BCFG Website - Certification & Firm Details
Benefit Corporations for Good awards certification utilizing a Third-Party Standard that recognizes businesses which meet through their attitudes, behaviors, and actions the intent of Benefit Corporations. Our 48-question tool, with 5 levels of performance, assesses an organization’s social and environmental performance based on the 3 P’s of People, Planet, Profit.
Questions are scored and graded based on criteria established by senior level business and management professionals, acknowledged experts in the Benefit Corporation model. Benefit Corporations for Good leaders Mary Anne Harmer and Tom Hering have written Putting Soul Into Business, a defining book on the benefit corporation movement and under consideration for use in continuing education classrooms with specific curriculum for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Criteria for certification, as reflected in the questions, are evaluated by a team of legal, environmental, and business professionals to ensure meeting best practices for social and environmental performance. Questions are evaluated by a Board of Advisors on an on-going basis and specifically during the fourth quarter of the calendar year when advisors are invited to a company forum. It is the intent of the certification process from Benefit Corporations for Good to be both helpful and meaningful to the customer and organization. In addition, customers are encouraged to provide feedback about the criteria and questions on the certification page of the site.
The criteria for certification from Benefit Corporations for Good are:
- Environmental sustainability and workplace “green practices”
- Leadership and management competencies that support employees, vendors/suppliers, and customers with a focus on values including: Transparency, Authenticity, Diversity/Inclusion, Stewardship and Purpose.
- Engagement with community and nonprofit initiatives that support the development of ‘equitable and healthy communities’ as well as vulnerable individuals and populations
- Sound and strategic business practices that foster profit and growth as well as metrics to monitor progress on criteria.
Benefit Corporations for Good believes that all four of these criteria need to be demonstrated to show adherence to the core values and behaviors of Benefit Corporations. We believe it is the integration of all criteria, reflected in the 48 questions, which provides the total measure of the company’s intent. Subsequently, each question is weighted equally, and points are allocated along a spectrum of 5 possible points for each question. In addition, below each question, applicants are asked to submit an explanation for their score and provide documentation as appropriate.
Smaller entrepreneurs and businesses who reflect performance along the 4 criteria, but are not able to answer a question based on their size and phase of development, are able to select N/A and the total score is based on the number of questions answered. Only those businesses achieving a minimum of 70% will be awarded certification from Benefit Corporations for Good.
- In sum, the certification questionnaire, will evaluate the responses of 48 questions along a 5-point scale with a perfect score of 240 points.
- The explanation for score and documentation provided by candidate will also be reviewed.
- It will reveal those businesses that show alignment with the values and activities of Benefit Corporations based on the four criteria.
- Once scoring is complete, a follow-up phone interview with candidates will be scheduled. At that time, the final score will be provided and the strengths and deviancies in meeting standards for social and environmental performance will be shared (specifically, those questions where scoring was below average).
- Recommendations and ideas for further activity to meet criteria will be also shared.
- Benefit Corporations for Good believes businesses need to show a commitment for the long-term. It is a process whereby companies continue to evolve and develop towards greater fulfillment of the criteria – emerging as leaders of the Benefit Corporation model.
- Receive a “Benefit Corporations for Good” certified digital badge for use on website and online communications.
- Receive visual branded materials including a window cling announcing “Oregon Benefit Company Certified” for display on premises of business including door, windows and countertops.
- Gain access to ongoing educational forums and materials regarding Oregon Benefit Companies and the Benefit Corporation movement.
- Receive reminders about mandatory submission of an annual benefit report and access to services to help them comply.
Benefit Corporations for Good is committed to be an ongoing educational resource for businesses interested in the Benefit Corporation movement. The company’s website will provide timely and current information including blogs, articles, podcasts, trainings and other materials to support businesses. This also includes a “community forum” where Benefit Companies can share and exchange their ideas and experiences.
FIRM OWNERSHIP & FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Benefit Corporations for Good is an LLC registered in the state of Oregon. There are no other business affiliations with companies in Oregon or the United States. The sole owners and governing body of Benefit Corporations for Good are Mary Anne Harmer and Tom Hering. The sources of financial support for Benefit Corporations for Good come from certification fees, consulting, training, education workshops, marketing services, and self-funding.