Navigating the B Corp Certification Journey for Sustainable Success with Sarah Whale, Profit Impact (episode 483)

Sarah Whale is a B Leader (someone certified to help other businesses become B Corps) and founder of Profit Impact where she helps many businesses create a thriving future. 

Sarah Whale Profit Impact on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in: 

[04:54] B Corp recertification includes review and reverification.
[07:49] Evolving standards, global changes call for action.
[10:19] Annual report publication focused on people, planet, profit.
[13:34] Rethinking business purpose and choices for impact.
[16:52] Emphasizing governance as essential for business success.
[19:36] Sarah’s Top Tips!

Sarah’s B Corp Journey 

Sarah shifted from a traditional finance role to specializing in B Corp and sustainability after realizing the importance of considering social and environmental impacts alongside profit. Her journey into this field began when she recognized that solely focusing on profit was not fulfilling. Discovering B Corp certification was a pivotal moment for her. She pursued a role as a finance director for a B Corp, where everything clicked into place for her. 

Continuous Improvement and B Corp Recertification 

The recertification process involves reviewing a company’s performance since its last certification, ensuring they have progressed rather than regressed. Businesses must maintain a score above 80 to keep their certification, even if they experience fluctuations due to changes within their operations. The upcoming changes to B Corp standards are significant, moving away from simply scoring over 80 to fulfilling specific requirements. These changes reflect the evolving nature of sustainability and the need for businesses to improve their practices to address global challenges continuously. 

Doing Post-Certification Work 

Sarah introduced a continuous impact program to help businesses maintain focus and improve post-B Corp certification. The program involves setting annual goals, splitting them over quarters, and conducting regular check-ins, culminating in an annual impact report for accountability. This approach ensures businesses integrate sustainability into their operations, balancing people, planet, and profit considerations. Sarah says that incorporating sustainability discussions changes the dynamics of business meetings, making them more engaging. She encourages businesses to be strategic in planning their post-certification actions, aiming to be purpose-led while considering operational realities and broader goals. 

Governance and Stakeholder Engagement for Continuous Impact 

Sarah stresses the role of governance and structured stakeholder engagement in sustaining B Corp certification efforts. She suggests incorporating sustainability goals into regular business meetings and decision-making processes. By making sustainability a continuous part of the conversation, businesses can ensure they remain focused on their impact goals. Additionally, engaging with suppliers can uncover opportunities for collaboration on sustainability initiatives, demonstrating that improvements can often be made through partnerships and shared goals. 

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Word-of-mouth marketing 

Tool Top Tip

Carbon Top Tip

  • Focus on logistics to reduce the carbon footprint of your business. Consolidate orders or source suppliers closer to the business to reduce emissions and potentially save money. 

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • JGS Ian Bentley put sustainability at the heart of Parker Clay – and they’ve doubled sales every year (episode 363)
  • Your B Corp Questions Answered with Hannah Cox (episode 430)
  • Saxon Wright of Huskee & Shopify store Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters (episode 440)

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