We want our staff, customers and suppliers to view us positively and we want to minimise our impact on the environment and find ways to contribute to our communities.
This involves doing many little things… like offering flexible working, nurturing a positive culture, recycling, using like-minded suppliers and using renewable heating and electricity. All these things, and more, we’ve been doing for over a decade.
Doing our bit has hopefully helped to improve the lives of those close to us, but the expansion of commercial activity around the globe means that the world is in significantly worse shape now than it was when we started 12 years ago. Not that we were expecting our activity to do much of course, but we were hoping that there would be more of a movement within the businesses community for environmental and social change.
Thankfully there are signs that this movement is just starting to gather pace. On a macro level, many are questioning the value of our growth focussed economic model, at ground level consumers are actively looking for ethical brands.
Many businesses are now responding and some have been doing good things for years. Take Patagonia, the sports clothing company, they have been donating 1% of their sales to saving the planet, and encouraging others to do the same, since 1985.
Businesses that take their responsibilities seriously and want a sustainable economy that benefits everyone can prove it if they wish, by becoming Certified B Corporations. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
Started in the USA 11 years ago, businesses in the UK are now getting on board. Interestingly Bristol is second only to London in the number of B Corp certified businesses.
We love the idea and have just started the rigorous B Corps impact assessment. Watch this space.