Neighborhood Sun Celebrates 7 Years as a Certified B Corp

We’re excited to share with our community that Neighborhood Sun has been certified as a B Corp by B Lab for the third time (companies must undergo recertification every 3 years). A LOT has changed since our last certification in 2020. Our company has nearly tripled in size. We manage 900% more community solar farms than we did back then, in addition to having nearly tripled our number of employees.

Why is Neighborhood Sun a B Corp?

We exist to use business as a force for good, and we’re beyond grateful to be a part of a community that is working to foster a global economy that benefits all people, communities, and the planet.

Neighborhood Sun has been a Certified B Corp since 2017–just a few short months after it was incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation in the state of Maryland. Even before its conception, it was always destined to be a B Corp because of our Founder and CEO, Gary Skulnik’s, early involvement in the B Corp movement. Gary founded another clean energy company before Neighborhood Sun, which was one of the first 82 companies to be certified as a B Corp in 2007. When he later founded Neighborhood Sun, there was no question that it would undergo the same rigorous certification process to ensure the highest level of transparency and accountability. It has always been a point of pride for us as well as a guidebook for seeking constant improvement as we strive to deliver the most positive impact possible to our solar community.

What does it take to get certified?

B Lab (the global nonprofit organization that certifies companies as B Corps) created the B Impact Assessment, which includes 100+ questions across 5 categories to evaluate a company’s standards of social and environmental impact, transparency, and accountability:

  • Governance
  • Environment
  • Customers
  • Workers
  • Community

After submitting your answers and documentation, a B lab analyst goes back and forth with you to dive deeper into certain questions and request further documentation to back up the company’s answers. Accordingly, we disclose information and documentation related to finances, employment practices, and formal company policies. At the end of this process, the company is assigned a B Corp Score based on the assessment to quantify its overall impact as a company. The B Impact Assessment is used by over 150,000 companies, and receiving a minimum verified score of 80 points on the assessment is the first step towards B Corp Certification.

What is Neighborhood Sun’s B Corp Score?

In this latest recertification, Neighborhood Sun scored 105.8. To put that in perspective, the median score on the assessment is 50.9, compared to the 80 points required to be eligible for certification. Although this latest score is lower than the score we received in 2020, we are proud to be having a more positive impact than ever, and we are dedicated to continuous improvement, always. The B Impact Assessment serves as a helpful guide to evaluate where we stand in regard to the impact our company has on our stakeholders and which steps we can take to improve, but we also understand that it’s about more than just chasing more points each time. For example, in the context of community solar, we see “local” as indicating that a subscriber’s community solar farm is local to that subscriber’s community, rather than our Maryland headquarters because that’s what allows them to support their own community’s transition to clean energy.

Since our last certification, we have expanded to bring clean, affordable energy access to households in 7 states, but we ended up losing points for that because our business model is only considered local if our subscribers are local to our Maryland headquarters, not the community solar farms they are subscribed to. Maryland is still our hometown and where our closest ties remain, but we are determined to continue growing our impact by serving communities across the country and not just in our state.

For the past few years, we have been incredibly proud to hold the highest B Corp Score in the community solar industry. Although we can no longer wield that title, we are thrilled to see other players in the community solar space stepping up to the plate and becoming B Corps as well. When it comes to using business as a force for good, the more the merrier! We will always have room for improvement, and we’re excited to continue finding new ways to benefit people, communities, and the planet.

To learn more about our score, visit our B Corp profile or reach out to [email protected] with any questions.


Community Solar Customer Login

If you are getting solar from:

If you are getting solar from: