This year we made the decision to apply for a B Corporation certification (‘B Corp’). For those of you not in the know, B Corp is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee.
To become certificated you have to be more than just profit-making. You have to demonstrate that you give equal consideration to your social and environmental impact too. To us, this is much more than a certificate. We view it as a hallmark.
We believe this is fundamental to understanding your purpose. The FRC advocates this in the UK Corporate Governance Code 2018 and the Stewardship Code 2020. We believe understanding your purpose is pivotal for continued growth and long-term success. For that reason, we decided to practice what we preach and apply for certification.
To show our commitment, we have changed our articles of association so that we are for the benefit of society, the environment and our shareholders. This aligns our purpose with profit.
To receive the accreditation we had to submit evidence of how we consider each of the following within the health of our business model:
- Our shareholders;
- Our employees;
- Our suppliers;
- Society; and
- The environment.
As champions for governance, we know that the best way to evidence this is by having set standards that are embedded in an organisation and followed when conducting business. This is usually in the form of policies and procedures which are clear, understandable and accessible by all. Not only does it give clear direction to all employees on how to discharge their day to day duties, it streamlines our operations and sets a clear standard on what is expected culturally. This is governance.