Does Placework have the power to drive a global culture shift?  Not alone, surely.  But we have been encouraged lately by becoming part of a movement that does seek to transform the culture of business on a global scale.  Certified B Corporations work toward a future that supports a more just and equitable distribution of resources, and they support this goal through their own business practices.

This mission resonated with our team as we considered how to adapt our business over the past year in the wake of the pandemic. We’ve taken deliberate steps to not just “get back to normal,” but to make sure that we were manifesting our values in all aspects of our business. Throughout 2021 we have been working toward becoming a Certified B Corporation, and we’ve recently gotten a boost as part of the UNH Sustainability Institute’s B Impact Clinic.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

– B Lab

Photography by Micky Bedell, UNH


The path to certification starts with the B Impact Assessment.  The assessment is a free online tool that any business can use to gage its practices relative to the B Corp standard.  It is a step by step “deep dive” into business practices regarding Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.  The B Impact Assessment has challenged us to take stock of our own practices and make sure that we, even as a small company, have policies in place that support our staff, our community, and the environment.  As we began the assessment, we were able to answer many questions with “Oh! We already do that – great.  Now we just have to write it down.”   Other questions challenged us to recognize the ways in which we could be better supporting our workers or community, and encouraged us to create new policies or practices.


UNH’s B Impact Clinic works with a handful of businesses each semester.  Each company enrolled in the program is paired with a team of students and a business advisor.  Throughout the fall semester, we have met weekly our team as they thoughtfully analyze our B Impact Assessment, helping us to refine and document our practices and raising topics that we might target for future development.  In addition to this helpful consulting, the team is developing an Impact Report, a concise way to document our practices and chart a path for the future.

We have been so impressed with the professionalism and creativity of this group of students.  They represent a broad spectrum of majors and experience but share a passion for and a commitment to environmental responsibility.   This week the team visited our office for the first time and it was a treat to be able to meet in person.

Katie Hoppler ‘22, Peer Mentor – Economics and English Journalism

Noor Malik ’23 – Information Systems and Business Analytics

Emily Nottonson ’22 – Community and Environmental Planning

Maddie Strange ’23  – Civil and Environmental Engineering


Due to our diligent internal work and the added efforts of our B Impact team, we are now able to report greater than the required 80 points for certification and have submitted our assessment for review.  Due to high demand worldwide – which is great! – B Lab is currently taking up to eight months to review and certify new companies. So, although we’re eager to be recognized for all the work that we’ve done, it may be some time before we can announce our certification. Stay tuned!