Client case:
Fælleskassen ready for B Corp-application

Client: Andelskassen Fælleskassen

Focus areas: B Corp-certificering, Strategiudvikling

Period: 2022

Advisors: Silke Sønderstrup-Granquist, Camilla Egeberg Rasmussen, Imprint Consulting, Ditte Deigaard, Sustainable Change

Imprint Consulting and Sustainable Change were advisors for Andelskassen Fælleskassen throughout 2022. The focus of the consulting process was the application process for B Corp certification.

The financial institution Fælleskassen has been purpose-driven since its founding in 1985. At Fælleskassen, they work to implement green, responsible, and social initiatives—such as new housing communities, tiny houses, energy renovation of homes, acquisition of electric cars, and support for businesses with a green or social vision.

For Fælleskassen, B Corp certification was the next natural step.

"At first, the employees thought we would have to start doing everything differently. But for Fælleskassen, B Corp is a way to document what we've always done. We have become more self-aware, and now we can document the responsibility DNA that has been with us since our founding," says Lene Friis, advisor and responsible for B Corp certification.

"Responsibility isn't just something we talk about. With B Corp, we can document that it's something we do."

Lene Friis, advisor og responsible for
B Corp-certification at Fælleskassen

Fælleskassen's B Corp score is the first thing you see when you enter their branch in Frederiksberg.

With the certification, Fælleskassen aims to demonstrate that they are a cooperative bank that takes social responsibility seriously.

The ambition of the consulting process is for Fælleskassen to achieve B Corp certification, thereby obtaining third-party validation of their commitment to responsibility.

Dialogue, Prioritization, and Documentation

When a company wants to apply for B Corp certification, they need to complete ‘The B Impact Assessment,’ a questionnaire with up to 250 questions and documentation requirements covering every aspect of the business. The form includes questions about everything from the company’s vision, employee conditions, and customer relations to environmental impact, energy consumption, and waste management.

It was clear that many of the practices required by B Corp were already embedded at Fælleskassen.

As advisors, we helped plan and guide Fælleskassen through the process, making it easy for them to focus on the essential work of identifying and documenting their responsibility practices. We facilitated dialogue, navigated and prioritized the extensive ‘B Impact Assessment,’ clarified questions, supported its completion, and helped create supporting documentation. We ensured ongoing involvement of employees, the board, and the representatives through workshops and working groups. Together, we set a strategic direction that created synergy between Fælleskassen’s existing strategy and B Corp, and developed a plan for long-term optimization potentials.

"We have had a fantastic collaboration with Silke, Ditte, and Camilla, who have supported and advised us through the B Corp certification process with good humor and seriousness."

Lars Michael Jensen, branch manager at Fælleskassen

As advisors, we wanted to make the process manageable and tangible. Therefore, we sat at the table with Fælleskassen's B Corp working group and reviewed one impact area at a time within: Governance, Environment, Workers, Community, and Customers. We helped map out what Fælleskassen was already doing and identified which areas needed prioritization to strengthen Fælleskassen's vision.

Employee Involvement is Key to Embedding

For the management, it was particularly important that employees were involved in the process and that the B Corp philosophy was embedded in the company.

Lene Friis, advisor and responsible for the B Corp certification, explains that it could be difficult for employees to explain in their own words what B Corp is and what it entails. Therefore, together with a group of employees, we created what Fælleskassen calls the "B Corp Handbook" for everyday use. A booklet that employees can rely on when talking to customers.

Today, the employees have a shared understanding and a language for Fælleskassen's sustainable efforts and their values.

Employees were involved through dialogues, workshops, and various employee committees, such as the handbook committee, a purchasing committee, and workshops on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The involvement was important for the employees, says Silke Sønderstrup-Granquist, who is a Sustainability Advisor at Imprint and advisor on the project, and elaborates:

The handbook "Together for the Future – The Path to B Corp Certification" is available to customers on the front desk in the welcome area and on the advisors' desks.

Graphic design by Jeanette Wetche, MaMa.

"The entire B Corp certification process made it clear to the employees that at Fælleskassen, things are done in a completely different way than other financial institutions, and that's something to be proud of."

Silke Sønderstrup-Granquist, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Imprint Consulting

What has Fælleskassen gained from the consulting process with B Corp certification as the focal point?

  • A baseline for Fælleskassen's current sustainability efforts, clarity on where they have the greatest impact, and a future perspective with specific points for further improvements.

  • Documentation of the company's responsibility.

  • New partnerships and access to the B Corps communities in the Nordics and the global network of B Corps - which share the same approach: To be the best for the world rather than the best in the world.

  • A common language, increased awareness, and confidence in communicating their own efforts and sustainable practices.

  • A physical booklet that articulates and supports the process Fælleskassen has gone through - the Pixi book: 'Together for the Future – The Path to B Corp Certification'.

Status on the B Corp-application

The application process concluded with Fælleskassen receiving a B Corp score of 106.5 points, and the completed 'B Impact Assessment' was submitted for review by B Lab back in the fall of 2022. The score may be adjusted up or down after the final review.

Fælleskassen became B Corp certified in March 2024 with a score of 103.4 points.

It has been a privilege to guide Fælleskassen through the B Corp application process, and we look forward to following and supporting them on their journey ahead.

If you also need assistance with the B Corp application process or simply want to discuss whether B Corp could be right for you, feel free to contact our in-house B Leader Silke Sønderstrup-Granquist via email or phone for an informal, introductory conversation.

At Imprint Consulting, we have assisted several companies through the B Corp application process. Among them are ELSK, yrolí, Sprit & Co, and Rudolph Care. The listed companies are all at different stages in the certification process, from application to re-certification.

What is B Corp?

B Corp is a third-party certification for companies that meet ambitious requirements for responsibility in all areas of their operations. B Corp is a global movement of companies where the common denominator for all is to redefine what creates success in business and in the world. In B Corp's own words, it's about being best for the world rather than the best in the world.

As a B Corp-certified company, you embed your 360-degree focus on responsibility into your articles of association, document your impact and actions, create a baseline, and map improvement opportunities.

To achieve B Corp certification, a minimum of 80 points is required in the online tool B Impact Assessment across five categories: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. The score must be evaluated and verified by B Lab, the organization behind the certification. Subsequently, recertification is required every three years. The tool is updated regularly to keep up with developments and best practices in sustainability, making it gradually more challenging to achieve 80 points.