Businesses looking to improve their social and environmental impacts will have an easier path to get there thanks to a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility (CESR) and B Lab. B Lab is a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good through B Corp Certification, administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for benefit corporation governance structure.
CESR, a center within the Leeds School of Business, will help B Lab map its B Impact Assessment, the tool that certifies companies as B Corps, to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs aim to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.
The B Impact Assessment is used by more than 60,000 businesses. It has over 1,000 indicators for companies to measure and improve their impact on workers, community, environment and customers. CESR will map those indicators to the targets underlying the U.N.’s SDGs, as well as the more than 1,500 indicators featured in the SDG Compass.
The SDG Compass is a database of existing SDG performance indicators that have been collected by the U.N. Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
“This partnership with B Lab will create a tool to help companies positively impact some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Mark Meaney, CESR’s executive director. “We cannot accomplish the ambitious aims of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals without business.”
Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. There are more than 2,600 B Corps around the globe.
“Aligning the B Impact Assessment and the Sustainable Development Goals is a natural fit—all companies looking to measure and manage their social and environmental performance should have an eye on the SDGs when they do it,” says Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab. “CESR has been a leader in the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the academic community and we are excited to partner with them to advance this important work.”
CESR will be mapping the B Impact Assessment questions to the SDGs through December 2018. B Lab will then incorporate the mapping into the B Impact Assessment and develop an impact management platform module scheduled for launch at the beginning of 2020.