What do The Body Shop, Sipsmith Gin, Teapigs and Work.Life all have in common? We’re all B Corp-certified businesses! In fact, there are over 1,100 B Corps in the UK, with even more starting to recognise the benefits of joining the exclusive ethical club.
If you’re wondering what B Corp status means for businesses and, importantly, what it means for you, keep reading. We’ll tell you what B Corp actually means and why buying from B Corp-certified businesses is important.
So, what is a B Corp?
A B Corp is a company that is certified by the non-profit B Lab (where “B” stands for “benefit”) to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
The certification process starts with an application and an in-depth review of a business’ practices. Once a company meets the application requirements and passes an inspection, it officially becomes a Certified B Corporation (or “B Corp”).
Becoming B Corp certified is serious business, and it takes a lot of work and absolute dedication. From start to finish, it took us almost two years to obtain our certification, which we proudly got in January 2022 (read more about our journey to becoming B Corp)
Businesses go through an intense testing process that looks at five impact areas: Governance, Community, Workers, Environment and Customers. They must score at least 80 points on what B Lab calls the B Impact Assessment, which is independently verified. Then, you must re-certify every three years to keep your shiny B Corp status.
Phew – we’re exhausted just thinking about it!
Our point is, when you buy from a B Corp – or work with one – you can relax knowing you’re supporting a business committed to making positive change in the world.
The right thing to do
From brand building and increasing credibility to reducing your carbon footprint and saving money, there are many benefits of being a B Corp. But being a certified B Corp isn’t just great for businesses; it’s good news for us as consumers, our communities, and the wider world we live in.
There’s been a huge rise in conscious consumerism in recent years, with 75% of us consciously modifying our behaviour when it comes to consumer items. It’s clear people are more environmentally and socially conscious than ever before.
But when you’re trying to sniff out those more sustainable and ethical brands, there’s so much to consider. Looking for the B Corp stamp of approval, or other sustainable certifications like Fairtrade and Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free, is one way to help.
Of course, we know you can’t buy everything from a B Corp. And there are many sustainable companies out there that don’t have a B Corp certification yet. But it’s one simple way to check which brands are dedicated to positively impacting the world.
Put simply, buying from B Corp businesses is the right thing to do.
Align with your values
A B Corp certification also shows a company’s entire social and environmental impact. So, buying from a B Corp helps you support progressive businesses with a strong sense of purpose and positive impact on society and the environment. Who doesn’t want to be a part of all that wholesomeness?
What’s more, B Corp-certified businesses show they have a purpose beyond simply making money. They want to create a positive influence through their business practices, products or services. Being a B Corp is all about putting people and the planet before profit. And it’s something we fiercely believe in as we strive to create sustainable, inclusive and happier workspaces.
If you have strong social and/or environmental morals, buying from a B Corp is a great way to support a business that aligns with your values. And, because B Corp businesses are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, customers, suppliers, community, and environment, you can be sure they practice what they preach.
A mark of trust
You see, being a B Corp involves more than just good intentions; it’s also about living up to a certain standard. With such high accountability measures, transparency is a big part of a B Corp certification. So, it’s usually a mark of trust when buying from a brand.
This is particularly important if you want to shop more sustainably. More of us now want to know where our products are produced, the environmental impact and whether workers are getting fair pay, for example.
Sustainability is a big thing for most people these days. By looking out for brands with the B Corp logo, you can be more confident that your money will go to a business that is doing good in the world.
Proud to be a B Corp
As you can probably tell, we’re proud to be a B Corp workspace. Our B Corp journey has only just begun, but we have the tools to continue developing our ambitious sustainability strategy. We also plan to produce a yearly impact report to share with our members, suppliers, and partners.
Here are just a few of the initiatives that helped us become a B Corp workspace:
- Renewable energy suppliers provide 100% of our electricity
- We have recycling programmes in place in all our locations
- We use energy-efficient devices and light sensors
- We track different attributes of our workforce to promote more diversity
- We follow an environmental PPP (Preferable Purchasing Policy) when choosing a supplier
- We give £5 to charity for every new member that joins Work.Life
Our B Corp members
Of course, we love our members equally, but we couldn’t not shout about our members who are B Corps could we?
We have sustainability advisors 3Keel in our Bermondsey location who specialise in working with food systems, supply chains and landscapes. Then there’s Skating Panda in Fitzrovia – a creative social and environmental impact consultancy which helps businesses turn their intent into real impact.
For sustainable branded merch, look no further than Project Merchandise. The Camden-based team helps businesses build a positive brand impact. At our sustainable workspace in Manchester, Manifest is an international creative agency on a mission to “build brands that change the world”.
And last but not least, Greenheart is based at our Holborn location. Their team of sustainability consultants help companies work ever better for people and the planet.
A committed B Corp workspace
Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need B Corp certifications one day? We mean if one day it was standard practice for all businesses to meet the required criteria to achieve B Corp status. We can but dream.
Until then, looking out for that B Corp seal of approval is an excellent way to support brands that strive to make a positive mark.
Read more about our commitment to our people, our communities, and our planet.