C-Level Makes B Corp Certification and joins the global movement of businesses remodelling to benefit beyond shareholders
It’s been a tough process but everything is now complete. The final checking of points brought us in over the benchmark to achieve certification, and we have made the legal changes to our company structure. After 2 months, C-Level is now truly inspired at becoming a certified B Corp in the UK.
B Corp, the global network of entrepreneurs using business as a force for good, have put together a rigorous approach to certification. This is fitting for a movement based on making it a legal requirement for companies to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders, but also on their stakeholders (workers, suppliers, community, consumers, and the environment).
“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders – it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet”…Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia
Let’s be clear this has taken a fair bit of time. C-Level is only a small consultancy – helping businesses navigate around carbon projects and their stories. But even so we have put in around 3 days over a couple of months. That could have been less, I could have held off diving into some of the rabbit holes that the B Corp assessment opened up for the business. But that would have spoiled the fun!
You can read more on C-Levels B Corp Assessment journey in my B Corp blog
B Fit for Purpose
Part of the challenge is where the B Corp Assessment opens up places we can improve on. It’s big on supply chain, which makes sense to us. Many of our clients are really going for assessing their carbon impact within their own supply chains. B Corp Assessment encourages companies to look at suppliers and find those that align in terms of mission.
Telecoms, Catering and Banking all came up for us. These are not the most important C-Level suppliers in terms of spend or in terms of impact socio ecologically, and we scored well on suppliers overall since working with forest communities is core to our mission. But the assessment did show us some nice low hanging fruit for action during the assessment.
First banking. Like many mission led businesses C-Level banks with the Cooperative Bank. Having seen recent big changes at this bank, I wanted to have a chat, pose a few questions around is it truly a cooperative? What banking standards have they signed up to? Looks like it’s going to take time to get through on this…so far we have not had any response. It’s similar story with our catering supplier.
This lack of progress really highlighted the importance of B Corp for me. Searching through company policies and chasing up sustainability managers is tough and time consuming. Que B Corp Certification!
B Corp Switch
We faired better when we looked at business telecoms. This has always been an active area for C-Level because of the carbon reduction inherent in the product.
The phone Cooperative provides what looks like a great business solution in the form of Unified Communications. Not just that, they manage their carbon footprint, and they are the only communications company that is a consumer cooperative. We are now in the process of moving our business over to the Phone Cooperative.
There is more we will look at for the future, but having sailed our ship over the benchmark for B Corp Certification, for C-Level our energy can now go into finding out more about the new community we have joined. First up is the 2 day B-Together Retreat for the UK in June. Can’t wait!
Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,000 Certified B Corporations in over 130 industries and 50 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business…B Lab, the not for profit building a global community of Certified B Corporations