Rachel Mattenberger (l); Jacob Taddy (r)

OASE Interns at B Impact program, Portland State University (PSU)

Degree: Master of Business Administration (MBA)

University: Portland State University
 

 


 

Project Summary

Jacob Taddy and Rachel Mattenberger led the 2018-19 B Impact PSU program, which helps client companies pursue B Corp certification and supports graduate students in learning project management skills. 

Questions about this project? Contact Lisa Cox

BACKGROUND

   

B Impact PSU is a consulting service for companies engaged in B Corp certification, a points-based system that verifies businesses meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. The student-led program (the PSU chapter of Net Impact), matches businesses with graduate student teams to develop a path to achieve the 80 points necessary to become B Corp certified.

The primary objective of the B Impact program is to support clients in becoming B Corp certified. Another important objective, however, is to provide students a platform to develop competencies emphasized in PSU's MBA program, including project management, leadership, and advancing sustainability and social justice best practices in the private sector. 

SOLUTIONS

The 2018-19 B Impact program was led by two OASE interns, Rachel Mattenberger and Jacob Taddy. Consulting team deliverables varied widely by client needs. All student teams supported clients through the B Impact assessment (often developing multiple "path to 80 points" options), identified areas to improve social and environmental impacts, documented current practices, and made recommendations for improvement. Some of the deliverables completed in the program include: 

  • Governance documents, such as codes of conduct, mission and vision statements, commitments to diversity and inclusion 
  • Formation of and policy edits in employee handbooks 
  • Supplier analysis and screening policies 
  • Environmental management and tracking systems

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

In the 2018-19 academic year, 27 B impact students engaged with 11 client companies. Of these clients, more than 50% achieved 80 or more points on the B Impact assessment and are pending certification. On average, B Impact clients more than doubled their scores while working with student consultants toward certification. 

B Impact student consultants evaluated the program highly, with the following statements receiving an average rating of 4.8/5.0:

  • Participating in this program was a valuable experience.
  • This program helped me connect with the business community. 
  • Working on this project gave me a deeper understanding of sustainability best practices.

  

6

client companies pending
B Corp certification

  

169% 

average score increase for
clients pending certification

  

27

graduate student
consultants