Across Colorado’s business community, a variety of initiatives are working to help grow the sustainability movement. All these initiatives share a common vision: accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. These initiatives highlight and share best practices and tools, giving companies the opportunity to learn from their peers and to join of a movement that is working for good.
You may have heard about B Corp certification, B Local Colorado, the Best for Colorado program, and benefit corporations. We know the intersections and unique qualities of these concepts can be confusing, so we have created a guide to help distinguish between these different tools, initiatives, and organizations.
Organization, Program, or Certification?
- Best for Colorado is a program and a challenge run by The Alliance Center, which invites all Colorado companies to measure and improve their social and environmental impact, regardless of where they are on their corporate social responsibility journey.
- B Corp certification is a certification of performance, like LEED certification for buildings or FairTrade certification for coffee. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To be certified, a company has to meet the legal requirement of a benefit corporation; meaning they must consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders. Because of these high-standards, the B Corp community represents the leaders of the movement to use business as a force for good.
- B Local Colorado is a non-profit organization that serves as the home of engagement and volunteer opportunities for the Colorado community of Certified B corporations – creating space to connect, grow and give back to the communities where they work and live.
Where should your company engage?
Best for Colorado is specifically designed to engage all businesses on the path to positive impact, regardless of whether B Corp certification is a goal for their organization. The Best for Colorado program is the prime business environment for a company curious to learn more and assess its performance in corporate social responsibility with no fees, legal requirements, of any sort. Companies self-report their information for the Best for Colorado program, allowing them to start from any place on their sustainability journey.
Certified B Corps go through a more in-depth process. B Corp requirements include meeting a minimum level of performance on the full Impact Assessment and making a legal commitment to adopt the benefit corporation status and the requirements to consider shareholders in decision making. B Corps also receive additional benefits as a result, and there is a fee associated with the certification.
A close partnership to grow the sustainability movement in Colorado
Best for Colorado is a program focused on business improvement by connecting companies to local resources and programming. Best for Colorado is valuable to ordinary businesses but also to B Corps who are looking to improve their practices and to receive support along the way.
After launching the Best for Colorado challenge, B Lab transferred the reins of the program to The Alliance Center in October, 2018. B Lab will continue to be a strategic parter for the program, providing technological support and administering the full B Impact Assessment. Certified B Corporations in Colorado are invited to engage with Best for Colorado in in a few ways: In a leadership capacity, by serving as a mentor or speaker, or by sharing stories and best practices to inspire other Best for Colorado companies to follow in their footsteps. They are also invited to engage in the program as a participant, to utilize the impact improvement education and resources. This is a great way for B Corps to improve their B Impact score before recertification!