Community in the B Impact Assessment

The community section of the B Impact Assessment (BIA) evaluates a company’s overall impact on the communities they serve. On top of the obvious items, like charitable contributions, volunteer hours, and pro bono products and services, this section also takes a deep dive into the upstream impact a company makes by sourcing locally and hiring a diverse workforce. 

Getting started with the community section of the BIA

Improving your community impact requires the same level of intention that improving any of these sections requires. For starters, tracking is paramount to moving beyond words and good intentions and into measurable, impactful change. Establishing KPIs (key performance indicators) based on % of revenue for things like community service and pro bono goods or services will help your company structure its annual efforts. Similarly, measuring your current state and setting goals for your future state on things like local sourcing, supplier diversity, and employee diversity & retention will form the foundation of your company’s community strategy.

Examples of companies with high community scores

Community is the one category that almost every B Corp scores particularly high on in the BIA. But some companies have gone above and beyond in this section, making Best For The World in this section, which recognizes the top 5% of all B Corps around the world. Here are a few of our local favorites: 

Rockridge Venture Law

Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, Rockridge Venture Law earned 25 points on the BIA for its civic engagement and giving and another (whopping) 36.5 points for its designed to give business model. Not only is Rockridge a member of 1% For The Planet, meaning they donate 1% of revenue to environmental causes, but they also GIVE-10, meaning they donate at least 10% of their profits and dedicate 10% of their working time to environmental and social impact organizations.

Shades of Green Permaculture

Shades of Green Permaculture is a member of B Local Georgia and scored an incredible 58.1 points on the community section, including 26 points for their local economic development model. These points were earned for the impact they have made, through their work, on the local environment. 

What will my company gain from improving our local impact?

Not only will improving your community structure put you on the right track to becoming B Corp Certified, but it also demonstrates to potential employees and customers that you are serious about your impact. This commitment will grow your brand awareness, increase the size of your impact, and help give your team a source of pride and a sense of purpose in their work. 

Growing brand awareness

Doing good and serving the community provides a treasure trove of authentic marketing content, from pictures of your team at a community event to stories about your nonprofit partners. You don’t have to do good to be seen, but you will be seen doing good–and you will have earned the recognition you get–and you deserve it, as we wrote about in a previous blog post

Increase the size of your impact

Most companies start with good intentions to serve their community, but fail to track it, often leaving them scratching their heads when they realize they aren’t making as much of an impact as they wanted to. As you go through the assessment and begin measuring what matters, you can set goals and strategies that will see your impact grow in parallel with your business.  

Pride and purpose

A simple web search will give you pages of results featuring articles, academic research about the benefits of community initiatives on employee pride and purpose at work, including this one from SHRM. These employees are more engaged and engaged employees are more productive and more likely to remain at their jobs.