How to become a B Corporation

We might have mentioned (more than once) that we’re proud to be a B Corporation! It’s a certification that confirms we meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and legal accountability in our mission to balance profit and purpose. Being the first UK housebuilder to become a B Corporation, we feel very much at home being part of this community, where all the businesses involved have a strong commitment to people and the environment.

But what does it take to become a B Corp? Can any company apply? How long does the application take?

More and more of our industry peers, who share our aspirations of building better places for a better world, are now looking to become a B Corporation. We couldn’t be more pleased. So we’ve put together a helpful list below as a summary of the process of applying to become a B Corp as well as highlighting some key steps and considerations. You can find more in-depth details about certifying here on the B Corp website.

Here are our 14 steps to becoming a B Corp company…

  1. You’ll need to complete a B Impact Assessment, a confidential questionnaire where you’ll answer questions about the impact of your day-to-day operations and business model.

  2. There are 200 questions in total that are tailored to your company size, sector and market.

  3. The questions are based on your company’s performance in the last 12 months so you need to have been operating for at least a year before you can apply.

  4. You’ll also need to fill out a Disclosure Questionnaire where you can declare any sensitive practices, fines or sanctions. It doesn’t affect your score however you may be advised to give further transparency and disclose details in your impact report. Rare cases mean the Certification is denied or revoked so honesty is always the best policy.

  5. You pay a $150 submission fee once you’ve filled out your assessment.

  6. The review process is currently taking around 6 – 10 months due to an influx of companies interested in becoming a B Corporation (as of October 2021).

  7. You need to achieve a score of 80 across all impact areas to pass the assessment. The maximum score is 200.

  8. Only about 1 in 3 companies who complete the assessment certify – it’s pretty tough with the average company only scoring 51 out of 200 in the assessment.

  9. Once you’ve submitted and your application has been reviewed, A B Lab Standards Analyst will contact you to go through an assessment review which takes 60 – 90 minutes. They’ll review questions and answers that may have been unclear.

  10. Some additional documentation may be required to clarify your answers – this takes about 1 – 3 weeks to resolve any outstanding questions.

  11. Background checks including reviewing public records, news sources, a search on company names, brands and people as well as other relevant topics then takes place as a final measure.

  12. Once everything is approved, you’ll sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence, sign your B Corp Agreement, and begin paying your annual certification fees. These vary depending on which country your business is in, as well as your company size and industry.

  13. To maintain B Corp status, you’ll need to update your assessment every three years and achieve 80 points or above.

  14. All B Corps share their impact report publicly on – it’s a summary of how your company has performed over the previous year to meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance – it’s not a list of your answered questions.

We’ve been through the assessment process and we’re already looking at how we can improve our score when we recertify in 2023. Do you have any questions for us? We’re more than happy to share our B Corp experience with you – feel free to get in touch with us here. You can also see a list of FAQs on the assessment process on the B Corporation website here.

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