The effect of Corporate Social Responsibility and certifications on firm financial performance
: the case of UK Certified B Corps

  • Catarina Francisca da Rocha e Silva (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The trade-off between profits and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been institutionalized for decades, but perceptions are changing. Certified B Corporations (CBC) are hybrid companies that focus on people, planet and profits at the same time. This thesis strives to investigate the relation between being a CBC and a firm’s financial performance, evaluating if there is an effect due to the certification itself or due to the practice of certain CSR practices. To answer this, secondary data was collected from the FAME database and the CBCs Directory. Regression analysis was used to compare CBCs to companies that do not engage in CSR activities, to compare CBCs to Community Interest Companies, and to compare current CBCs that were certified at the time of financial information to current CBCs that were not certified yet. Return on Assets was the dependent variable, as it relates to sustainability and efficiency. The findings of this dissertation suggest that CBCs have better financial performance than non CBCs and that this effect is not due to the certification but because of CSR practices. Evidence also suggests that CBCs that obtained the certification before others have more positive impact on society and environment. The results indicate that investing in CSR or activities improves financial performance and that the costs of certification balance out the positive financial impact. However, it is recommended that managers seek the B Corp certification, as it causes no financial harm while allowing for a better impact on society and environment.
Date of Award15 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorOzlem Arikan (Supervisor)


  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporate shared value
  • Hybrid companies
  • Certified B corporations
  • B impact assessment
  • Community interest companies


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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