Becoming a B Corp: Should Your Business Make the Move?
© Seacliff House

Becoming a B Corp: Should Your Business Make the Move?

5 min.

An emerging business model, B Corp – or Benefit Corporation – signifies a progressive approach to running a business: aiming to reconcile profit with a genuine commitment to environmental and community welfare.

B Corps undergo a certification process administered by B Lab, a non-profit organisation which evaluates businesses worldwide, to ensure compliance with B Corp standards. The assessment is rigorous and reviews business practices across five categories:

  • Governance
  • Workers
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Customers

There are currently more than 7500 B Corps worldwide[1] , companies which have undergone a scrupulous validation procedure to qualify. So, what prompts a business owner to join the B Corp movement?

Aligning Business Practices with Business Values

For Brendan Torazzi, business owner of Australian wedding, event and accommodation venue Seacliff House, becoming a B Corp was a natural step, formalising his existing interest in solar, sustainability and supporting the local community.

“The B Corp ethos really resonated with us as a business”, explains Brendan. “Our mission is to create a beautiful and sustainable meeting place that enriches our local community and inspires our guests to connect, love, celebrate and create life long treasured memories. Our vision is a world filled with happy and healthy people living to their highest potential.”

For the Seacliff team, their passion for reducing the impact of climate change, and preserving the environment for generations to come, align with B Lab’s environmental guidelines. They believe in fostering a healthy and supportive workplace, supporting local businesses and suppliers, and promoting diversity and inclusivity within the community, all factors which are very much in line with B Lab’s official requirements for an ethical, socially-conscious and green business.

Required Standards for B Corps

Becoming a B Corp is a stringent and ongoing process and involves adhering to the following:

  • Complete the B Impact Assessment: Companies must complete an assessment of approximately 180 questions, measuring impact on employees, community, governance and the environment. This tool can also be used to identify and track best practices, and to assist with continuous improvement.
  • B Lab Certification: Companies must be formally certified, to advise that their business meets the requirements of a B Corp.
  • Changing Business Structure: Companies must adopt a new legal framework, requiring them to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders.
  • Re-certification every three years: Companies must be re-certified every three years to keep their B Corp status.
  • Transparency: Companies must publicly disclose impact data through the B Impact Assessment. This document serves as a public resource, offering a transparent view of the company’s impact and assisting with its accountability.

For Seacliff House, it has taken approximately six months to complete the B Impact Assessment and make any necessary adaptions to their business practices. They are currently in the queue to be audited, and once qualified, will join the 818 other businesses currently certified as B Corps in Australia[2].

Advantages of Becoming a B Corp

Becoming a B Corp can be beneficial for businesses dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.

Firstly, it can be a point of difference from competitors, signalling to customers that the business values more than just profit. Customers are increasingly supporting businesses whose values correspond with their own beliefs, and the B Corp certification is an identifiable marker of commitment to sustainable practices and social responsibility. In addition, having the certification demonstrates to customers and stakeholders that the business adheres to exacting standards of performance, transparency, and accountability.

One benefit Seacliff House has recognised is the opportunity to attract like-minded talent. In today’s workforce, a rising number of employees, particularly among younger demographics, are seeking out companies that champion social and environmental causes. “As a B Corp, Seacliff can boost its ability to attract and keep high-calibre talent, particularly individuals motivated by a commitment to purposeful work”, says Brendan.

Becoming a B Corp also means joining a global community of businesses that share common values. Within this network, businesses can exchange best practices as well as offer each other support.

“At Seacliff we are pleased to support other companies whose values align with our own”, explains Brendan. “For example, we donate our venue space for various meditation retreats. In doing this, we can have an impact on carbon neutrality, as well as supporting those businesses who are focused on health and wellbeing.”

Agents of Positive Change

Brendan stresses that becoming a certified B Corp can be time-consuming and involves commitment. “You need a champion in the business, someone who will advocate the idea and follow through with everything required”. For Seacliff that was Brendan, and he admitted it was, at times, challenging to navigate the process.

“I got help from a B Corp consultant”, he says. “That was invaluable. They answered questions, provided a roadmap and kept me accountable throughout.”

In becoming compliant, the Seacliff team also had to add in formal procedures and introduce new initiatives. “To meet certain standards we had to make some changes. For instance, we put in a program to support the health of our workers. This program provides employees with a monthly payment that can be used for any health or wellbeing-related purchase. Separately, becoming a B Corp has made us think in detail about how we do business, including how we treat customers, suppliers and employees. We’ve tightened up our processes and created detailed records – everything is documented. It has also provided us with a strong focus on continuous improvement.”

B Corps aim to show that businesses can play a positive role in addressing environmental and societal concerns. Striking a balance between financial success and fulfilling social and sustainability goals can be a challenge for any business, but for Brendan it is worth the effort. The Seacliff team’s dedication to sustainable practices are contributing to a more socially conscious and eco-friendly business landscape, and this is certainly something to be proud of.

“It has definitely been a learning curve”, says Brendan, “but also extremely rewarding”.



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Elissa Lippiatt
ECOVIS Clark Jacobs
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