Announcing Oyster’s B Corp certification
At Oyster, our mission is woven into our DNA: to create a more equal world by making it possible for companies to hire people anywhere. After all, we know that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.
This mission is why we’re registered as a public benefit corporation. It’s why our impact thesis lays out a vision for how global hiring and remote work can help reduce global inequality while also being better for business, for people, and for the environment. It’s why we’re committed to publishing an annual impact report to hold ourselves publicly accountable to our mission and impact goals.
Today, we’re delighted to announce that Oyster is now a certified B Corp thanks to our commitment to social and environmental responsibility in our business practices. This milestone has been nearly three years in the making, due to Oyster’s rapid growth.
After a rigorous assessment process, Oyster has been certified in two impact business models: Mission Lock and Workforce Development. In other words, we’ve been recognized for our commitment to impact through a business model that binds our mission into the company’s bylaws, and for providing training and employment opportunities to underserved communities to promote diversity, inclusion, and economic mobility.
What is a B Corp?
B Corporations are businesses that demonstrate the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability to stakeholders, and transparency about their business practices. These are companies that take their social and environmental responsibility as seriously as their financial performance and profits. Rather than focusing solely on shareholder profits, B Corp companies always consider the interests of their workers, customers, communities, and the environment.
B Corporations are leaders in promoting systems change, paving the way toward more inclusive, equitable, ethical, and sustainable ways of doing business. They are part of a global movement of companies that want business to be a force for good in the world.
Currently, only a small percentage of companies have B Corp certification. Our successful certification is a testament to Oyster’s dedication to creating a better world, and we are honored to be part of this exclusive group that includes such household names as Patagonia and Coursera, as well as our partner Culture Amp.
What is the significance of B Corp certification?
Through B Corp certification, for-profit companies can demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and their willingness to be accountable to all stakeholders and not just shareholders. Since they’re required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, B Corps are also focused on continuous improvement, leading to their long-term resiliency.
Oyster’s B Corp certification is a welcome recognition of our commitment to both internal and external impact. It reinforces our belief in the power of global employment and distributed work to elevate talent around the world, stimulate local economies, reverse the brain drain, and enable companies to reduce their carbon footprint. Internally, it confirms that our governance structure, operations, policies, and processes are transparent, mission-aligned, and employee-centric, fostering a workplace culture where people can grow and thrive.
Being B Corp certified will help Oyster build trust with our customers, partners, vendors, staff, and Team Members around the world. As more and more people choose to work for, buy from, and invest in companies whose values align with their own, the companies that will thrive in the long term are the ones that balance profit and purpose. As a B Corp, we’ll be able to better attract and retain top talent, as well as attracting investors who seek companies that combine doing good with doing well. Ultimately, it will help us achieve our goal of driving systems change.
How do you get certified as a B Corp?
B Corp certification is a rigorous process that evaluates how a company’s business model and operations impact its workers, community, environment, and customers. It requires answering detailed questions on areas like internal governance, diversity, employee benefits, handling of customer data, supply chain practices, and much more. Companies must score at least 80 out of 200 points in order to achieve B Corp certification. It’s a months-long process that requires detailed and diligent documentation and reporting of data for evaluation by a B Lab analyst.
During the review process, the B Lab analyst verifies the information and data provided, and may highlight areas for improvement or areas requiring clarification. After a successful verification, if the final score is 80 or above, the company is awarded B Corp certification. Currently, there are 6,700 certified B Corporations across 90 countries and 160 industries.
Oyster’s journey to B Corp certification
For Oyster, the path to B Corp certification took almost three years!
B Corp has different levels of requirements based on the size of the company, and when we first submitted our information for review, we were less than 20 people. By the time we were assigned an analyst for the evaluation process, we were at 100 people. As Oyster grew rapidly in 2021 and 2022, we kept outgrowing the previous criteria and getting bumped to the next tier with a new set of reporting requirements. Add in the delays and backlogs caused by COVID-19, and the review process ended up taking a full two years.
Gathering and submitting the required information, data, and documentation took a massive effort from Oyster’s Legal team, who chased down the required data and metrics from teams and departments across Oyster over two years. But it’s not enough to simply supply the information—our audit expert got us over the finish line by presenting the material in a way that made it easy for auditors to review and approve. Along the way, colleagues in Workplace, People Services, Sales, Legal, the Mission Squad, and more played their part in helping Oyster reach our goal. Achieving B Corp certification was truly a company-wide effort!
Joining the B Corp movement
B Corp certification is an important milestone that reaffirms Oyster’s commitment to its mission and values. We’re proud to join a community of organizations that are committed to positive change and are passionate advocates for impact-focused standards and policy reform.
Oyster’s mission to create a more equal world of work strongly aligns with the principles of the B Corp movement. The B Corp movement recognizes the challenges posed by the current economic system, which often results in social and economic inequality, environmental degradation, and a decline in individual well-being. By enabling companies to hire talent anywhere in the world, Oyster supports B Corp’s goal of creating a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative global economy.
As a certified B Corporation, Oyster is dedicated to contributing to the outcome envisioned by the B Corp movement: a world where businesses lead the way in transforming the global economy to make it more equitable, sustainable, and human. Together, we will continue working to realize this vision and foster a positive impact on people, communities, and the planet.
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