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  • Writer's pictureHelen Jamieson

Why we want to become a B Corp

The real question is why wouldn’t you want to become a B Corp? The aim of B Corp Certification is to make business a force for good. You become part of a network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

There are currently over 6,800 B Corps globally including more than 1,300 in the UK – the list includes large and small companies from 90 countries and covers 161 industries.

These companies all meet the high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability required to achieve B Corp status.

So why does Wallace Health want to get involved? We believe our company’s mission and business practices reflect the B Corp ethos and although there is room for improvement, we like to think we can play our part in this movement for change.

The advantages

There are of course many advantages to becoming a B Corp. Going through the certification process inevitably makes you evaluate your business, how it’s run and the impact it has. It requires you to formalise processes and actions which leads to more effective working practices and a better run business overall.

It also allows you to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. B Corp certification is becoming well-known and more and more clients - and potential clients - are wanting to know about the sustainability and social impact practices of the companies they work with. B Corp is highly-regarded and trusted and will allow us to show the world that we are actively working on our environmental and social impact.

Potential employees are attracted to B Corp companies. People like to work somewhere they feel good about and which has a purpose. As well as attracting new staff, we believe being B Corp certified will help us to retain our existing staff. From the outset of our B Corp journey, the team have been enthusiastic and engaged in the vision and processes we need to go through to get there. It naturally encourages an environment of teamwork and focuses everyone on our values.

Achieving B Corp status will allow us to join a community of like-minded businesses who align with our vision. It will give us an opportunity to learn, collaborate and share. Connecting with other businesses who want to make a difference to the world will help us improve and grow our business in a way which is meaningful and impactful.

But we’re not there yet.

The journey to certification

The B Corp certification process is challenging and the requirements and performance standards are high. Completing the BIA (B Impact Assessment) takes time. You need to be focused and dedicated to achieving the end goal.

The assessment requires you to answer over 100 questions split into different impact areas – Governance, Workers, Communities, Environment, Customers. You need to get a minimum score of 80 to be able to submit your assessment and attempt to achieve certification.

Answering the questions is only the start. Assuming you get through the evaluation stage after submitting your assessment, you then move to the verification stage. This requires you to supply supporting documentation for the answers you have given.

Although we have processes and policies in place, some of these – particularly around environment and stakeholder management – haven’t been as formal as required for B Corp status. We have found some quick wins, for example creating a policy on encouraging environmentally preferred products and practices in employee virtual offices. But it doesn’t stop there – you also need to make sure the policy is communicated, embedded and acted upon by the team.

Looking to the future

Aiming to become a B Corp is no mean feat and it can feel daunting. However, working towards B Corp certification uncovers opportunities for improvement and we are finding we are constantly building on our commitment to our environmental and social impact.

Being certified as a B Corp is all about continuous improvement. You need to recertify every three years. Maintaining your status means staying on top of your game by reviewing policies, calculating your carbon footprint and publishing an impact report amongst many other things.

We are only at the beginning of our journey. And it is already helping us to develop new ideas and challenge us in the way we grow the business.

We’re passionate about becoming a B Corp, and all that comes with it, so we are looking forward to the road head.

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