B (or Benefit) Corporations first emerged in the USA five years ago. They are companies that can demonstrate they have a social and environmental mission and strong ethical values that are reflected in the way they do business. Directors and officers must consider the effect of their decisions on all their stakeholders: shareholders and employees, suppliers, customers, community and the environment.
It works like a certification scheme for ethical companies – akin to Fairtrade products or organic food. There are now over 1,300 B Corporations worldwide, in 41 countries but (unusually) the UK has been a bit slow off the mark. That’s about to change with a formal launch in September at which over 50 companies are expected to have qualified. We intend to be one of the pioneers because the requirements are very much in line with our core values. By becoming a B Corporation we can establish clear guidelines for our policies on employment, dealing with suppliers, our impact on the environment and how to help others less fortunate than us. These policies will also be transparent and available for all to see.
We are really excited about the implications of this for us and will keep you updated as it unfolds.
For further information on B Corporations visit: bcorporation.uk