| Alex Andrews

What is a B Corp?

Felix James, Co-Founder of Small Beer, walking through a field of barley

A B Corp - or B Corporation - is a business that has been officially certified by B Lab as using their business as a force for good, which means that they contribute positively to the wider community and the environment.

As today marks the beginning of B Corp Month in 2024, we want to explore what it means to be a B Corp and how more businesses can make a positive impact.


There are over 2,500 Certified B Corporations® from more than 130 industries and 60 countries with 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. B Corps™ are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good™.


Small Beer became London's first B Corp brewery in 2019 and it is with equal measures of pride and disappointment, that we are still London's only B Corp brewery five years later, considering there are over 100 breweries in London.

A major factor that contributes towards our B Corp score is our commitment to water reduction. Whereas other breweries may use up to 10 pints of water for every pint of beer, we've reduced the amount of water that we use to around 1.5 pints. That's a saving of up to 80% for every pint of Small Beer crafted.


No doubt you've seen B Corps, like Small Beer, proudly display the logo - a capital 'B' in a circle - on their websites and packaging, but not everyone will know how powerful this letter can be or how difficult it is to achieve.

B Corps must undergo a certification process, determined by a point system, to verify that they meet specific criteria related to social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

It took Small Beer nine months to achieve B Corp certification. It's a tough process that requires a lot of time, effort and dedication for a small business.

Businesses are assigned a certification officer. They must demonstrate they meet a specific set of criteria to score at least 80 points out of a possible 200 points... which is no mean feat!

But that's not it. Re-certification happens every three years and this process can even more challenging than the initial certification.

The evolving nature of the impact assessment demands continuous improvement for a B Corp to better their score and retain their B Corp status.


Becoming a B Corp for the first time is an incredibly rewarding experience. It is an official seal that you are using your business as a force for good and it creates a culture of constant improvement due to B Lab's requirements for re-certification.

Anecdotally, we have found that the benefits of becoming a B Corp are invaluable. It has helped us to recruit and retain staff, as well as enhancing how people perceive our brand and better understand the emphasis that we put on running a sustainable brewery.

Since becoming a B Corp, we have furthered our impact by becoming a 1% for the Planet business, contributing 1% of total revenue to our neighbours at the Horniman Museum & Gardens. Working below the magnificent museum is an incredible aquarium team. They run an initiative called Project Coral, which we are funding to further their primary research into coral life cycles.

We are also committed to achieving net-zero status and we are working with Net Zero Now to reduce our carbon emissions. We look forward to sharing more information on this soon.