ATNI’s statement on the updated B corp Certification9 December 2022
On December 7th 2022, B Lab published its revised eligibility criteria for B Corp Certification relating to companies that market breast-milk substitutes. Following a multistakeholder consultative process on the revised criteria, B Lab and its independent Standards Advisory Council (SAC) have set requirements for companies to be eligible for, as well as conditions for companies to maintain, B Corp Certification. However, although all companies are eligible for B Corp Certification – provided they meet the set criteria – B Lab’s updated requirements differ between companies that are assessed on ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index and those that are not part of the respective Index.
For companies assessed on ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index, B Lab and its SAC have established minimum score requirements for ATNI companies to achieve and maintain B Corp Certification. Companies would need to receive a score of at least 55% on ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index to be eligible for initial B Corp Certification, whereas maintaining B Corp Certification would require a company to have a score of at least 75% on the Index by 2030. On the other hand, companies that are not assessed on ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index and wholesale/distributors that earn more than 1% of revenue from BMS are considered eligible for initial B Corp Certification if they meet the first step of the BMS Call to Action towards full Code compliance; to maintain the certification non-ATNI companies are required to fully comply with the Code by 2030.
ATNI welcomes any initiative that aims to drive improved BMS/CF marketing practices by industry. ATNI was consulted by B Lab on the revised requirements for BMS/CF companies’ B Corp Certification. However, it should be noted that the final published criteria do not reflect endorsement by ATNI. ATNI’s methodology remains independent of B Corp Certification requirements. ATNI strives for BMS/CF companies to achieve full compliance with the Code (i.e. a score of 100% on the BMS/CF Marketing Index) and we urge all companies, including those which are not part of its Indexes, to market their BMS/CF products responsibly to foster an environment supportive of optimal infant and young child feeding practices in line with public health guidance.
Therefore, ATNI views that all companies should be evaluated equally against one set of criteria irrespective of whether or not they are assessed by ATNI on BMS/CF marketing. ATNI selects companies based on the highest global retail sales values of BMS and/or CF products. The revised B Corp Certification criteria do not impact ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index methodology – changes to ATNI’s methodology are applied to reflect developments in public health guidance and incorporate stakeholder feedback to improve the assessments. We understand that B Lab recognizes that ATNI’s BMS/CF Marketing Index methodology changes may impact the minimum (ATNI) score requirements set for B corp Certification and we encourage B Lab to consider these revisions in reviewing the Certification criteria.