A unique quality of the B Corp process and its B Impact Assessment resource is that it is focused on - and concerned with - both its operational and its strategic intent.
This strategic component we call "Impact Business Models" or IBMs.
IBMs are strategic choices that are designed to create positive social and/or environmental impacts beyond the operational sustainability of a business.
They are focused on specific outcomes - internal or external - that are more intentional and intensive than the operational concerns.
One of looking at it is that they are, in part, the organisation's reason for being. So, operational questions are about a company's day to day practices, IBMs are about the company's design.
As IBMs are strategic choices unique to the company, they are not widespread and relatively rare in their uptake. And they are hard to earn because they are what separates the average B Corp from the high scoring ones.
Most companies receive 0 - 2 IBMs, 1 of which will be the Governance IBM earned by adopting the legal component that creates accountability for all stakeholders.
You should not rely on IBM points to certify. You should be aiming to certify regardless of any achievable IBM points.
All IBMs have five characteristics. They are:
Not done by chance. Focused on benefiting a particular. group of stakeholders with a particular, positive outcome.
Focused on a significant positive impact on a particular stakeholder. It is a focused, material part of the business, not a minor concern.
Not an informal process or policy. Needs to be proven by the company's materials.
Not a consequence of the company's current circumstances. Difficult to alter in the short/near term. Designed to always be a part of the business.
Unusual, rare and unique. Most companies do not have one. Not found in a traditional business.
Ownership models that empower employees
Customer benefiting products & services
Products/services designed to create social benefit
Environment benefiting products & services
Products/services designed to restore and conserve the natural environment
Hiring and training for chronically unemployed populations
Supply chain poverty alleviation
Supply chain strategies that reduce poverty
Local economic development
Strengthen local economies through procurement, ownership, customers, charitable giving
National economic development
Strengthen national economic development via privatisation or import substitution
Supplier owned structures that empower suppliers through decision making and profit distribution
Designed to give
Charitable giving business models that donate 20%+ of profits to charity
Designed to conserve
Environmental practices that redesign traditional processes to conserve natural resources