Frequently Asked Questions

Can I see some sample questions from the Assessment?

Absolutely. Click here to see examples.

Back To Top

How long does the Assessment take?

For most small businesses, the Assessment normally takes between 1-3 hours to complete a rough baseline. The time involved largely depends on the size, age, and complexity (number of operating locations) of your company. For your convenience the assessment can be saved and revisited at anytime to allow for easy access.

We strongly encourage that you estimate your answers the first time or mark questions as "Revisit This".

Back To Top

Can I share my B Impact Report on my webpage?

Yes. We encourage you to share your B Impact Report and your experiences with other business owners. See how Ian Martin Group (from Oakville, Canada) shared their results: Learning from the B Impact Assessment»

IMPORTANT: You are allowed to share the score on your webpage, although it must be noted that the score not been reviewed or verified.

Furthermore, taking the Assessment is not equivalent to achieving B Corp Certification; therefore, the intellectual property of B Lab, including the Certified B Corp Seal, may not be used in this context.

Back To Top

How will this help make my business more successful?

There is ample research that shows that businesses who are actively trying to address social and environmental issues also retain customers and employees better and therefore generate higher returns in the long run.

Our friends at the Natural Capitalism Solutions have compiled a key guide to some of this research: Business Case Reports PDF

Back To Top

What makes the Assessment different than other systems?

The B Impact Assessment is unique in that it is:

  • Positive Impact Focused – practices that intentionally address a social or environmental issue are measured, not practices that simply comply with existing laws or norms.
  • Comprehensive – a company’s operational practices (including workers, suppliers, manufacturing practices, and governance) and the company’s products/services are measured because both are important in understanding a company’s effect on the world.
  • Adaptable – there are over 40 versions of the Assessment that are tailored to a company based on size (# of employees), sector, and geography.
  • Easy to use – it is designed for use by small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Educational – business owners and operators can use it as a guide to improve impact.
  • Transparent – criteria and weightings for each impact area, subcategory and individual question within the BIA assessment are available in the assessment.
  • Independently governed – Standards Advisory Councils (SAC), a group of thought leaders, experts, and practitioners control the quality of the standard.
  • Dynamic – new and improved versions of the BIA assessment are developed every two years.
Back To Top

My company is entirely virtual. How should I answer the Assessment?

The part that is trickiest for virtual businesses is the Environment section. Majority of the topics assessed in the Environment section such as energy usage or travel still apply for virtual businesses. However, it may be difficult to know if your company’s employees practice those items in their homes or shared office spaces. The intent is to assess the impact of the space your employees use regardless of whether they are company sanctioned or not.

We typically recommend answering affirmative to questions that are true for a majority of your employees. For example, if a majority of your employees recycle at home, please select “Yes” for that question.

Back To Top

We have operations in two or more countries. How should I answer questions on the Assessment?

Please select the country where the majority of your employees operate. If majority of your employees operate in Cambodia, please answer the questions as they pertain to those employees only.

We strongly recommend that you review this section in more detail directly with a B Lab Staff member: (+1) 610-293-0299.

Back To Top

Our company is a subsidiary or a franchise of a larger business. How should we answer the Assessment?

We recommend answering questions so that they pertain specifically to your subsidiary or franchise.

We strongly recommend that you discuss your company’s structure directly with a B Lab Staff member: (+1) 610-293-0299.

Back To Top

If I use the Assessment, does our company have to become a B Corp? What is a B Corp?

No. The Assessment is a free public good provided by B Lab. Simply taking the Assessment does not automatically make a company a B Corp nor does it obligate the company to pursue B Corp Certification. There are a few additional steps, beyond using the B Impact Assessment, that a company must take to achieve B Corp Certification. Learn More»

Back To Top

Our company is a holding company that has multiple subsidiaries or franchisees. How should we approach the Assessment?

We first recommend answering the Assessment as one entity; in this instance, please select answer options that apply to a majority of your subsidiaries/franchisees/operations.

The most accurate way to capture your business is by completing separate Assessments for each subsidiary. Please contact B Lab Staff to determine whether this is appropriate for your business: (+1) 610-293-0299.

Back To Top

What types of organizations should take the Assessment?

Any for-profit business.

The Assessment is intended to be used by ANY for-profit businesses entity. The Assessment is designed for all different types of businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, and service companies, and companies of varying size, from zero employee sole proprietorships to 10,000+ employee multi-national corporations. While the Assessment is customized to reflect practices that vary across these different industries, sizes, and markets, the overall Assessment is standardized so as to create an even playing field among all groups.

Although the Assessment is not suited to measure the impact of non-profit organizations, real-estate development projects, governments, or other entities that are not operating as an individual businesses, there are many ways these institutions can interact with the B Impact Assessment. Learn more at www.b-analytics.net.

Back To Top

Who is B Lab?

B Lab is the non-profit organization behind the B Impact Assessment.

B Lab is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves a global movement of entrepreneurs using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

B Lab envisions that all businesses in the world will measure and manage their impact as readily as they do profitability. Read more about how B Lab hopes to achieve this vision.

Back To Top

Which year of data should I use to complete the Assessment?

The past twelve months or trailing twelve months is the recommended reporting period.

We recommend using the a 12 month period that most closely reflects the company’s operation as of today but is easy for your company to report consistently on. As a result, if using the last Fiscal Year is easier, we would encourage your company to use this period.

Back To Top

Our company does not have suppliers. How should we answer the questions about suppliers?

Suppliers may include both companies that provide durable goods (e.g. your raw materials) as well service providers (e.g. your accounting firm). If in the rare instance, your company does not procure any goods or services, please leave the questions blank.

Back To Top

Is there a version for small businesses?

Yes.  You will receive questions that are tailored to the size (number of employees) and type (sector) of business when you register on the B Impact Assessment.  Please indicate the appropriate number of employees at this time, so that we can provide you the most appropriate Assessment.  

Most businesses that use the B Impact Assessment are firms that have between 0 and 50 employees.

Back To Top

What are stakeholders? Why do they matter?

Stakeholders are the individuals that are most closely affected by a business's activities. These may include workers, customers, suppliers, shareholders, community members and others. All of these constituencies contribute to the success of a business and/or are affected by the business. Research shows that companies that engage with their stakeholders tend to be more successful in the long term. We embrace a stakeholder model of business, and the BIA is a tool to help companies assess their impact on different stakeholder groups.

Back To Top

What is a GIIRS Rating?

GIIRS Ratings provide comprehensive and comparable ratings of a company’s social and environmental performance, using the B Impact Assessment. GIIRS Ratings display a company’s impact in a format that is more useful for many Investors to understand. Many investors use GIIRS Ratings to help monitor the impact of the investments. Learn more»

If your company is interested in obtaining a GIIRS Rating, your first step is completing the B Impact Assessment.

Back To Top

Where can I download a PDF of the Assessment?

Please tell us a bit more about the type and size of your business so that we generate a PDF version of the Assessment that is relevant to your business (there are well over 40 different versions of the Assessment).

Although the PDF is a good way to get oriented to the Assessment, we strongly recommend using the Assessment online. The online Assessment will provide definitions and examples for each question, a B Impact Report that is scored based on your company’s responses so that you can compare it against benchmarks.

Working online will also allow you to engage multiple employees to work on the same Assessment easily and allow you to save your work so that the data is not lost for future years.

Back To Top

Can I use the B Impact Assessment in the classroom?

The B Impact Assessment has been used in many curricula, from sustainable MBA programs to high school business classes. Learn more about how educators use the B Impact Assessment and teach about the broader B Corp movement using our Resources for Educators.

If you are an educator hoping to connect with peers using the B Impact Assessment, consider joining the B Corps on Campus LinkedIn group.

Back To Top
Back to Top