B Corp is a certification given by B Lab. Available to companies around the world, B Corp certification designates a company as equally incorporating people, planet and profit into its ethos and activities. As the only B Corp Certified tradeshow company in North America, Steelhead is honored to lead alongside other B Corps in this global movement.
While over 100,000 businesses are signed up on the B Impact Assessment, just over 4,421 were certified as B Corps in 2021. B Corporation certification is an exclusive club. As the movement has grown, B Lab saw a 38% increase in certifications in 2020 relative to 2018-2019, the variety and type of company receiving certification has changed. We’re excited to see a wave of B2B companies receiving certification.
The business benefits to B Corp certification are clear- better sustainable practices, improved employee engagement, increased profitability- but for B2B businesses, there are additional benefits that come from certification. Doing business with other B Corps allows business owners to connect on shared values, see visible positive indicators and maintain long-term partnerships.
Business owners that sell to other businesses are in a unique position. Often, we conduct business with companies that are similar to us geographically, companies we’re friendly with or that have come recommended. We think that B Corp certification will become another signal that connects two businesses.
As a B Corp, Steelhead has legally pledged to incorporate people, planet & profit into business decision making. Certification sends a signal to businesses that choose us for their events that we are walking the walk when it comes to sustainability and purpose-driven business. We know that the certification speaks for itself and speaks volumes about our commitments to people and the planet.
Being a B-Corp certified company is one of our most proud achievements. The accreditation speaks to Steelhead's values being at work and alive within our organization. - Rhiannon Andersen, CMO
How do you decide who to do business with? Often, you’re looking for a company that’s trustworthy, profitable and understands your business. B Corp certification is an easy way to evaluate a company’s trustworthiness and profitability. Statistics have shown that B Corps have both higher profitability and sales within their categories. Checking out a company’s impact score or asking for details on their business practices can help uncover how they think about sustainability, profitability indicators and other important metrics.
As sustainability becomes more popular and climate change becomes a new reality, many corporations are trying to stand out in a sea of “green.” Companies are making claims about their environmental or social practices. If you’re comparing companies based on environmental or social claims, B Corp certification is a great differentiator. When making B2B decisions, you can be sure that a B Corp certified company is making business decisions that are better for people and the planet, not just claiming that they do.
Learn more about what B Corp certification entails here.
There are now B Corps that focus on marketing, health insurance, banking, company merchandise and other B2B services. Companies with values that align with B Corp certification don’t need to compromise on business services when there are so many B Corp options available. Companies can seek and search for B Corp certifications at companies to help improve their decision making.
Part of being a B Corp is helping to spread the message of purpose-driven business. B2B partnerships are often months or years-long engagements. B2B companies become intimately familiar with each other and the other’s operations, ethos, strategy and style. When one of those companies is a B Corp, the other company is exposed to their operations and ethos that include purpose-driven activities and actions. Very often, B2B B Corps are setting the example that could lead other companies to follow in their footsteps.
B2B B Corps have real power in spreading the B Corp message, removing preconceptions on what types of businesses are B Corps and helping their partners improve their own purpose-driven ethoses. B Corp has become a visible signal in cementing B2B relationships.
Eliza Erskine is the founder of Green Buoy Consulting, a sustainability consultancy focused on small & early-stage companies.