B Corp recertification process: an interview with Emily Minner
We are currently in the process of recertifying as a B Corp. Since becoming a B Corp in 2017, we are required to recertify through the B Impact Assessment (BIA) every three years. Emily, our director of operations, has been finishing up this rigorous process. Anne Dean caught up with her to see how it is all going.
Anne Dean Doston (AD): It’s been quite a year. How are you feeling?
Emily Minner (EM): Pretty good. Spring is around the corner, and I am ready for that. Time for a reset.
AD: Definitely. I couldn’t agree more. Speaking of a reset, you’ve been working through the process of Bullhorn recertifying as a B Corp.
EM: Yep. Our former sustainability director, Jenny, did a lot of the heavy lifting, but I finished it up and submitted it in September.
AD: Oh wow. What’s our new score?
EM: We don’t know yet. The process got delayed a bit due to the pandemic, but we should know something soon.
AD: Fingers crossed. Since taking this recertification process on, have you learned anything new?
EM: Just being a part of the B community has been eye-opening. I have become active on the B Hive, B Corp’s networking forum, and I have joined monthly calls with other B Corp leaders to share ideas and discuss issues we’re facing. I have learned that we are in a really good place.
AD: How so? I am intrigued.
EM: Well, on the last culture call, we discussed ways to keep team members engaged in this virtual space.
AD: You mean like our virtual happy hours and trivia hours?
EM: Sort of, but others have done that too. I was able to talk about other things we focus on, like our book, podcast, and article discussions. It felt good to share how we have been digging deeper into bigger issues like racism and doing the work to become an anti-racist organization. I think those things promote a sense of belonging and meaning.
AD: It’s important. I have learned more over the past few months in our group discussions.
EM: Me too. And it directly connects to the impact work we are doing. I think it helps us to be more thoughtful and better critical thinkers overall.
AD: Definitely. I can vouch for that.
EM: I believe this is what being a B Corp is all about: working together on something important and growing because of it. We are always working towards something better.
AD: I love that. What is the point of recertifying anyway?
EM: B Corp requires you to recertify every three years to make sure you still meet their standards. It’s also allowing you to improve, which is awesome. We love checklists.
AD: Well, most of us do.
EM: The recertification process allows us to see where we are doing well and what areas need improvement.
AD: But, we didn’t get worse, did we?
EM: Definitely not. Our score is going to increase significantly (again, fingers crossed). We have been good about setting ourselves up for success. Our previous score was 82.2.
AD: Remind me what we need to certify?
EM: We had to score at least an 80.
AD: So, we barely qualified?
EM: Well, Brad got to 80 and stopped. But a lot goes into just one point, so it’s a big deal. And we know a lot more now that we didn’t then. Through the BIA, we predict our score to increase by over ten points.
AD: How did we increase our score?
EM: In the Workers category. We did a lot to improve in this area. We replaced our former health insurance policy with a more equitable one, formalized our volunteer time off (VTO) and flexible work policies. And we added a bonus system.
AD: Those are pretty big things. Thank you for doing those things. They helped me make my decision to work for Bullhorn.
EM: That’s good to hear.
AD: And who can I thank for these changes?
EM: Honestly, everyone. When we first went through this process, Brad and our sustainability director at the time did the assessment alone. This time, we started early and divvied up the areas based on everyone’s interests. It was a group effort.
AD: What are our long-term goals for recertifying again in 2023?
EM: Good question. We have a goal to be a zero-energy office. This will vastly improve our environmental score. And as you know, we are working to have a more diverse team and want to have more options for non-partners to step into leadership roles.
AD: Promotions are always a good thing. What else about being a B Corp do you like?
EM: The permission to be transparent. We are who we say we are. We’re not just talking the talk; we can back it up. We are committed to being an impact company to improving our communities. Being a B Corp not only provides us with a framework to set goals and improve, but it also gives us a community.
AD: There’s that sense of belonging again.
EM: It’s crucial. Especially right now.
AD: I like thinking about Bullhorn being a community within a community. So, what’s our new score again?
EM: The last time I checked, we were still in the queue for review. When we completed the BIA, we projected a score of 97.2.
AD: That’s exciting.
EM: I know. Let me check again to see if there is any progress.
AD: I am waiting with bated breath.
EM: Oh wait. It looks like we have moved to the verification stage.
AD: That’s positive news, right?
EM: Yeah, we should hear from someone there soon. They just designated our recertification date as March 15, 2021.
AD: Sounds official to me.
EM: I’ll take it.