B PROGRAM: the first B CORP certification consultancy initiative for companies in Romania launched by Corina Radu

B PROGRAM: the first B CORP certification consultancy initiative for companies in Romania launched by Corina Radu

This initiative aims to provide support to Romanian companies in harmonizing profit with a positive impact on the community and the environment, seeking to redefine the standards of responsible business

B PROGRAM, a revolutionary consultancy initiative dedicated to B CORP certification, was introduced in Romania by Corina Radu, sustainability consultant, CEO of Solutions4Impact Consulting, and Founder of Impact Market Romania.

This initiative aims to provide support to Romanian companies in harmonizing profit with a positive impact on the community and the environment, seeking to redefine the standards of responsible business.

What is B CORP?

The B CORP certification process represents a holistic approach that evaluates the internal and external impact of a company, covering aspects ranging from daily operations to influence in the community and the environment. Using the B Impact Assessment (BIA) tool, this method analyzes and quantifies the company's impact in five key areas: Governance, Employees, Community, Environment, and Customers.

As a B Leader, Corina Radu aims to provide Romanian companies with an efficient guide for using BIA, discovering and measuring impact, developing optimization plans, and meeting the requirements for obtaining the B CORP certification.

Key benefits of the B CORP Certification

"Certified B Corp companies bring a concrete change compared to the conventional business norms, redefining the concepts of business success and prosperity and their measurement methods. When it comes to financial, social and environmental performance, B Corp companies strive for a different bottom line, one that is not just about profit at any cost, but about ensuring financial health, cultivating resilience, and nurturing responsible operations.

B Corps are a response to those organizations that overlook the concerns of other stakeholders except their shareholders. Therefore, their intention is to create a better business model that serves all stakeholders, people and nature, while staying financially healthy and profitable at the same time." (Corina Radu - B Leader & Sustainability Coach; CEO of Solutions4Impact Consulting and Founder of Impact Market Romania)

B CORP certification is a valuable process for companies, bringing numerous benefits, such as:

● Long-term Impact Improvement: By exchanging best practices and using B Lab tools, such as impact assessment and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies can measure and optimize their impact over time.

● Partnerships with Other B CORP Companies: Once certified, companies can join local groups and collaborate to find solutions to specific challenges they may face.

● Employee Engagement in the Company's Mission: B CORP certification helps companies attract talented individuals willing to contribute to supporting a responsible business by aligning employees' values with their daily work.

● Articulating the Company's Mission Externally: Holding B CORP certification facilitates communicating the company's mission to various stakeholders, including investors, clients, suppliers, collaborators, and future business partners.

Current situation of B Corp certified companies in Romania and Southeastern Europe compared to the rest of Europe

The certification status of B Corp companies varies between Western, Northern, and Southeastern Europe. While countries like Italy, France, Germany, the UK, and others have over 1500 certified companies, according to the Annual Report of B LAB Europe, in other European regions, there are few B CORP-certified companies.

According to the information from the B LAB Europe search platform, currently in Southeastern Europe, the countries with B Corp-certified companies include Bulgaria (4 companies), Greece (3 companies), Turkey (7 companies), Cyprus (1 company), while in Romania there is no B CORP certified company. An impact analysis of B Corp certification highlights that employees in these companies are 46% more engaged and motivated compared to employees in other businesses.

Additionally, according to the performance and resilience report of B Lab Europe, B CORP companies globally recorded a 25% increase in net sales between 2019-2020 and a 23% increase between 2020 and 2021, compared to non-certified firms, demonstrating the value and impact of holding B CORP certification. The highest growth is observed in B CORP companies in the USA, Canada, and Asia, where it was approximately 25% and 32% over a 24-36 month period.

The launch of B PROGRAM in Romania represents a pioneering initiative for local companies to enhance employee engagement and actively participate in professional development, within a framework focused on sustainability and social responsibility.

The six steps to B CORP Certification

The process proposed by Corina Radu in B PROGRAM includes six steps: B Scan (exploring the business model and checking legal requirements); Data Collection (necessary for evaluation); Kick-Off Meeting (understanding the company's motivation); Completing B Impact Assessment (answering a 200-question survey on the five impact areas); Third-Party Evaluation of BIA, and finally, Obtaining Certification for companies that achieve a final score of over 80 points.

About Corina Radu and Impact Market Romania

Corina Radu is a sustainability consultant and mentor, CEO of Solutions4Impact Consulting in Vienna, and Founder of Impact Market Romania. She has worked as a consultant for companies in various industries, including energy, cleantech, mobility, logistics, biodegradables, and within B CORP certification and sustainability reporting projects in Austria, Romania, Norway, New Zealand, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Sweden, Armenia, and Germany.

Corina is also a mentor for young entrepreneurs, active in organizations such as Global Women for Energy Transition (GWNET) Austria, EIT Climate KIC Austria, East Mediterranean Accelerator Turkey, and Transformator Romania.

This year, Corina founded Impact Market Romania in Bucharest to help local companies in Southeastern Europe become B Corp certified. Corina is a guest lecturer at the University of Business and Economics in Wroclaw, Poland, where she teaches courses on implementing SDGs in business, impact investing, and, starting this year, impact assessment within the B CORP program to students in the international Master Finance program.