BENTITIES INCLUDE ANY BUSINESS UTILIZING THE B IMPACT ASSESSMENT TO UNDERSTAND HOW ITS OPERATIONS ARE AFFECTING PROFIT, SOCIETY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE BUSINESS PUBLISHES ITS ASSESSMENT SCORE. Within this framework, there are two types of BEntities that make their B Impact Assessment scores public and that commit to having a positive impact on society and the environment. These are benefit companies and certified B Corporations. They make their assessment scores public by filing and publishing an annual benefit report.
Benefit Companies are a type of business organization. Presently, there are two kinds of benefit companies -- benefit corporations and benefit limited liability companies. Not every State has benefit company legislation that allows the formation of benefit companies under its laws. For example, Pennsylvania passed legislation allowing for both Pennsylvania benefit corporations and Pennsylvania benefit limited liability companies. Ohio, however, has not passed either type of benefit company legislation. So, a benefit limited liability company can organize under the laws of Pennsylvania, but not under the laws of Ohio. Click on these maps to find the States with benefit company legislation. A benefit company may be certified as a B Corporation, but certification is not a statutory requirement.
B Corporations are certified. The B Impact Assessment score of a B Corporation is verified by B Lab, an independent third party who will certify the company as a B Corporation if it meets all the requirements. Any for-profit entity can be certified as a B Corporation, not just corporations. For example, a limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietor can be certified as a B Corporation if it meets the requirements.
BEntities, LLC is a consulting service that guides business owners in the Pittsburgh region through the B Impact Assessment. The purpose of BEntities, LLC is two-fold. First, to provide a transition space for companies who are not ready to (and may never want to) make a public commitment to positive impact, but nonetheless want to understand and improve the impact of their operations. Second, to make the benefit company and B Corporation business models more accessible at a grassroots level. By providing workshops and private consultations, BEntities, LLC helps business owners obtain more accurate B Impact Assessment scores in less time.
IS THE B IMPACT ASSESSMENT?
THE B IMPACT ASSESSMENT IS A THIRD PARTY ASSESSMENT COMPRISING APPROXIMATELY 100 MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS BROKEN INTO FIVE MAIN CATEGORIES TO MEASURE THE IMPACT A BUSINESS HAS ON ITS OWNERS, WORKERS, SUPPLIERS, THE COMMUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
The B Impact Assessment is a thought-provoking and engaging exercise in assessing and visualizing your business practices ... Do you have a mission statement that gives consideration to planet, people and profit? Does your governance body meet at least annually? Do you have a review process from top to bottom and that flows back up? Do you engage your employees’ satisfaction? Their insights? Are there paid health benefits? How about paid family leave? Do you incorporate any renewable resources or recycled products into your office use? - (Excerpt taken from 80 Points and Human Striving).
The B Impact Assessment is administered by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations. The B Impact Assessment is not the only impact assessment available. Benefit companies that are not certified B Corporations can choose another third party assessment. B Corporations, however, must utilize the B Impact Assessment to be certified. Additionally, there is no monetary cost to use it and it can double as a benefit company's or B Corporation's annual benefit report. So, a benefit company that uses the B Impact Assessment is able to satisfy its third party assessment requirement and benefit reporting requirement simply by completing a few narrative questions and printing its completed B Impact Assessment. Moreover, the B Impact Assessment is tailored by industry and company size. How tailored? As of 2017, there were 78 versions. The B Impact Assessment is promulgated by a Standards Advisory Council, made open for public comment, and continually revamped and re-issued.
This all means that assessing impact is not a one-and-done venture. It is a commitment to integrate this tool into the business organization and make aspects of it part of a monthly, quarterly or annual routine. The assessment score will not be static. It will fluctuate as the business grows, shrinks, restructures or redefines itself.