Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Fiona Wilson
Director/Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer
Sustainability Institute/UNH
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
B Impact Clinic

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The B Impact Clinic was launched in the spring of 2019, by the UNH Sustainability Institute through our Changemaker Collaborative, a partnership with the Paul College of Business & Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy. The Changemaker Collaborative is our platform at UNH for engaging students in hands-on, community-based, experiential learning in sustainability. The B Impact Clinic program is also a partnership with New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR)and the national non-profit B Lab.
The B Impact Clinic gathers teams of undergraduate students from many majors and disciplines to serve as consultants for regional companies that are working to complete their B Impact Assessment (BIA). Students work in teams of three, each supported by a peer mentor (a student who has completed the clinic at least once before) and a faculty mentor and/or business community mentor. The BIA is an open-access, rigorous assessment tool, which is widely regarded as a comprehensive way to assess a company’s sustainability impact, and is the basis for B Corp certification. Students help company leaders who want to address their social and environmental impact. Students are matched with companies to help them complete the BIA, become B Corp certified, re-certified, or to simply understand how they perform.
Since 2019, the B Impact Clinic has worked with over 20 clients, including companies like Stonyfield, Orvis and LL Bean, as well as a host of smaller companies, all of whom have improved their scores on the BIA and their sustainability practices. As a result of the Clinic a number of clients have already achieved B Corp certification, or recertification, and many others are pending.
The program has engaged almost 100 students since the program began. Each student spends over 60 hours per student spent engaged in experiential learning each semester in sustainable business practices.
The BIA is administered by B Lab, a nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The assessment examines a company's impact on their workers, community, environment, and customers along with the company's governance structure and accountability. To become a certified B Corp a company must score 80 out of 200 available points.
The standards for B Corp Certification are overseen by B Lab's independent Standards Advisory Council. Members of the Standards Advisory Council bring industry and stakeholder expertise to bear during the three-year update cycle for the B Impact Assessment, complaints made against Certified B Corps, and material disclosures made by companies pursuing B Corp Certification.
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 Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
B Corp certification is about a decade old. There are now over 4,000 companies across 150 industries that are certified including Patagonia, Danone, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot, Seventh Generation and Eileen Fisher. New Hampshire is proud to be home to several leading B Corps including Stonyfield, W.S. Badger, Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs, ReVision Energy, Veris Wealth Partners, and Mascoma Bank. There are a number of certified B Corps in the surrounding states as well.
The Clinic is a real-world learning opportunity for students to step out of the traditional classroom to work with local companies and gain first-hand experience of what makes a truly sustainable business and successful B Corporation.
As an immersive learning project and an excellent educational platform, the Clinic is centered around the BIA, due to the comprehensive and rigorous assessment that evaluates all aspects of the company’s operations.
Participants meet weekly to collaborate on their project and participate in lectures and activities discussing how companies can benefit from a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.
Students gain:
• Experience working with businesses in a professional environment on a project that will contribute to the company’s overall success
• Experience working with peers from all years and different majors
• Gain invaluable project management skills
• Resume building
• Expanded professional network to local NH and ME businesses
• Earn credit: This program is approved curriculum as part of the Paul College of Business’ Business in Practice (BiP) program. Students from any college/major can participate in the program and receive 2 academic credits.
Students are responsible for doing the following:
• Meet weekly with clients/B Impact Clinic cohort
• Spend approximately 1 hour outside of weekly meetings to prepare and complete follow-up work
• Attend and prepare for the four major events of the semester (which generally run from 5:20-7:00 on Wednesday nights)
o Student Orientation (first week of classes)
o Client Kick-off (Second week of classes. Clients present their businesses and goals for the semester and students are able to rank who they would most like to work with)
o Mid-Semester Check-in (a chance to meet in person with your clients to reflect on, and share with the cohort, what you’ve completed thus far and what your plan of action for the rest of the semester is)
o Final Presentation Showcase (each team shares the work they completed and the lessons they learned from the Clinic in a 10 minute presentation to clients, UNH faculty and staff, family and friends)
Company partners (clients):
• Identify a single point person within their company to serve as a primary contact with the student team and commit at least 1 hour per week to the B Impact Clinic
o This person must commit to weekly video calls with their student consultants. Ideally this would be done on Wednesdays from 5:10-6:00 (as this is when the Clinic meets) but timing can be flexible
• Participating companies must complete the B Impact Assessment prior to the program start. While not every question has to be answered with 100% certainty, an initial pass through of all the questions you are able to answer is an invaluable time saver. This will allow for the students to dive into helping with the intricacies of the assessment as well as documentation and suggested improvements as soon as possible.
• In order to participate fully, company participants are expected to have a representative participate in person or virtually to each of the semester’s three key events:
o Company Kick-off (in which clients present their businesses and goals for the semester to the student consultants)
o Mid-semester meeting (a chance to meet in person with your student consultants to reflect on the progress you’ve made and plan for the final few weeks)
o Final Presentation Showcase (each team shares the work they completed and the lessons they learned from the Clinic in a 10 minute presentation to clients, UNH faculty and staff, family and friends)

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.