5 Reasons your company should become a B Corp.
Entering lockdown there were news stories about companies who were doing the wrong thing. Companies that were putting profits ahead of people. The welfare of people, employees, the public, and key workers should have been protected by companies closing much sooner. Public outrage due to some very poor company practices from the likes of Waterstones, Weatherspoons, Sports Direct and more(link is to Metro with paid adverts)has demonstrated that now more than ever companies must put people ahead of profit.
B Corp logo with the 5 assessment categories, Governance, Workers, Community, Environment & Customers
What is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. — taken from B Lab Europe
Which companies are B Corporations?
A full list of B Corporations can be found in their directory. Some big names that you will have heard of that are committed to using business as a force for good are below:-
Companies like the above that have committed to being a B Corp go through a rigorous audit process. They have to demonstrate how their practices impact their workers, community, environment, and customers. From their supply chain and input materials to their charitable giving and employee benefits. B Corp Certification proves that the business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance. Once they have passed the evaluation they adopt the declaration of interdependence, they make guarantees to not only pursue profit for their shareholders but to ensure they balance profit with their environmental impact, social impact, community impact, and how they benefit their customers and wider society.
Why are companies becoming B Corps?
First and foremost becoming a B Corp, a company that puts purpose before profit is the right thing to do. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, a climate emergency, mental health, and wellbeing has never been more in jeopardy and we are fighting white supremacy. Companies must stand up and make changes to their practices that can have the positive impact that the world needs.
Customers, Team Members, investors, shareholders & suppliers will all develop better trust for a company that has strong values and ensures it always lives by those values and sticks to its purpose always. Greater transparency and openness in 2020 is seen as a key-value to customers. When Companies actively look after their employees, the community, the environment, and their customers then companies create a good culture around themselves. This breeds positivity in all of its forms throughout the chain.
2. Attract the best talent.
More and more people are looking for work with a purpose. By committing to putting your purpose at the forefront of everything you do you will attract the best talent. Millennials want to work for socially responsible businesses, There’s no better way to attract and engage mission-aligned talent than to verify your values with B Corp Certification.
The B Corp community is rapidly getting bigger.
There are 430 UK B Corps compared to 175 in Oct 2018 & there are now 3821 companies across 75 countries within the movement. B Corps have their own community to network & skill share, The B Hive. The bigger the community the greater the pull, when more businesses join & implement their own format of change & purpose the world becomes a better place.
4. Continual Improvement
Maintaining B Corp Certification through the B Impact Assessment is a powerful mechanism to help your company set goals for improvement, create more positive social and environmental impact, and track performance over time. Take for example REAL Fundraising, after completing our first Impact Assessment and becoming certified in 2018 we acknowledged we needed to do more for our environmental footprint. We have since increased our fleet of hybrid cars to 42% and become Carbon Positive as a company(We offset more CO2 than we produce).
The accreditation that comes with B Corp Certification helps your company shout about your mission. Being able to stand by and say that you are authentic in your mission and values adds credibility to the business for all stakeholders. The B Corp stamp on a product, website, product or business card instantly communicates that a company is a verified leader when it comes to positive impact and empowers individuals to confidently vote with their spending power.
To sum up.
Corporate social responsibility CSR isn’t a new topic, but the conversation has changed. For too long CSR has been used by corporations to greenwash their bad practices. B Corp certification shows that CSR is genuine, it’s part of the company’s mission, engrained within their DNA.
Consumers are willing to pay more to support good corporate citizens, and employees are looking to work for companies with values that reflect their own. Impact investors are looking for ways to make money while supporting positive environmental and social changes.
Using business as a force for good is the right thing to do.
Note: Danone is on a B Corp Journey to become the first global multinational to be fully B Corp Certified, this can be read about here. Currently they have 17 subsidiaries already B Corp Certified but not all Danone companies are B Certifed currently.