In 2016, Grupo Bancolombia, the largest bank in Colombia launched the first Measure What Matters (MWM) program in the region, in collaboration with B Lab and its sister organization in Latin America, Sistema B. The program’s initial focus was to use the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to measure and manage the social and environmental impacts of 100 of its key suppliers, to enhance the positive impact of the bank and its value chain.

You can donwload a PDF version of our case study here: Bancolombia Sustaianability Project - Measure What Matters

Case Study

Why was B Lab’s Measure What Matters program the right choice for Bancolombia?

Bancolombia had several programmatic objectives: 1) to understand how the companies in its supply chain are mission-oriented businesses, 2) to improve the sustainability performance of its supply chain, and 3) to strengthen the bank’s relationship with its suppliers. In order to fulfill these objectives, it was essential that the program included:

  • A self-assessment tool that went beyond ESG evaluation, to allow suppliers to understand their social, environmental, governance and economic impacts of their businesses on society
  • An analytics platform that provided both a holistic view of the impact of the bank and its network in their local community and that allowed the bank to focus on impact improvement with the businesses in its supply chain

After evaluating numerous impact assessment tools used by banks and corporations, Bancolombia chose the tools used by Measure What Matters partners - the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics - the best solution to fulfill its objectives.

How did Bancolombia’s Measure What Matters pilot program work?

At a launch event that convened Bancolombia’s largest suppliers, 100 mission-oriented suppliers were asked to complete the B Impact Assessment. In addition to completing the B Impact Assessment, Bancolombia’s asked businesses to also identify two to three actionable area for improvement over the next 12 months. Bancolombia ultimately invited 145 suppliers, of which over 111 completed the B Impact Assessment.

Once the suppliers had completed the B Impact Assessment, Bancolombia digested the individual and aggregated data in B Analytics.  The sustainability team used the data in its ESG supply chain analysis and reporting and generated performance reports for suppliers who completed the B Impact Assessment, highlighting areas for improvement, which allows Bancolombia to better understand the scale and composition of its supply chain

What were the outcomes of the program?

More than 80% of suppliers completed the entire B Impact Assessment.  In aggregate, those suppliers directly or indirectly employ more than 600,000 workers, allowing Bancolombia to better understand the scale and composition of its supply chain. Moreover, when compared against ordinary businesses (a benchmark available in B Analytics), the average Bancolombia supplier performed above average on governance, labor, environment and community practices. More than 30 companies earned more than 80 points, potentially qualifying for B Corporation certification. One company achieved B certification and two others started the verification process.

Some statistics from the program include:

  • Suppliers created over 17,656 jobs last year
  • On average, women hold 36% of executive positions at Bancolombia’s suppliers
  • 34% of suppliers have a high-to-low pay ratio between 1-5x, while 14% have a high-to low-pay ratio greater than 20x
  • 68% of suppliers have an environmental policy, while 16% monitor their energy consumption, and 11% of suppliers have a certified environmental management system

What are your plans for growing your Measure What Matters program?

As Bancolombia’s Measure What Matters program enters its second year, the Sustainability team plans on engaging more deeply with the suppliers who completed the pilot, to work with them on identifying areas for improvement and offering training support and guidance.  In May of 2017, Bancolombia expanded their program to begin to engage mission-aligned borrowers within the bank’s portfolio.


The program generated better relationships with our suppliers, building trust with them, being able to talk about different topics besides the business.

Andrés Felipe Perilla

10,000 Companies 146 Countries 196 Industries 92 Funds

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