What Does it Mean to be a B Certified Corporation? EDSI Q&A Spotlight

Casey White - Director of Marketing ·

Time sure does fly! We are now in our second year as a B Certified corporation. The idea of B Corp certification was introduced to us by a valued community partner of ours, the Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. EDSI has been a member of the CPO consortium for many years and learned through discussions and research that our values-driven culture aligned perfectly with the B Corporation philosophy of a people-first, equity-driven company. We care deeply about people over profit, and part of the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence says it best: “we must be the change we seek in the world.”

I was curious to find out more about the certification process and the B Corp community, and it steered me down a path of discovery to learn about this meaningful opportunity. My fact-finding mission led to some great conversations with team members in our organization. Check out the Q&A below for insight into the certification process and a peek at what our future plans are to contribute to this thriving community.

Here were some of the questions I set out to answer:

Q1: How does EDSI’s recent B Corp certification align with the company’s culture and values?

A1: Being a B Corp is a special honor. Everything we do at EDSI is in service to others. Our values of Show Up, Smile and Support align with B Corp Certification, and demonstrate that we want to be part of a community that believes in using the power of business to benefit others – the colleagues we serve, the communities we support and the environments we sustain. As we grow our knowledge and impact as a B Corporation, I am excited and curious for all of us at EDSI to learn more about becoming even better stewards in terms of our social and environmental footprint.

Q2: What is a Certified B Corporation?

A2: Certified B Corporations are the gold standard of companies and EDSI is so proud to be one of them! B Corps are leaders of a global movement of people and companies who meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Certification comes from the esteemed nonprofit, B Lab.

For the next question, I reached out to our Chief Servant Leader, Kevin Schnieders and he offered great perspective on EDSI’s B Corp certification journey.

EDSI Chief Servant Leader, Kevin Schnieders

Q3: Why did EDSI decide to pursue B Corp Certification?

A3: It often feels like the best ideas find you. EDSI’s scores on the assessment for certification illustrated that we had already been acting like a B Corp for a long time. We have always put people before profits. I loved the idea of joining more than 4,600 companies who were working hard to use business as a force for good.

When you are good at athletics, you can tell others about your abilities. However, if you’re really good at athletics, other people will be talking about your abilities. EDSI can write about all the great work we are doing in our communities, and the B Corp certification tells others that an outside party has audited our efforts and found them to be consistent with the quality of other companies who are committed to using business to benefit others.

Q4: What did the certification process involve?

A4: B Corp certification is based on three essential pillars. We were asked to complete a comprehensive survey and respond to follow-up questions during a phone interview. We also submitted documents to verify each claim.

  1. Verified performance ensures that B Corps walk the talk. To meet the performance requirements, a company must earn a minimum verified score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment, which examines a company’s overall impact on its workers, community, customers and environment.
  2. Transparency builds trust. Once certified, each B Corp must make its B Impact Report transparent on bcorporation.net, allowing the public to see the areas in which specific companies excel and compare B Corps’ scores against the performance or mainstream businesses.
  3. Legal requirements. By meeting specific certification requirements, B Corps are better able to maintain mission as they scale, have more flexibility when evaluating future sale options, and are better prepared to lead a mission-driven purpose.

In 2023, we will go through a rigorous re-certification process to ensure we are continuing to be good B Corp stewards.

Q5: EDSI’s overall B Impact Score is 116.6 out of 200 – can you explain more about what the score measures/means?

A5: The B Impact Assessment is a measurement report customized to a company’s size, sector, and geographic market. There are hundreds of questions to determine how an organization is positively impacting their employees and their community.

The questions in the B Impact Assessment are organized into five Impact Areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Go here to see EDSI’s score breakdown on the B Corporation directory page and check out the graphic below, which highlights our highest scoring category.

Q6: EDSI’s Impact Report shows Environment as its lowest score. What plans does the company have to become better environmental stewards?

A6: As a workforce development and consulting company, EDSI doesn’t have quite the same opportunities as say, a restaurant does, when it comes to environmental impact. However, we are committed to actively pursuing ways to incorporate more Earth-friendly practices. For example, at our Administrative Office in Michigan, we are considering implementing a renewable energy program with DTE Energy to help focus on efficient, clean technologies such as combined heat and power, and green power from renewable resources. We have also identified regional representatives to work on environmental improvements for their region who will lead our “Green Teams” to investigate any and every way we can get better and do better for our local environments.

Q7: Who makes up the B Corporation Community?

A7: The B Corp Community is an amazing global network! At the time of publishing this blog, EDSI joined the B Corp community of over 4,671 companies in 78 countries and 155 industries with 1 unifying goal: to continue creating the change we know we need to see in the world. Check out the comprehensive list of B Corps via their directory page: https://www.bcorporation.net/e...

Q8: How can a company get more information on B Certification and the benefits it offers?

A8: I recommend visiting the many awesome resources and toolkits available on the B Corporation website: https://bcorporation.net/certification