- Clear your schedule. Clear an uninterrupted ninety-minute slot on your calendar. If it is too difficult to set aside one block of time, consider three 30-minute slots. The point is that you need some focused time.
- Create your B Impact Assessment account. Create your free account online at bimpactassessment.net. As you register, you will be asked questions about your company’s size, industry, and location in order to generate a version of the assessment that is tailored to fit your business. For example, a marketing company with six employees will get different questions than a furniture manufacturer with 6,000 employees.
- Ready, set, go! Begin working through the assessment. Remember, on this first attempt, to estimate your answers and to avoid spending more than a minute or two on any particular question. The goal is to get a rough baseline of your practices in 90 minutes or less. There are five sections: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Impact Business Models. If you don’t make it through all five in 90 minutes, don’t worry. Clear another thirty minutes on your calendar later in the week to complete what is left.
- Review your preliminary score. At the end of your first trial run, you will receive a baseline B Impact Report that will give you a snapshot of your company’s overall social and environmental performance. This report will also contain benchmarks so that you can compare your performance to more than fifteen thousand other businesses that have completed the assessment.
- Did you score 40 to 60? An overall B Impact Score of 40 to 60 is average.This means you’ve got a solid foundation on which to build. The fun part will be working with your colleagues to determine which impact areas (i.e., governance, workers, community, or environment) you want to improve.
- Did you score 60 to 80? If you received an overall B Impact Score of 60 or higher, nice work! It sounds like your company has already adopted quite a few socially and environmentally responsible practices. From here, your goal will be to help mobilize your team to improve your performance in the areas that matter most to you and your company.
- Did you score 80 or higher? If you received an overall B Impact Score of 80 or higher, congratulations! Eighty is the minimum score necessary for B Corp certification. If you are interested, I highly recommend that you consider pursuing B Corp certification to give your company the recognition it deserves.
- Regardless of your initial overall score, remember that this is a journey of continuous improvement. Are there areas you and others in your company should be proud of? Are there areas you would like to work on? This will give you a few things to think about as you move forward into week 2.
If you are unsure about how to answer a particular question in the online assessment, you can check the 'Revisit This' box and skip it. Don’t dig up specific data or e-mail or call anyone until you have finished your initial pass through. At the end of the assessment, you can run a Revisit This report that enables you to see all of the questions you guessed on, estimated, or didn’t know how to answer. Use this report to create a single, comprehensive e-mail for each person from whom you need information (e.g., your accountant, human resources person, or facilities manager). This approach is a much more effective use of everyone’s time and energy.
Coming next week: Week 2: Engage Your Team
Ryan Honeyman is a sustainability consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good. Ryan helps businesses save money, improve employee satisfaction, and increase brand value by helping them maximize the value of their sustainability efforts, including helping companies certify and thrive as B Corps. His clients include Ben & Jerry’s, Klean Kanteen, Nutiva, McEvoy Ranch, Opticos Design, CleanWell, Exygy, and the Filene Research Institute.
To get exclusive updates and free resources about the B Corp movement, sign up for Ryan’s monthly newsletter. You can also visit honeymanconsulting.com or follow Ryan on Twitter:@honeymanconsult.