BCorps are businesses that commit to the highest social and environmental standards for people and planet. And it is not easy to become one.
Becoming a BCorp
Becoming a certified BCorp isn’t easy. We need to pass a rigorous test every three years to prove we meet tough standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We think it keeps us honest to ourselves, and shows we mean what we say.
There are now more than 3000 B Corporations across more than 65 countries, from Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia, to Natura and The Guardian as well as smaller companies like us. Whoever we are, being a BCorp shows that we care passionately about creating a better world and are trying to do something about it. BCorps use profits and growth to create a positive impact for their employees, communities and the environment. And we work globally to reduce inequality and poverty, strive for a healthier environment, and work to build happier communities.
If you want to know more about BCorp click here.
How did we become a BCorp?
The BCorp assessment process measures a business’s performance in five areas – governance, workers, community and the environment – using independent standards of social and environmental performance.
If we’re honest, we thought qualifying would a be doddle for us; we’re a fairly small team, and we have thought pretty deeply about how we behave towards each other and to society in general. The BCorp assessment process was a real wake-up call. It made us think far more deeply about our own assumptions and far more broadly about our impact and our role. We Certified successfully, which is amazing, but we had to make changes; and we recognise that we are not ‘done’ – it’s an ongoing process of improvement.
However, here are a few of the things that make us a Certified BCorp:
- We love to work for a wide range of charities, not-for-profit and educational institutions and have always been happy to give our time away. As a BCorp we are now formally committed to donate at least 5% of our yearly hours to pro bono work for these organisations. It can include big stuff like advising and developing strategy for global charitable organisations, or contributions to educational conferences, to smaller things like local volunteering.
- We believe in the power of research. We sponsor global research into purpose with our partners at Cambridge University. We have also established a Community Interest Company through which we channel an increasing chunk of what we earn as a business. Our CIC is committed to investing at least 60% of profits to support charities, reasearch and education in purpose and socially responsible business.
- We’re committed to reduce our environmental impact every year. If we can’t walk or cycle, we take the train. If we really have to drive or fly, we offset our carbon. We still get in the car or on a plane more than we’d like to but we’re working on it. We try not to buy stuff we don’t need and, if we do have to upgrade technology, we recycle the old.
- We don’t set hours or restrict holiday time for our people or run control over peoples’ lives. We take as much time off as we need. We do not judge others on their hours but on what they contribute to our purpose.