B Corp Research Roundup (Updated March 2019)

The field of academic research on Certified B Corporations is currently small, but growing fast as the movement to use business as a force for good expands around the globe. Our B Local PDX community and B Corp companies here in the Pacific Northwest have been part of many of these studies. Here is a roundup of this research that we have received permission to share.

Want to learn more about the B Corp academic community? Visit B Academics, a network of educators and researchers from around the world who are committed to accelerating the sustainable business movement by studying the global movement of B Corporation certification and benefit corporations.

B Corp: The Impact of Innovations on Sustainability (2018)

Maíra Oliveira Ruggi & Thiago Cavalcante Nascimento, The Federal University of Technology - Paraná, 2018.

In 2018, the authors conducted a survey to better understand the impact of B Corp innovations on sustainability. Nine of the 191 companies surveyed in this study were from the B Local PDX community. The survey is part of a master thesis entitled "Innovation in companies with sustainability certification: elements of its convergence", presented at the Federal University of Technology - Paraná in June 2018. The full dissertation can be found in the original Portuguese at: http://repositorio.utfpr.edu.br/jspui/handle/1/3290

View the Executive Summary slides

B the One: Identifying Communication Opportunities with B Corp Certification (2018)

Sky Weadick, MS Strategic Communication, University of Oregon

This master’s thesis research conducts a situational analysis of the Portland B Corp community. The conclusion is that “with the right communication to the right groups could lead to increased B Corp adoption in Portland.” The author outlines a communications strategy with three main steps for growing the Certified B Corporation community and increasing adoption of the concept in the business community in Portland. These steps are:

  1. Increase the awareness of the B Corp brand and, most importantly, ensure that the awareness is tied to an understanding of the rigorous standards for certification and what it means to use business for good.

  2. Have a messaging strategy that defines the key stakeholders and then identifies key messaging that speaks to the concerns of each group.

  3. Recognizing the power that just one person can have in pushing through the certification process.

Download the full research report.