Berrett-Koehler Qualifies as Certified B Corporation
Mission-based Publisher Meets Rigorous Corporate, Social, and Environmental Standards
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has become a “Certified B Corporation,” joining over 450 other Certified B Corporations in the United States. B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. They also expand their corporate legal responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build a collective voice for corporate social and environmental responsibility through the power of the unifying B Corp brand.
“We are thrilled that Berrett-Koehler qualifies for this certification,” states BK president Steve Piersanti. “This is in keeping with our mission of ‘Creating a World That Works for All’ and our commitment to manage BK for the benefit of all of our stakeholder groups, including readers, authors, employees, suppliers, service providers, sales partners, and the societal and environmental communities in which we live and work.”
The B Corporation certification process is administered by B Lab, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Over the past several years, B Lab has certified corporations in 60 different industries as B Corporations, with combined revenues of over $2 billion.
“The certification process turned out to be quite rigorous, which I am very happy about,” says Piersanti. “The first step was our completing a 230-question ‘Impact Assessment’ that examined BK’s performance on measures of corporate accountability, transparency, compensation, benefits, employee training, worker environment, worker ownership, social benefit, community service, local involvement, diversity, job creation, and environmental practices.” The next step was B Lab’s question-by-question review of BK’s assessment responses and correction of some responses to comply with B Lab’s standards. “Then we submitted documentation in about a dozen areas to support and further detail our answers, and B Lab scored our assessment,” explains Piersanti.
“We were pleased to pass the assessment with a score of 106.8 out of a possible 200, which is well above the score of 80 that is needed to receive B Corp certification,” says Piersanti. According to the B Lab website, “across the more than 1,500 companies that have already completed the assessment, an average company scores between 60 and 100 points.” Adds Piersanti, “most of these 1,500 companies were already very socially and environmentally conscious when they completed the assessment, so it is not easy to score over 100 on the assessment.”
“In a spirit of transparency toward Berrett-Koehler’s stakeholders, we are sharing our assessment scorecard and our full impact assessment,” says Piersanti.
Piersanti admits, “despite our overall good score, there are many areas where we fell short and have room for improvement. We will work on these areas over coming months, and we hope to have made substantial progress in many areas when we complete our next impact assessment with B Lab two years from now.”
Other qualifications for B Corporation certification, in addition to passing the comprehensive impact assessment, include committing to manage the corporation for the benefit of all stakeholders (not just shareholders), committing to corporate social and environmental responsibility, and agreeing to incorporate these commitments within a two-year period into the governing documents of the corporation. “These requirements are consistent with what Berrett-Koehler has long stood for, so we were happy to make them,” says Piersanti.