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What does Shoremount's BIA Audit involve?

Who is it for?

Whilst open to anyone, this is typically a service used by :

  • Companies who want someone to check their work prior to submission.
  • Organisations who aren't applying for B Corp but need an assurance/third party process to ensure their use of the B Impact Assessment is good and accurate.

For example...

A drinks business came to us who had failed their application having lost over 40 points from their total. They had even paid for support during their journey but it was from a firm not as well versed as us. We showed them where they had gone wrong, why they were so far off target and how to approach it properly, bringing their score back up to the right level in the right way.

What is it?

Summary

An audit of your complete B Impact Assessment.

Avoiding the unnecessary time cost of failure

If you fail with your submission, B Lab will give you a chance to remedy your answers. However, it depends on how far off target you are. A small number of changes will be met with more grace than a deeper rethink. But they won't allow it to happen multiple times in quick succession.

For submitting firms, therefore, the value here is not "using up a fail" when you apply that should really have been avoided. And, of course, to maximise the starting score.

It includes checking across:

  1. Track - reviewing whether you're set up correctly and answering the right question set for your business model.
  2. Addenda  - B Lab asks some business models to open up addenda in their BIA. We review whether those apply and that they might need to be applied.
  3. Score balance - review whether the balance of scores would set off alarm bells within B Lab's system.
  4. Red Flags - identify any red flags your BIA might raise, inadvertently or otherwise.
  5. Narrative - ensuring there is consistency in your answers and narrative.
  6. Fresh eyes - it's very easy when you've been in the BIA for months to start missing the obvious. A fresh pair of eyes can bring useful clarity.
  7. Tidy up and tighten up - discover loose ends and unfinished pieces that need tidying and tightening up.
  8. Immediate wins - pick up on the opportunities for those few extra points that might be super simple to earn at this stage.
  9. Evidence - check you have the right degree of evidence to support your answers.
  10. Disclosure Qs - check what DQs are relevant to your business and what additional work might be necessary along those lines.
  11. Impact Business Models - review the IBMs to see whether they can apply.

What is not?

A big delay

Our assumption is that by this point, you are keen to submit. So, we are not looking to create a long new list of things to do, only that which is necessary. The idea is to maintain your momentum and not hold you up unnecessarily.

Implementation support

If your audit happens to show us that a lot more work is required, helping you put that in place and pursuing it would be a separate job.

A strategy exercise

This review is not designed to help you build a strategy for how you intend to tackle the BIA over coming months/years. Or how you plan to embed B Corp across your business. It is focused on your BIA as it stands to help make it through verification.

A certification guarantee

If you are applying for B Corp, this is not a mock verification process. We can't guarantee a green light from will equate to a green light from B Lab. This is because we cannot go into the depth that B Lab will. Firstly, the time and cost of hiring us to do so would be excessive beyond the risk factor. Secondly, even if we did, there are unknowns beyond our control/foresight, e.g. what analysts focus on varies given their personal judgement.

Verification support

This is a stand alone audit: it doesn't include time allocated to supporting you through the verification process.

What is our level of expertise?

We are part of a handful of people who know more about the B Impact Assessment than virtually anyone else who isn't an actual B Lab Analyst, because:

Outside Verifier

We're part of a small pilot undertaking the B Lab Analyst training to consider how B Lab might scale verification. This provides access to learning on the BIA, both technically and philosophically, that is beyond anyone else who is not an actual B Lab Analyst.

B Leader

We have been through B Lab UK's pioneering B Leader training, which teaches applicants about the workings of the B Corp process.

Experience

We have helped many companies navigate the assessment across all sizes and sectors. And have done so for ourselves.

SMEs to Multinationals

We are involved with all of B Lab's teams, from those covering small firms to the specialist teams covering the process for $5Bn+ companies.

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  1. John Featherby

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