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What is a BCorp?

A short guide to what it means to be a certified BCorp.

What is a BCorp?
A Certified BCorp is a business whose performance and policies are rigorously reviewed and appraised by a third party non-profit, B Lab. A business which meets a certain threshold of points based on a robust external review of their operations can become certified, which must be renewed every three years.

You can view Haven’s specific performance on the B Lab standards on our public webpage. Certified BCorps must share their B Impact Assessment on public profiles to ensure transparency and accountability.

How are BCorps Reviewed?
The B Impact Assessment is the tool utilized for B Lab to assess companies based on five categories; Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. By answering dozens of questions within the assessment, companies give insight into both their internal and external operations. Each answered question must be verified with supporting documents/data in order to successfully be awarded points towards the overall certification score.

A business which has been designed to create a specific positive impact will also be assessed for its “Impact Business Model” which contributes to the overall score.

At the highest level, the assessment tool digs into how the company is structured, who are the shareholders and stakeholders of the company, what is its mission, what industry does it operate in, and what products/services does the company offer. The assessment then reviews the company’s policies on how it goes about its business, how it interacts with its customers, and how the company interacts with its employees. Finally, the assessment reviews how its operations and products/services impact the world.

BCorp Certification lasts three years, at which time the B Impact Assessment must be updated for companies to maintain their certification. The B Impact Assessment is continuously adapting to accommodate global business standards and best practices. B Lab’s standards are independently governed by B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council and Board of Directors.

How does BCorp Certification affect Haven’s work?
Haven was founded as a social enterprise, dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of housing options for under-served households in our community. We intentionally structured our firm to pursue BCorp certification from the beginning because the rigorous review process demands a higher standard of operations compared to our competitors.

Haven’s mission, company structure, policies, services, and operations have been designed to prioritize positive impact for our customers, community, and staff. While most of our clients only experience the positive impact of our services on their projects, the whole firm has been structured to ensure all stakeholders are benefiting from our work. This includes our commitments to low-barrier employment, fair compensation, environmental sustainability, stakeholder engagement/community design, and local/HUB subcontractor prioritization.

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