Updated: Jul 27, 2022
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.
In honor of #BCorpMonth Avenue is pleased to share that we have officially recertified as a B Corp with a new score of 133! Every three years, B Corps are required to go through the rigorous B Impact Assessment to measure and evaluate their business impact in order to recertify. Avenue was originally certified with a score of 85.2. Businesses must have a score of 80 or above to become a Certified B Corporation®. For reference, the median score for ordinary businesses is 50.9, and the benchmark for similar businesses to Avenue is 81.3. With our score of 133 (an improvement of 47.8 points from our previous score), we have significantly built upon this benchmark and crushed our three-year goals for growing our impact. Our original goal was to cross the 100 point threshold for our first recertification.
The road to becoming a certified B Corp entails a rigorous assessment and many legal and non-legal requirements. It’s also a continual journey of learning and growth. At Avenue, we view B Corp certification and the assessment process as a commitment that our company makes to the world, rather than a static badge. The assessment is instead a way to identify key areas of focus for Avenue’s ongoing development. One of our core values is ‘leave it better than when you found it,’ and this intention around leaving a lasting impact on our clients, partners and peers through continual improvement and positive results is especially aligned with our ongoing growth and impact as a B Corp.
What are the different areas the B Impact Assessment covers?
If you’re curious about what is evaluated as part of the B Impact Assessment process, an overview of the five impact areas that the B Impact Assessment measures and how Avenue scored in each category to earn our overall B Impact Score of 133 is below. Avenue’s score details are also publicly available on our B Corp profile here.
The Governance section of the assessment evaluates a company's overall mission, engagement around its social/environmental impact, ethics and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect its mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision making through their corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents. Avenue’s business model is also Mission Locked. This means that our Impact Business Model is intentionally designed to create a specific positive outcome for one of its stakeholders - such as workers, community, environment or customers.
Avenue’s Score: 18.0 (previously: 11.1)
The Workers section of the assessment evaluates a company’s contributions to its employees’ financial security, health & safety, wellness, career development and engagement & satisfaction. In addition, this section recognizes business models designed to benefit workers, such as companies that are at least 40% owned by non-executive employees and those that have workforce development programs to support individuals with barriers to employment.
Avenue’s Score: 36.2 (previously: 27.4)
The Community section of the assessment evaluates a company’s engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity & inclusion, economic impact, civic engagement, charitable giving and supply chain management. In addition, this section recognizes business models that are designed to address specific community-oriented problems, such as poverty alleviation through fair trade sourcing or distribution via microenterprises, producer cooperative models, locally-focused economic development and formal charitable giving commitments. Avenue’s business model is also Designed to Give. This means that our Impact Business Model is intentionally designed to create a specific positive outcome for one of its stakeholders - such as workers, community, environment or customers.
Avenue’s Score: 58.0 (previously: 40.1)
The Environment section of the assessment evaluates a company’s overall environmental management practices as well as its impact on the air, climate, water, land and biodiversity. This includes the direct impact of a company’s operations and, when applicable, its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognizes companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact. Some examples might include products and services that create renewable energy, reduce consumption or waste, conserve land or wildlife, provide less toxic alternatives to the market or educate people about environmental problems.
Avenue’s Score: 5.8 (previously: 4.8)
The Customers section of the assessment evaluates a company’s stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security and feedback channels. In addition, this section recognizes products or services that are designed to address a particular social problem for or through its customers, such as health or educational products, arts & media products, serving underserved customers/clients and services that improve the social impact of other businesses or organizations. Avenue’s business model provides Support for Underserved/Purpose Driven Enterprises. This means our Impact Business Model is intentionally designed to create a specific positive outcome for one of its stakeholders - such as workers, community, environment or customers.
Avenue’s Score: 14.8 (previously: 1.4)
Elevating awareness around ongoing business improvement
One of the outcomes Avenue has experienced from completing the B Impact Assessment is gaining new awareness around additional areas to improve within our own business to positively impact employees, the community, environment and more. This can also apply to any business whether they decide to certify or not. Measurable improvement can bring positive change with or without formal certification. We’ve kept this in mind every day at Avenue and intentionally made shifts in our operations, culture, community engagement and on our environmental footprint. Completing the certification for the second time has further opened our eyes to additional ways we can continue to lean into improving our impact on our employees, clients, community and environment in the future. Our 2021 Impact Report was also recently published and highlights our ongoing progress over the past year.
Avenue is proud to be part of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. We believe that B Corps are redefining success in business and inspiring businesses to not only be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. To measure your company’s impact, we invite you to take the B Impact Assessment to learn more.