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Biz Talk: Certified B Corporations in Arlington

This article was written by Sindy Yeh, Senior Business Ambassador for Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington has hundreds of businesses and nonprofits with a dedicated mission of positively impacting society, workers, the community and the environment.

Many make community outreach, sustainability and equity an integral part of their business model. Only a handful, however, have achieved the coveted Certified B Corporation status.

Companies become Certified B Corps only when they receive certification from B Lab, a nonprofit company that measures its social and environmental performance against the standards in its B Impact Assessment (BIA) in five impacted areas: Environment; Community; Customers; Governance and Workers. A company must score 80+ out of 300 to qualify for the full B Corporation Certification.

The Certified B Corporations in Arlington are:

  • Area 2 Farms — certified since December 2021, the organization brings farmers to your neighborhood.
  • Connective Impact — an advisory company that connects nonprofits, private sector leaders and government agencies together to build more partnerships and collaborations.
  • Fors Marsh Group — a market and consumer research and strategy firm that works with leading companies and federal agencies that seek to disrupt markets, understand or influence behavior, and drive action on a national and global scale.
  • Grey Market Labs — a leading cybersecurity research and development and product company with a mission to protect digital life.
  • Public Democracy — a data solutions and market intelligence company on a mission to develop better data and more meaningful AI systems that reflect users’ values, support their priorities and allow them to better share in the value of the data they create.
  • Serendipity Creative — a woman-owned, purpose driven creative design and branding company.

These Arlington companies join a global community that includes 400,000 workers in over 5,000 Certified B Corps across 80 countries and 155 industries with a shared mission to prioritize people and the planet in everything they do and to balance profit with purpose. It is not easy to become a Certified B Corp. Companies must go through an intensive, months-long process to provide the necessary supporting documentation to B Lab, which measures and validates their entire social and environmental performance.

Companies are very proud of the recognition and are willing to go through the rigorous certification process to demonstrate their dedication to a higher standard of business practice. Fors Marsh Group’s CEO, Ben Garthwaite said after the company received its recertification in 2021, “This recertification affirms our standing as a people-first company, committed to impactful work and continuous growth.”

Research has shown that an increasing number of employees, especially millennials, prefer to work for a mission-driven company. In a job market where employers are continuously competing for talent, the Certified B Corporation emblem is often displayed prominently on a company’s website as a recruitment tool. The emblem may provide an edge for the company when it comes to hiring by attracting people that share the same values.

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