an example, while we do offer our employees health insurance (dental/vision included), we are not yet in a position to offer retirement plans – but we want to get there! And ideally, we would be creating more jobs by growing our business faster. Finally, the thought of an employee-owned (or community owned!) business is also enticing and a step forward.

What other companies are B Corporations?

The B Corp movement continues to gain momentum globally, with high-profile companies like Patagonia, Althleta, Seventh Generation, Warby Parker, Dr. Bronners and Allbirds having received certification. In Washington State, we are are proud to support our fellow B Corps such as Starvation Alley Cranberries, Aslan Brewing, Finn River Cider and Snoqualmie Ice Cream – and right here at onsite at Impact Hub Seattle, we are in good company with members and tenants like Yin Yang NaturalsMilepost Consulting, RALLY and Natural Investments. You can also check out the list of companies that have been named “Best for the World” or search for a specific company on the B Corp website.

So what’s next for Impact Hub Seattle?

Taking the full assessment and going through the re-certification process is no small feat, so we’re definitely in “self-congratulation” mode right now, but we’re eager to continue the conversation within our team and our greater community about what we can do to continue to improve our score before 2020, and we’d like to encourage others to think about what they can do be become B’s too.

If you have questions about our experience, reach out to Kristian Bolk, our Managing Director who led our re-certification process! If you are interested in seeing our full assessment, let us know. We’re happy to help you prepare for your own.

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