In the frame of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) course, 1st year Master's students in Business Engineering and Management Sciences had the opportunity to learn about the B Corp certification and to apply their knowledge and skills to real cases, in cooperation with start-ups and companies from a variety of industries.
B Corporation is a movement of companies doing business as a force for good, looking beyond economic impact. To be eligible, a company must reach a score 80 on the B Impact Assessment, an online tool allowing to assess social and environmental performance. In Belgium, the movement is getting more and more attention, although one of the main barriers for companies to start the certification process are the lack of time and human resources.
To answer to this demand, 500 of our students worked together with 17 companies for 6 weeks. First, students audited these companies by reviewing their practices and completing the B Impact Assessment. After calculating the scores, students reflected in teams to provide recommendations and action steps for companies to further increase their score and eventually become eligible for the B Corp certification.
By the end of the project, companies attended oral presentations from teams of students, describing their score and recommendations to improve their social and environmental performance. The quality of students’ advice and their professionalism were highlighted by companies and 93% are committed to further collaborate with our students, through internships, projects or Master’s theses connected to corporate social responsibility. Following this project, 83% students consider integrating B Corp and CSR in their choice of career.
Photo credit: B Corporation