Business as a Force for Good
B Corp is a new model proposed by B Lab, a nonprofit organization that give the promotion of society better. Founded in 2006, B Lab’s aim is to redefine business success, make it an upward force, and promote the improvement of the whole business and social environment. The goal of B Corp is to achieve both commercial and social benefits.
Any profit-making enterprise based on the value standard of "becoming a good company for continuous growth and reflection" is qualified to become a B Corp only given a great grade by a scientific, rigorous evaluation and certification system and have good performance in social and environmental evaluation, corporate transparency and social responsibility.
Today, the practice and promotion of this global concept of B Corp is bringing positive influence to profit-making enterprises from more than 130 industries in more than 50 countries. More than 2,500 companies around the world have joined and been certified as B Corp. They share one goal: redefining business success.
But it’s more than just that.
B Corp can also be:
Like fair trade (or organic or LEED), but for the whole company.
A better way to do business – better for workers, communities, and the environment
A community of practice to increase our individual and collective impact
B Corps in Mainland China
Since June 2016, when First Respond became the very first certified B Corp in the country, there are now 9 certified B Corps, from 4 different cities, representing 7 different industries. More companies are currently applying for certification. They have 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
The B Corp community also includes impact investors, multinational corporations, social innovators, universities, scholars, millennial leaders, consumers and etc.
In China, after almost 4 decades of rapid economic development, a wave of “social innovation” is gradually sweeping across the vibrant business scene of the country.
Nowadays, in the context of the information explosion, even the smallest actions of a company can incur long-lasting and catastrophic consequences, not only for society but also for the company itself. This has caused many companies to consider: what sort of guideline or standard should my company follow, and how can we follow it consistently, such that the company will develop and progress in a sustainable manner?
Among these foreseers, some have consistently put effort into solving different social problems through using the power of business as a force for good. These enterprises are not only concerned about shareholder value, but also care about the benefits of other stakeholders, including employees, customers, the environment, the wider community, etc.
In China, these enterprises are in urgent need of a comprehensive and efficient solution, as well as a standard to measure and increase their social impact, which is precisely what “B Corps” are all about：They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, to reach the goal of sustainable and inclusive growth, and improve the companies’ brand image and social impact.
Furthermore, being a B Corp can also help the business to grow in a variety of aspects:
01. Talent Pool
Millennials are more willing to join companies that have a strong, socially-driven mission and care about their employees, which in turn increases the rate of employee loyalty.
More and more mainstream media and economists are looking into the B Corps movement in China today, which means that B Corp has become key to building and promoting a strong brand image.
B Corp is not just a certification and signature, but also a way to collaborate. B Corps are more likely to work with other B Corps, given that they have the same vision of doing business the right way.
B Corps can gain discounts from other B Corps in the community. We are also moving forward to select good service suppliers for B Corps in China.
From the perspective of investors, especially for Impact Investment, B Corp Certification serves as a reliable and influential reference for investment decisions. The B Impact Assessment also acts as a consistent tool for measuring the performance of projects that they are investing in.
06．Pioneers of change
Every industry needs pioneers that can lead the long-term development of the industry in a conscientious and sustainable way. Being a B Corp means that a company is meeting the highest global standards of social and environmental impact, and can lead other companies in the whole industry to use business as a force for good.
07. Brand Differentiation
In a culture that increasingly values social and environmental protection, customers no longer simply focus on the quality of products in their purchase decisions, but also on the company’s brand image. B Corp Certification can help companies differentiate themselves from others on the same market, and thus enhance their competitive power.
B Corps China Team is currently an independently run task force under the umbrella of Leping Foundation, and aims to co-achieve an inclusive economy through supporting an organic growth of the B Corp movement, by inspiring, engaging, and empowering key actors of the private sector to lead the change.
The B Impact Assessment is a free and confidential tool brought to you by B Lab and the Community of Certified B Corporations，which assesses the overall impact of your company on its stakeholders. The assessment varies depending on the company's size (number of employees), sector, and location of primary operation. The questions in the Assessment are intended to reflect what is best practice across five impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. Once the Assessment’s completed, you will receive a B Impact Report that contains an overall score.
More than 70,000 businesses use the B Impact Assessment to benchmark their performance and set goals for continuous improvement.
What's your impact? If you want to START your company’s B Impact Assessment, please check the link below:
Did you know that one person dies from cardiac arrest every minute in China?
The survival rate of patients with cardiac arrest depends on whether they have effective access to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automatic defibrillation within the "golden four minutes" after cardiac arrest. In the United States, on average there is one AED (automatic defibrillator) for every 200 people. In Japan, there is one AED every 100 people. In China, there’s only one AED for approximately every one million people.
A young man named Le Lu finally recognized this serious point of negligence involving Chinese people's lives.
In 2012, Le Lu studied at CEIBS. A student collapsed 200 meters away from the end of a marathon. No one knew how to rescue someone from sudden cardiac arrest, and there was no first aid equipment on the scene, so the student died.
His grief helped Le Lu realize that most people in our country did not know how to effectively utilize a first aid kit in case of emergency. First aid for all is a social problem and needed to be solved urgently.
As a result, Lu Le co-founded China's first universal first aid platform, First Respond, with students from the Central European International Business School. This time, he will use business as a force for good to solve a social problem related to public safety.
First Respond is China's leading provider of first aid trainings, emergency self-rescue SOS systems and life rescue agencies. Their mission is to develop and normalize the spirit of mutual aid into Chinese society by building a platform for accessible first aid for everyone. In other words, they want to make first aid an instinct of every citizen so that citizens can provide effective aid to each other before ambulances arrive.
In order to achieve their business goals, Le Lu and his team accomplished several important tasks:
1.The completion of a number of trainings, such as child safety and training.
2.Provision of first class emergency rescue services for large-scale sporting events such as marathons. The cardiac arrest survival rates in Japan and the New York Marathon ranged from 80% to 90%, while in China it is at 20% based on public data three years ago. So Le Lu and his team were determined to start First Respond. They have continued to work hard for nearly three years. In this period, they have guaranteed more than 305 events covering 34 cities, 134,000 runners and rescued 14 patients successfully with cardiac arrest. The rescue rate of cardiac arrest reached 90%, equal to that of Japan and the New York Marathon!
3.Create emergency self-rescue (SOS) service products which cover more than 100 famous enterprises such as Shanghai center and Alibaba.
4.First Respond will cooperate with Xiao Ai, a smart speaker of Xiaomi AI, and integrate first aid knowledge into the speaker. Starting in 2018, victims can call the help of the surrounding residents in case of emergencies through Xiao Ai, and obtain AED and other emergency equipment near the community to achieve an effective rescue.
Through using business for the force of good, we can see that First Respond effectively helped emergency rescue penetrate the community, making emergency rescue available everywhere and everyday. It successfully integrated emergency services into a necessary part of the commercial operation for marathons and other events. Today, the first-aid training of First Respond has reached nearly one million adults and children in China.
Le Lu said: "Emergency plans should not be placed in the cabinet, but rather in a person's muscle memory. So is true for first aid." For this reason, he solved a social problem by using the the power of business.
The First B Corp in Mainland China--- Business as a force for social good.
In fact, Lu's idea of using commerce to solve a social problem was inspired by B Corp., which was founded by B Lab and has sprung up worldwide.
At the initial stage, Le Lu thought that First Respond should be a charity, but he changed his mind when he found that social enterprises were more sustainable and efficient. He asked himself : "If First Respond is still a small company, how can we serve 1.3 billion Chinese people? How can we serve 6 billion people on Earth?”
Ultimately, in order to
achieve greater and more lasting influence, Le Lu and his team certified First
Respond as the first officially recognized B Corp in mainland China in 2016. At
the same time, the initiative of First Respond was included in the textbook
case of Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Bottle Dream devotes itself to make meaningful things more interesting.
Founded on June 1, 2011, it strives to become the top distributor of social innovation in China. In a way that young people love, BottleDream has told stories of nearly 1,000 young innovators around the world, reaching nearly 180 million readers and audiences. BottleDream is committed to making more people altruistic innovators, promoting a better life.
Simply said, Bottle Dream's dream is let young people know that doing good things can also be cool!
Bottle Dream has a mission to reshape young people's attitudes toward good deeds:
Set off a new trend to influence more young people in China to use creativity to solve meaningful social problems, so as to make the world a better place.
How on earth did Bottle Dream carry out its great mission? How do they motivate more young people to participate in solving social problems? The best mentor is B Corp.
What is B Corp?
BottleDream argues that B Corp is not really a business or investment company. Just as LEED certification is for green buildings and Fair Trade certification is for coffee beans, it is a transparent, durable, and credible certification standard for a "Social Good Company".
Why should we become B Corp?
What attracts BottleDream most is an ambitious goal: redefining the meaning of a successful business and promoting corporate goodwill: "The corporate community is an external symbol that helps companies attract like-minded partners and appeal to investments that care about both business value and social impact. It is currently the best way to encourage more people to participate in society, and will cause a sensation in the future!
BottleDream attracts entrepreneurs and investors with real business experiences. In other words, the secret is a very scientific and practical evaluation system - BIA.
B Impact Assessment (BIA), a free online assessment test, allows a company to take five measures (corporate governance, employees, customers, communities and the environment) to fully understand their strengths and weaknesses, and to update their own business model. Enterprises with more than 80 points from the BIA test can apply for certification and become an officially recognized B Corp.
On August 3, 2017, BottleDream was successfully credited as the first media company in China and the fifth officially certified B Corp in mainland China.
So, how does BIA guide this mission-oriented social innovation enterprise to build a good team?
Bottle Dream did the following things in the process of applying for certification, especially in accordance with BIA principles:
Explore methods for of team growth.
For this reason, Bottle Dream set up a "bottle fund" for team growth, in which the company invests a fixed proportion of its revenue. Each member can apply for funds to buy books, supplement online MOOC courses and fund educational outings. Several previous investments of the Bottle Fund have been made:
Team outing to the Theatre Workshop;
Team outing to watch the documentary called Gangrenbozi;
Buy Master Class on YouTube;
Currently saving up for a team study abroad tip in Taiwan
Every two weeks, team members or industry veterans share their experience by "bottle water party". Bottle Dream has developed a common learning space for the whole team, and each individual has his own independent learning trajectory. We look forward to making every person a T-type talent who is specialized and knowledgeable.
It does not advocate for unhealthy treatment of the body. "Staying up late is shameful and getting up early is glorious" is officially included in the sense of worth.
Bottle Dream is a company with "summer vacation" and 15 paid vacation days. It encourages employees to volunteer. Paternity leave for male employees is 30 days
Staff can call out another colleague’s poor actions by saying “We are a B Corp!”
BottleDream's quality employee treatment ranked them in the top 10% of the BIA's "employee" score among more than 2,500 B Corp In 2018. Bottle Dream's efforts were also strongly supported and recognized by B Lab and awarded the Best for Workers Award.
In addition, Bottle Dream learned several very valuable lessons from BIA assessment:
1. Implementing every task in systematic rather than isolated way. Integrate customers, employees, suppliers, the environment, communities and shareholders in every decision.
2. The significance of being a small company is that BottleDream can be a laboratory for cultivating innovative models. Bottle Dream can be a small but strong company that does not expand arbitrarily.
3. How to build a vivid team. Out of the five dimensions for BIA evaluation (corporate governance, employees, customers, communities and the environment), Bottle Dream scores the highest from "employees". The essence of management is to stimulate people's goodwill.
In conclusion, BIA plays an important role in the process of Bottle Dream's initiation and growth. After becoming officially certified B Corp', as one of the founders of B Corp', the sincere hope is to meet more like-minded partners and use business to change the society!
May you and I work to promote society and environment to be better hand in hand!
For the latest updates and new trends of the B Corp Movement, please follow B Corps China Team’s official wechat account: BCorpsCN共益企业（Wechat ID: bcorps）.