Welcome to a new chapter in the h2o creative story, one that is both exciting and meaningful. Today, we are thrilled to share with you the initial steps we are taking on our journey to become a certified B Corporation (B Corp). This decision reflects our commitment to not only making a profit but also making a positive impact on the world.
As we take our first steps into the B Corp accreditation process, we want to share our experiences, challenges, and triumphs with you. We will be posting a series of blogs to serve as a record of our journey, a source of inspiration for others, and a platform for open dialogue within our organisation.
Firstly, what are certified B Corporations?
Certified B Corporations are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
B Corps commit to positively impact all stakeholders – workers, communities, customers, and our planet.
What does the B Corp certification process entail?
Certifying to be a B Corp company is a comprehensive and rigorous process. From supply chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification verifies that a business is meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
The process includes:
B Impact Assessment
The certification process starts with measuring the impact of your company’s entire operations through the completion of the B Impact Assessment. Covering approximately 200 questions, the B Impact Assessment examines a company’s impact on its key stakeholders (workers, community, environment and customers) as well as capturing and assessing best practices regarding the company's mission and governance. A company's B Impact Assessment score must be over 80 points in order to proceed through the certification process.
B Corp Legal Requirements
In addition to a company measuring and managing its impact through the B Impact Assessment, B Corps are also required to make a legal change in order to complete certification. This legal change is a commitment to consider the impact of decisions on the company’s stakeholders now and in the future by building this consideration into its constitutional documents. The B Corp Legal Requirement formalises your company’s alignment with the B Corp Movement’s values and embeds a stakeholder-focused mindset that separates B Corps from other businesses.
The B Corp Legal Requirement varies across countries but companies based in the UK are required to make an amendment to their constitutional documents committing to use business as a force for good, by:
- Creating a material positive impact on society and the environment through their business and operations
- Considering all ‘stakeholder interests’ when making decisions - including shareholders, employees, suppliers, society and the environment
The review process
Once you have completed the B Impact Assessment and have scored a minimum of 80 points, you can submit your assessment to B Lab and begin the review process. During the review process businesses are asked to provide documentation and evidence to support the answers given in the B Impact Assessment. There is also a review call with an Analyst from B Lab, where the assessment is discussed in more depth. The initial B Impact Assessment score will then be verified and the certification process is completed.
Our Journey to becoming a B Corp Company
Creating a Plan of Action
Once we committed to the idea of becoming a certified B Corp, the next step was to create a plan of action. This involved a discovery phase to understand what it means to be a B Corp and how it aligns with our values and mission. We are currently evaluating our current business practices, identifying areas for improvement, and setting clear goals for our journey.
Getting a Team Together
Achieving B Corp certification is not a one-person job. It requires the collective effort of a dedicated team. We are fortunate to have a group of passionate individuals within our organisation who have volunteered to be part of this exciting journey. Together, we are harnessing our diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives to drive positive change within our company.
Preparing to Launch Internally
Before we can spread the message externally, we recognise the importance of building a strong foundation internally. Our employees are at the heart of our company, and their understanding and support of this mission are crucial. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working diligently to educate our team about the significance of B Corp accreditation and why it matters to us as a company.
Why We Are Doing It
At this point, you may be wondering why we have chosen to embark on this journey. The answer is simple: We believe in the power of business as a force for good. We want to contribute to a more sustainable, equitable, and socially responsible world. Becoming a B Corp allows us to hold ourselves accountable to these values and take meaningful actions to create a positive impact.
Through this blog series, we aim to share our progress, insights, and challenges. We invite you to join us on this exciting adventure as we work towards becoming a certified B Corporation. Together, we can make a difference and inspire positive change in the world of business.
Stay tuned for updates, stories, and lessons learned as we navigate the path towards B-Corp accreditation!
Find out more about the B Corp Movement and B Lab here.