We are excited to reveal that at the beginning of September, we embarked upon our journey to becoming a B Corp. As trusted advisors to many clients, we are in a unique position of responsibility and potentially able to positively affect a lot of businesses, and it is our hope that throughout this process, not only will we become a more sustainable and ethical business ourselves, but that we can positively impact our clients’ businesses too.
What is a B Corp?
A B Corporation, often called a B Corp, is like a regular business, but with a heart. It’s a type of company that’s not just all about making money – it’s also committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment. Think of it as a business with a purpose beyond profit.
To become a B Corp, a company has to meet some pretty strict standards when it comes to things like ethical business practices, sustainability, and social responsibility. They get a thorough checkup to make sure they’re doing good for the world, not just their bank accounts. When you see a company with that little “B” logo, it’s like a seal of approval. It means they’re serious about doing right by the planet and the people on it.
B Corps come in all shapes and sizes, from small startups to big corporations. They’re in various industries, but what they have in common is a commitment to using their business as a force for good. So, the next time you’re looking to support a business that cares about more than just profit, keep an eye out for those B Corps. They’re the ones making the world a better place while doing business.
Our starting point
Starting the B Corp process gives us the opportunity to assess our impact on 5 pillar areas, which will help us better understand our ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities in more depth. The idea is that after answering a series of questions, you receive an overall score, and to gain B Corp status you must achieve 80 or over. The Harland score is currently 52.3, so clearly we have some work to do before gaining B Corp status. But we’re in this for the long-haul and committed to building a sustainable business, so we’re looking forward to learning more about how to make improvements.
A guiding light
To guide us in the process of submitting our B Impact Assessment, we have signed up to a programme called B|23, which is run by the ethical design agency, Leap, who are based just down the road from us in Truro, Cornwall. This engaging series of workshops is designed to offer us guidance, support and inspiration, and we’re reaping the benefits of being part of this cohort.
Our journey so far
By Susan Wilson, Client Manager
“We are now halfway through our pillar sessions with Leap, which are guiding us through the, sometimes daunting, process of submitting our B Impact Assessment. Each session has been held at a different Cornish venue specifically chosen for having sustainability at their heart, such as The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, and Newquay Orchard. It has been really informative to visit and meet with other organisations whose values echo our own, and who are truly passionate about using business as a force for good.
During these sessions, we have heard from really inspirational and encouraging people. One which sticks with us is Bella Collins, from the innovative sustainable packaging company, HexiFlex. She reminded us to always focus on our values and to put them at the forefront of any decision making, to encourage teams to practice a kindness culture, and the value of celebrating milestones.
So far, I have been surprised to learn that becoming a B Corp is more than just the environment – it is also about our clients, and positively affecting the communities in which we operate. Whilst we definitely have some milestones to celebrate (such as an engaged and motivated team, and policies that reduce our environmental impact), our next step is to understand where our business can have the most impact and to align this with our company values. My gut feeling is that this will be focussing on community, and we already have a lot of ideas on the things we can do to improve in this area. I am excited to turn some of these ideas into reality.”
Since starting this process, we have already learnt so much! We know there is much to improve upon within our business but we are committed to the learning curve and understand that if we do achieve B Corp certification, that is not the end of the road. It will simply represent a significant step in our ongoing journey as a sustainable and inclusive business, and signifies our commitment to continuous improvement and being held to rigorous standards.
We look forward to sharing more of our continuing B Corp journey with you!