All about the Social Capital Index
**Companies are awarded a B Corp certification when they have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. This certification process helps organizations become mindful of sustainability, social responsibility and ethical practices. Here's everything you need to know about this certification. **
By becoming a B Corp certified company, you can demonstrate to your customers and investors that your business meets the highest standards of social and environmental impact.
This certification also sets you apart from competitors by showing that you’re committed to doing business in a way that benefits not only your bottom line, but also the environment and society as a whole.
A company wishing to get a certification must complete the following four steps:
1- Completing the B Impact Assessment (BIA)
The BIA is an online application form hosted by B Lab, the organization behind the B Corp certification. This questionnaire evaluates a company's practices according to five pillars, namely governance, environment, community, employees and customers, and provides a score in return. Only companies that obtain at least 80 points can submit the questionnaire to get their certification.
Note that this questionnaire isn’t the same for everyone and is adapted to the reality of each company. The evaluation criteria may vary depending on the size of the company, its industry, its geographical location, etc. There may be criteria that are not relevant for some companies, or additional criteria that are relevant for others.
This also means that the BIA is a constantly evolving tool that adapts to new social and environmental challenges and opportunities. It’s revised regularly to keep up with the latest trends and standards in sustainability.
2- Meeting legal requirements
The legal requirements vary depending on the nature of the company and its location. In Quebec, corporate statutes must be amended to include the company's commitment to generate a positive impact on society and the environment, as well as its commitment to consider the interests of all stakeholders when decisions are being made.
This is a guarantee for employees, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment that the company will continue to act according to the principles of stakeholder primacy, i.e. that the needs and interests of the various people and groups involved in the company will be taken into account in an equal and fair manner.
3- Passing the verification audit conducted by the B Lab
The purpose of the audit is to verify the accuracy of the information provided in the BIA. Conducted by an analyst selected by the B Lab, this audit consists of a review of documents supporting the answers provided in your assessment.
Brace yourselves: this process can take 5-8 months. More and more companies are deciding to pursue certification, and this lengthens the waiting time to pass the audit stage.
4- Signing the B Corp Agreement and Declaration of Interdependence and paying the annual fee
Once your assessment is complete, if your company has a final score of at least 80, you can sign the B Corp Agreement and Declaration of Interdependence. You’ll then be required to pay an annual fee to cover the administrative costs of certification and the annual business performance assessment.
Fees vary depending on the size of the company and the country of origin. Companies that are based in high-income countries will generally pay higher fees than companies based in low- and middle-income countries.
It’s often said that B Corp certification is not an end in itself, but rather a framework for thinking about how a company can continually improve its social and environmental impact.
At Republik, we have taken three concrete steps that help us improve our impact every day and that demonstrates our commitment to go beyond certification.
1- A team dedicated to Republik's (and our clients') impact
As the first communications agency to include impact strategists among its talents, Republik shows its willingness to improve its social and environmental impact every day, not just once every three years when it comes time to recertify.
The role of the impact department is, among other things, to ensure that the agency's decisions, actions and projects take into account social and environmental impact, through an ESG strategy paired with our business strategy.
2- An impact plan based on the BIA, but broader and more ambitious
While the BIA is an important tool to introduce any company to impact practices and provide guidelines for concrete actions, it doesn’t cover all aspects of sustainability.
At Republik, we have therefore decided to develop a more ambitious impact plan to address additional issues such as the representation of BIPOC people in the industry and measuring the impact of our clients.
3- Impact committees
A sustainable company must have a collective commitment. For this reason, impact committees have been set up within our agency. Composed of employees, the committees ensure that the actions in the impact plan are carried out and further reflect on how to improve Republik's governance, social and environmental practices. And to underline the importance of the committees, a total budget of almost 700 hours of work is provided by the agency. This allows us to improve our score year after year, but more importantly to improve our impact.
After months of hard work, Republik has finally earned its new B Corp certification. Having been part of the movement since 2015, it was important for us to continue to engage and improve our ESG practices to reiterate our commitment and set an example for the business community we work with every day.
Our third certification gives us a score of 102.5, a 20% increase from our previous score. And our team's sense of pride has also skyrocketed: Republik is now the agency with the highest score in Quebec and the third highest in Canada.
Among the actions we have implemented that have propelled us to the top tier of sustainable companies, our team is particularly proud of the Impact Business Model. This model is client-focused and recognizes that our revenues are increasingly realized through the sale of services that create positive change for society and the environment.
To learn more, stay tuned: Republik's impact report detailing all the new actions we've taken and the details of our score will be out soon.
There are more than 7,000 certified B Corp companies in the world, including almost 90 in Quebec. And the movement continues to grow! These companies have decided to do things differently by putting their strengths at the service of the fight against the climate crisis and social inequalities. They have set themselves the goal of becoming the best for the world, not just the best in the world.
If you want to know more about how Republik can help you with your certification or recertification process, don’t be shy and contact us.