International Call on B Corps - Breadth and Depht Strategies of B Corps in Pursuing SDGs. Learning from North and South

Breadth and Depth Strategies of B Corps in Pursuing SDGs. Learning from North and South.

Call for proposal “The Role of Business in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Global South” by the B Lab (the entity that encourages and manage the B Corporation certification), and the B Academics (the group of researchers and professors that advance research within the context of the B Corp movement)


The project's objective is to adopt breadth and depth conceptualization to explain B Corps strategies towards achieving the SDGs, across Global North and Global South. B Corps represent a set of hybrid social organizations, in which social and/or environmental objectives should be integrated into profitable business activity.

Thus, we analyze how B Corps contribute to the SDGs in terms of breadth and depth dimensions.

The main framework is the project implemented by Sistema B with the International Development Research Centre (Canadian Government); the aim is to inform, drive and generate renewed interest in business action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (the “Project”).

New data are exploited gathered from the SDG Action Manager: an impact assessment tool is developed to support businesses for their contributions to the SDGs, and existing data collected from the B Impact Assessment (a tool adopted by firms to assess the impact on their community, environment, workers, and customers).

The aim of the project “Breadth and Depth Strategies of B Corps in Pursuing SDGs.

Learning from North and South” is to be coherent with this call asking for proposals on how the business community can achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The concept of breadth identifies the extent to which firms' efforts are directed to target a vast number of SDGs.

The higher the breadth, the higher the awareness concerning the diversity of sustainable development declination.

On the other hand, the concept of depth determines how the organizations focus on each specific SDGs, concerning the internal practices (i.e., business model, internal operations) and external engagement (i.e., supply chain, collective action). This measure indicates the organizational effort for a particular SDG.     

The three main goals within the context of certified B Corps are:

a)         Providing 2X2 matrix of certified B Corps located in South America and Europe, along the dimension of breadth and depth, distributed among the four types identified – Fully focused, Generalists, Specialists, and Polymaths –, depending on the extent to which they stress breadth and depth approaches to SDGs.

The aim is to capture Global North versus Global South potential heterogeneity for which the B Corp context strategically organizes SDGs.

b)         Understanding the antecedents of breadth and depth combinations, distinguished by size, sector, and country. The context of B Corps is extremely heterogeneous, and our aim objective is to look for specific boundary conditions that explain the potential differences.

c)         Defining potential policy implications as a consequence of the results achieved.


Coordinator: Prof. Federica Bandini; Members of the Team: Prof. Laura Toschi, Dr. Magalì Fia, and Dr. Leonardo Boni -  University of Bologna Department of Management – Italy


Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) of the City of Mexico - Grupo de Investigación en Cooperativismo y Organizaciones de la Economía Social y Solidaria - Mexico

Duration: 12 months – from 11/09/20 to 30/06/21 (probably postponed to 30/08/2)

Sustainable Development Goals:

8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

12 Responsible Consumption and Production