B Corp Certification - A strategic step towards sustainability?

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för strategisk hållbar utveckling

Abstract: The global socio-ecological system is under stress with increasing consumer demands and society’s inability to meet those demands. Businesses are both enablers and inhibitors of this socio-ecological dilemma, enabling a shift towards sustainability, in various ways including through Certification. This study aims to understand the B Corp Certification (BCC) – a certification that certifies business according to their social and environmental performance.  The purpose of this study is to gage how much this Certification granted by B Lab moves the dial on sustainability.  To accomplish this, a case study was performed on B Lab with a focus on Developed Markets. This study was largely dependent on semi-structured interviews, desk research and an analysis of the B Impact Assessment (BIA) - a cornerstone of the BCC - which was assessed according to the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). The FSSD which takes a scientific systems view on strategic sustainable development (SSD) was instrumental in analyzing how much the BCC aligns with a SSD approach. The result of this research lends itself to recommendations for the B Corp Certification of which B Lab may choose to consider in future iterations of the BIA and Certification in general.

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