What we learned from becoming a B Corp: 5 tips for achieving B Corp certification

Hey there, change-makers. Isobel here, Program’s Sustainability Champion. I’ve got some exciting news to share – we recently achieved B Corp certification! Over the past year, I’ve delved into our mission, ethics, transparency, environmental impact, and how we deliver value for our employees and clients.

If you’re wondering “What’s this B Corp business all about?”, B Corp certification is a bit like getting a gold star for doing genuinely good things. It’s a rigorous assessment that looks at how your company impacts your workers, customers, community, and the environment. To get through the assessment, you need to prove you’re walking the walk when it comes to social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It’s about using business as a force for good, not just profit. Think of it as a badge of honour for companies that care about more than just the bottom line. It’s for those who want to leave the world a little better than they found it.

That’s why we decided to become a B Corp in the first place. At Program, we’re all about making good brands better, and what better way than by becoming a certified force for good? B Corp certification doesn’t just hold us accountable to our positive impact goals; it’s also our way of waving the flag for other companies to join the movement. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re committed to being awesome for people and the planet – come join the party!”

Now, without further ado, here are a few top tips for anyone else at the start of their own B Corp journey:

1. Start now! (No, seriously, right now)

Don’t wait for the perfect moment – it doesn’t exist! The B Corp assessment might seem like a mountain to climb (it took us a full year and it’s taken others longer), but you don’t need to have all the answers before you begin. Sign up, dive in, and get a feel for where you stand, even if you don’t officially start the process yet. It’ll give you a good understanding of what areas you’re doing great in, and where you might need to make changes, right from the get-go.

2. Get everyone on the B corp bandwagon

This isn’t a solo mission, folks. Get your leadership team excited about the process, as it’ll make them easier to badger when you need them to dig out policy documents, comb through employee stats, and sign your commitment into the company’s legal structure. And don’t stop there – rope in the whole crew! When everyone’s invested in the journey, magic happens. This is their journey too, and everyone should feel a part of it.

3. Slow and steady wins the race

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and trust me, neither is a B Corp certification. I carved out Fridays for B Corp work and scheduled weekly catch-ups with our leadership team to go through everyone’s actions and tackle any hurdles we’d come up against. Sure, you could go all-in with a dedicated employee or consultant to speed up the process, but don’t worry if you have to take the scenic route. Consistency is key.

4. Dust off those policies and procedures

Here’s a little secret: you’re probably already doing a lot of B Corp-worthy stuff. Take a good look at your existing policies, employee handbooks, and sustainability initiatives. Chances are, you’re doing a lot more than you realise, without even thinking about it. It’s like finding money in your old jacket pockets – but way more impactful.

5. Join the B Corp party

Don’t be shy – reach out to other B Corps, join online forums, and attend events (there’s loads going on in the South West). You could also find a mentor company that’s already achieved certification, to share their insights and help guide you on your journey.

Remember, becoming a B Corp isn’t about getting a fancy plaque to display on your shelf. It’s about committing to continuous improvement and using business as a force for good. Once you’ve shown your commitment to positive impact and achieved certification, it’s all about going bigger, and getting better, every day.

This is all held to account in your annual Impact Reports, which B Corp requires you to publish once you’ve joined the community. Once you’re there, reach out to us, as we develop and design beautiful, inspiring, on-brand reports that help you communicate and share your ‘good’.

P.S. If you want to chat more about our B Corp journey, drop us a line. We’re always up for a good conversation about making the world a bit brighter!


By Isobel Shaw