B Corp is to business, as Fair Trade is to Coffee
We want to put our money where our valance is and show to our community that we put planet and people above profits. It doesn't mean for a minute that we are not commercial it just means that we also think about our impact on those around us when we make decisions such as what products we are going to sell, what packaging we use, the factories we work with and how we look after our people.
It's not just pillow talk... to join this special club and be a verified B Corp we must meet ambitious standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
We have rigorously assessed our practices, policies and procedures and scored as many points as possible before we submit our application.
We have answered over 250 questions across 5 main areas of our business such as:
- Governance: code of ethics; financial information disclosure; whistle-blower policy; mission and engagement.
- Workers: career development; health, wellness, and safety; measuring satisfaction and engagement.
- Environment: environmental management system; recycling materials; water, waste, and energy usage.
- Community: engagement and giving; diversity, equity, and inclusion; supply chain management.
- Customers: how we look after our customers including customer feedback or complaint procedures; regularly monitoring customer outcomes and wellbeing.
Why is being a B Corp so important to us.
Authenticity and the ability to demonstrate that being a better business is enormously important to us underpins our application. There are many ways organisations can demonstrate their commitment to these intentions such as alignment with the UNs 17 Sustainable Development Goals, One Percent for the Planet, Climate Neutral, rePurpose and EU Ecolabel.
We chose B Corp because we love the idea of connecting with like-minded businesses who are trying to do better in all aspects of their business and the benefits include:
- We will become part of a special club. We will join other companies doing all kinds of wonderful things but what brings us together is our common goal of being a force for good. B Corps love to share the good with each other what is good for business, and good for the ecology of a socially responsible business.
- It is a great achievement for us to shout about. Like minded, suppliers, partners, prospective employees, and customers are looking for people just like us.
- It makes us be better. We have to score at least 80 points on the Impact Assessment, even the highest scorers tend to achieve ratings in the low 100s. We can benchmark ourselves against other companies doing wonderful things and set high standards for future goals and objectives.
- We are honestly committed to creating environmental and societal benefits.
- It ensures that our community has a voice too. Being a self sufficient, successful business is important to us, but so is our community; our people, our suppliers, and our customers.
The application process won't happen overnight. We have already conducted our impact assessment (achieved more than 80 points) and submitted our application for assessment.
The next step is for us to sit patiently and wait in the evaluation queue (this could take up to 12 months). This lengthy wait time is a great indicator of this movement in business and that so many other UK companies are starting their B-Corp journey. The evaluation process itself will take about 3 months.
Then we move over to the verification queue which we are told takes about another 6 months and then, it will take us about 3 months to be verified.
So, you can see we are in it for the long haul, but we are big believers in using our business as a force for good and that the wait will be worth it.