In Search of Data

In my last post I outlined my proposed methodology. I am interested in analyzing changes in category scores between recertifications to determine if in general, B Certified companies illustrate sustained improvement.

This weekend I began to determine the relativity of this question and the accessibility of required data. My first move was to meet with a member of the B Local PDX board whose goals include the fostering of connection within the Portland, Oregon B Corp community. My goal was to gain a better understanding of the B local Board, what the general status/ perspective on certification and purpose driven businesses as an avenue for change, and to determine those salient questions the B Corp community wished it had answers to. I emphasized my desire to research something which would be beneficial to B Corps and the movement towards global benefit of businesses in general.

This informational confirmed that my inclination that the scoring system of B Corp Certification is meant to incentivize continued improvement- the recertification process is supposed to be harder for businesses each recertification. Thus when I do my analysis, it follows to assume that improvement in score represents improvement in relative ‘goodness.’ A nuance to this theory was the reasons why a score may change between certifications, including the expansion of a business to include more workers, or the movement into a new state, or the new products. Regardless of my methodology it will be important to talk with business about their experience with the certification.

This conversation also revealed two additional resources. The first is the B Academics community, a collective of educators and researchers on the movement. The website provides access to free published reports of B Corps which I am excited to read about! The second is the B Analytics website, a collection of B Corp data. This website most likely has the information I would like access to. However, a license costs thousands of dollars.

Thus I think my best move would be to continue to communicate with B Local Board and reach out to academics in the area who may have experience in finding previous certification scores. I may be able to find these numbers from previous studies as well. My next steps are to continue to immerse myself in the B Corp community. There is a wealth of information and people eager to share their passion for better business.

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