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What information and evidence will we be asked to submit in support of our application?

This will vary case by case because:

  • Every company is different, and
  • Whilst there is a consistency in approach, every B Lab analysis is also allowed some leeway to ask for further information on what they think needs verifying

But below we give you an indication of what you are likely to be asked for so you can think ahead.

Headline Information

Once you have submitted your assessment, you are taken through two phases: Evaluation and Verification. Evaluation is a precursor, de-risking exercise ahead of the verification process. Here is the information you are likely to be asked for at some point:

See here: Evaluation Template Spreadsheet

  • Organisation structure
  • Business description and details

See here: Verification Template Spreadsheet

  • All employees
  • All suppliers

Standard Documents

Profit & Loss Statement

Last year's financials to cover the questions in the governance section but also so they can apportion points where relevant depending on your figures. To cover issues such as:

  • Total sales
  • Donation figures
  • Rough cross-checking

Recent Impact Reporting

Any internal or external reports that have been written on the company's impact.

Employee Handbook

This is a priority document as it will cover a lot of the standard questions within the BIA. 

We recommend you ensure your Employee Handbook is alignment with your answers. Furthermore, anything you can improve upon here between submission and verification is worth doing. Relevant information they are usually looking for includes:

  • Employee review process
  • Internal good governance
  • Ethics policies and practice
  • Retirement programmes
  • Financial services for employees
  • Health benefits/healthcare
  • Supplementary benefits (part, full-time etc)
  • Worker empowerment
  • Professional development approach
  • Remuneration approach

Statements of Commitment

Any statements or commitments you have made, such as:

  • Non Discriminatory Statements
  • Anti Slavery Commitment
  • Community Service Policy
  • Customer Protection Warranty
  • Customer Stewardship Policy
  • Data Protection Policy

Supplier Information

In particular:

  • Supplier information
    • The detail on any significant suppliers
    • Local /national sourcing approach
    • Social//environmental purchasing
  • Supplier Code of Conduct and any screening information/exercises
    • Local purchasing policy
    • Supplier diversity policy
    • Supplier screening topics/policy
    • Supplier evaluation approach
    • Independent contractor practices

Questions Worth 1 point +

You should assume that any question worth 1 point or more you will be asked for evidence for. The nature of the evidence you can supply can vary enormously, there is not a set requirement. As long as it legitimately supports your answer. So, items such as:

  • Invoices
  • Emails
  • Pictures
  • Policies
  • Contracts
  • Etc...

Impact Business Models

You should expect to be thoroughly questioned on any Impact Business Model you have opened up. These are high-risk areas for B Lab, so it is worth making sure you have any research exercise, case studies, formal agreements etc together that will make your case.

Disclosure Questions

If you answered yes to any of the DQ questions you are likely to be asked to provide further information. These aren't always highly controversial. For example, the sale of alcohol is one of the DQs, and there are B Corp restaurants, hotels, drinks manufacturers etc.

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  1. John Featherby

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