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Mangrove Web is in the process of becoming a B Corporation, also known as a certified B Corp. We are feeling pretty pumped about it. Once we’re certified, our B Corp status will help further solidify our commitment that as a for-profit tech company, we can do a lot of good. Read on for details.

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Congrats! Wait, what’s a B Corp?

The B Corp is essentially a rigorous certification for businesses that actively create social and environmental benefits for others, in addition to generating profits.

When a company becomes a B Corp, it must show a track record of adhering to high standards of accountability and transparency. The company is also committing that as it grows, its guiding principles will prioritize overall societal good along with being financially successful.

B Lab, the nonprofit that provides certification to B Corp companies, compares B Corp to a Fair Trade or organic certification. When we see those terms, they can often help us understand more about how the company operates.

Are there are a lot of B Corps out there?

More than 1,800 companies have become certified B Corps since B Lab was first established in 2006, and they exist in 50 countries. In the US, B Corps are recognized in 30 states, and more are on the way. You probably know a few of the most popular ones: Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Warby Parker, and Etsy to name a few.

Why is the B Corp a good fit for Mangrove Web?

We already take great care to work with clients whose work we believe in—businesses that consider people and the planet over a blind march toward profit. Like any successful business, we want to make money. But we also want to give back when we can and build our company with that mentality at its foundation. The B Corp structure not only captures who we are, it will challenge us to continue growing in a socially mindful way.

Becoming a B Corp will also make it easier for like-minded businesses to find us, and lets them know that we’re on the same page. As a small company, going through the certification now will help us establish good practices and infrastructure as we grow. With a B Corp certification, we’re letting you know that we recognize our communal responsibility, and that we’re standing by rigorous guidelines to help hold us accountable.

steps-illustrationWhat does a business do to become a B Corp?

Remember the SAT exam? This is even worse! Okay, we’re kidding, but there is a lengthy point-based assessment managed by B Lab.

The Impact Assessment lets businesses see how they stack up against best practices. Applicants are asked detailed questions about how their business is managed, compensation and benefits offerings for employees, purchasing practices and how vendors are selected, and how the company accounts for energy and waste. It’s a lot, but going through the process illuminates areas where we’re succeeding and where we can do even better.

To be certified, a business must score 80 out of 200 points, indicating that it’s having a positive impact in multiple areas.

How will Mangrove change and how does this affect potential or current clients?

You likely won’t notice much of a shift. The B Corp standards are already closely aligned with our mission and culture. Establishing a B Corp does require that an owner set up internal parameters around how their business operates. We’re pursuing a greater good in addition to financial success, and we’re going to accomplish that by following clear guidelines set by B Lab. We’re still the same team building badass custom websites that make it easier for good people to do good work.

When is this happening?

We’re hoping to get certified by the end of 2016, or at least be close to the final paperwork. The process can take a year in some cases! We’ll let you know once we have our certification. And then—we will dance.

Have more questions? Want to discuss a project? Let’s talk.