Better Banking Blog

Why Your Company Should Become a Certified B Corp

Mar 26, 2024 | Katie Taylor, VP, Marketing Operations & Community Engagement Manager

Six Beneficial State Bank team members stand on Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, BC at the 2024 Champions Retreat, a conference for B Corps held every two years.

Doing good is good for business

B Corps are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Beneficial State Bank is proud to be a top-rated B Corp and a part of the global B Corp community, which demonstrates that businesses can help solve society’s greatest challenges.

The B Corp movement is growing with over 6,000 certified companies worldwide and 2,500 of those in the United States and Canada. B Corp certification is one way a company can demonstrate its values and commitment to being a force for good. As a movement, B Corps believe that our economic system should benefit everyone, not just owners and shareholders, while at the same time proving that equally prioritizing people, planet, and profit is a sustainable business model.

All B Corps are measured on five impact areas: environment, community, customers, governance, and workers. You can see each B Corp’s score in these areas on B Lab’s website.

So, why should you consider B Corp certification? Our team of B Corp champions at Beneficial State Bank has some answers.

B Corp certification signals your values

Four Doing Good Works team members pose at a company party with photobooth accessories with affirming statements.
Doing Good Works, a certified B Corp, is Beneficial State Bank's partner in asset development. Their business is committed to improving outcomes for people formerly involved in the foster care system.

“Being a B Corp is telling the world that you’re doing business in an equitable and sustainable way,” says Tommy Edwards, VP, Client & Treasury Manager at Beneficial State Bank.

Michele Button, VP, CA Team Lead, Client & Treasury Manager and We The Change member adds, “B Corp certification is an indication to other companies that you share similar values. It’s very rewarding to do business with others who have aligned objectives.” Michele adds, “The people who work at B Corps are really just amazing!”

In recent years, consumer demand for a new kind of business model has increased, and alternative systems and frameworks are thriving. A recent customer loyalty survey found that younger consumers (Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z) are more likely to intentionally support like-minded brands.

B Corp certification shows that your business “walks your talk”

“It’s often difficult to distinguish between good business and good marketing,” says Craig Hill, VP, Client & Treasury Manager and B Local PDX board member. “B Corp certification lends legitimacy to a company’s commitments and demonstrates the company’s high standards to its stakeholders.”

“In an economy where words like ‘sustainable’ and ‘triple-bottom-line’ are trends, B Corp certification can be a differentiator for businesses,” says Manny Barragan-Alcaraz, VP, Client & Treasury Manager and B Local Los Angeles treasurer. “The certification is a rigorous, third-party assessment.”

As consumers increasingly demand climate-friendly products and policies, it’s become common for businesses to tout their sustainability efforts and accomplishments. However, with a lack of regulations on sustainability reporting, consumers can be misled by false claims. Certifications like B Corp is one way that businesses can verify their claims. Read about how the B Corp movement is fighting greenwashing.

Also, many certifications are industry-specific, which can mean they don’t resonate with consumers or employees. B Corp certification aims to create a broad, inclusive understanding of what good business means for any business of any industry. Learn more about how B Lab is assessing whether a business is a force for good.

B Corp certification helps you grow your company’s impact

Blue Garnet team holding a B Corp sign
Blue Garnet, a Beneficial State Bank client, helps leaders and teams make their organizations better at what they want to do.

“B Corp certification can be used as a benchmarking tool for for-profit businesses,” says Manny “At recertification, companies must show they’ve continued to evolve and improve their business practices, so the B Impact Assessment can help for-profit businesses do more good with both their internal and external practices.”

Data from B Lab shows real impact coming from within the B Corp community. B Lab states that B Corps are twice as likely to use 100% renewable energy than a non-B Corp, and that B Corps are twice as likely to be led by majority-female management teams.

Read more from Manny Barragan-Alcaraz: “How You Can Support Your Local B Corp Community.”

B Corp certification asks companies to strive to be even better

Craig Hill says, “The B Impact Assessment offers companies a chance to ask, ‘how do we know what we’re doing is working? Do the practices we have today continue to serve us well and help us make deep impacts on the issues we care about? Where are there opportunities to improve and strengthen our business performance AND our impact?’”

B Corp certification requires that companies do better than they have done when they recertify every three years. This requires that the commitments made during B Corp certification are embedded into the business. According to B Lab, 63% of B Corps increased their impact score when they renewed their certification. Learn more about how B Lab continues to raise the bar for B Corps.

Read more from Craig Hill: “Why Become a B Corp? A Business Case.”

Conscious capitalism is the future of capitalism

LIFT Economy team members
Team members of LIFT Economy, one of Beneficial State Bank's clients and a certified B Corp. LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm working to create, model, and share an economy that works for the benefit of all life.

“An extractive economy is not sustainable,” says Katie Taylor, VP Marketing Operations & Community Engagement Manager at Beneficial State Bank and B Local Bay Area engagement co-chair. “To ensure we have a thriving economy in the coming years, business must consider all stakeholders (workers, community members, customers, and our planet), not just shareholders. Our fates are tied together. A system that embraces interdependence is more stable and creates opportunities for more people.”

We continue to see the consequences of shareholder primacy in our day-to-day lives. A recent example is Boeing. By prioritizing profit over all else, including safety, we’re seeing a number of dangerous consequences for travelers and people who work on airplanes.

How to join the B Corp movement

Learn more about how being a certified B Corp is central to Beneficial State Bank’s values and business practices.

If you are a business owner who is interested in becoming a certified B Corp, check out B Lab’s website to read about the certification process. There are also B Corp certification consultants, like LIFT Economy, Cultivating Capital, Everoot, Sensiba, and The Impact Collective, who can support you in the certification process. Learn more about your local B Corp community and how to get involved.

Katie Taylor, pictured outside the Beneficial State Bank Oakland branch. She is smiling at the camera and wearing a Beneficial State Bank pin.

Katie Taylor

VP, Marketing Operations & Community Engagement Manager

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Business as a Force for Good

Better banking is not only possible; it’s imperative. We are honored to be part of the B Corp movement.

Smarter Business Banking

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Beneficial Banking™ supports local and regional businesses and organizations that serve our communities. Businesses like these are critical for building economic resilience and providing diverse employment opportunities.