By Hibah Khan|
April 13, 2022|
4 min read
What does it mean to be a B Corp? We’re taking a look at 16 UK B Corps which are channeling forces of change and leading the way towards a more sustainable future in the fashion, beauty, homewares, cleaning, energy and more various other industries.
Every March, a global community of approximately 4,500 businesses from 155 industries in 78 countries celebrates what it means to be a “B Corp,” which includes objectives such as “greater purpose,” “bolder targets,” “deeper values,” “real accountability,” “high social and environmental performance,” and a “bigger impact.”
B Corps are exemplifying the type of business that the world requires: one that meets rigorous requirements for social and environmental impact, is transparent and accountable to all stakeholders. B Corp Month is a time to emphasise the importance of this type of business and to highlight the work that B Corps do to combat injustice and inequality while also having a positive impact on people and the environment.
If you would like to watch past event recordings of ‘#BehindtheB’ campaigns click here to see demonstrations of how new business models are changing the world and how B Corps of all sizes from a variety of industries are banding together to realise our shared vision of a global economic system that is inclusive, equitable, and regenerative for all people and the planet.
What Exactly Is A B Corp?
The letter B in B Corp can be interpreted in a variety of ways. It was derived from “benefit corporation,” a type of US corporate structure, but B Corp means different things to different people. Corp, which stands for corporation, is a certification given to businesses that uphold high social and environmental standards in all aspects of their operations. Depending on the size of the corporation, certification can take years; the qualifying process delves deeply into every aspect of the business, from product sourcing to employee treatment.
So, in practice, what does this mean? B Corporations, strive not only for profits, but also for the betterment of the world around them. This includes their employees and customers, as well as society and the environment in general – both locally and globally.
B Corps are open about their business practices and are held to a high level of legal accountability. Companies must be recertified every three years, and if they fail to meet the criteria, their B Corp status is revoked. Not only that, but the criteria are dynamic, ensuring that B Corps are always up to date and on the cutting edge of what “good” looks like in today’s environment.
What are the Benefits Of Becoming A B Corp:
But why is having a B Corp certification important? With so many brands claiming to be “clean,” “green,” and every other eco-buzzword you can think of, B Corp certification helps consumers identify brands that are truly committed to the betterment of the world.
B Corp Benefits include:
– Promoting social responsibility: When your company is a B corp, you and your practices are held accountable for social and environmental responsibility. Customers are becoming more interested in sustainable businesses and want to be convinced of their social efforts. Therefore, customers can see how the companies they support are making a difference by adhering to B corp standards which are made transparent.
– Cost savings: In the long run, registering as a B corporation can save companies money. Businesses have access to B corp community data, which allows them to learn the most cost-effective ways to be sustainable. Furthermore, the certification process assists businesses in identifying unnecessary and wasteful spending.
– Connect with a close community: Becoming a Certified B Corporation instantly connects businesses to a global network of other B Corps. The presence of over 4,000 B Corps makes it simple to network in areas such as environmental initiatives, attracting top talent, and even simply using business as a force for good in the semiconductor industry.
Now we know what B Corps are and their benefits, here are 16 UK brands that are leading the charge toward a more sustainable future.
Seep is on a mission to reshape the household essentials industry for the benefit of people and the environment. Seep’s cleaning tools and everyday home essentials, such as cloths, sponges, brushes, and garbage bags, are designed to be environmentally friendly, easy to use, and attractive. Seep Living Ltd received an overall score of 110.7 on the B Impact assessment. We actually stock Seep, so click here to learn more about them and discover their products.
TBIG publishes and sells highstreet papers, which supports a network of 1500 vendors across the UK; it operates a shop as a social trading platform; and Big Issue Invest advises and manages £150 million in social investment in the UK. The Big Issue Group received an overall score of 137.0 on the B Impact assessment.
Chloé is the first luxury Maison to join this community of leaders, driving a global movement of people who use business to do good. By becoming a B Corp, they are reinforcing their ongoing commitment to being accountable for their impact on people and the environment. This certification reinvents how they do business with an overall score of 85.2.
Oddbox is the UK’s fruit and vegetable box that fights food waste, with an overall score of 93.1. They transport the “too-wonky” and “too-many” directly from farmers to doorsteps throughout London and the South East. Each week, they assist the community in making a difference for the planet by combating food waste at the farm level, avoiding CO2e emissions, and conserving water.
Coutts is one of the UK’s leading private banks and wealth managers, with more than 325 years of history and an overall score of 83.2. Founded in 1692, they provide exceptional service and serve as a trusted banking services, financial planning, wealth management, and commercial banking through specialist teams.
KAIA Clothing provides certified sustainable clothing. Their fabrics are certified with third-party verification marks such as GOTS and FairTrade, and they prioritise people and the environment throughout their supply chain and manufacturing, with built-in goals and commitments to achieve net zero by 2025. Their B Impact score is 91.2.
House of Hackney has always prioritised people and the environment with a large proportion of their products being Made to Order, using sustainable materials. These products are designed to last decades and be ‘future heirlooms’, with the goal of creating pieces that have a low environmental impact. House of Hackney, as a B Corp, continues to set ambitious new sustainable targets, including a carbon negative goal by the end of 2022, in order to continuously improve the brand’s footprint and use their business as a force for good.
Becoming the first energy supplier in the UK to become a certified B Corp, Bulb is the fastest-growing company in Europe, providing 100% renewable electricity to homes in the UK, France, Spain, and Texas, as well as 100% carbon neutral gas in the UK. They are on a mission to assist 100 million people in lowering their bills and reducing their carbon footprint by 2030, so they provide green energy as standard, with fair, transparent pricing, and technology to assist members in managing and reducing their energy use.
ANUKA takes pride in creating contemporary timeless jewellery in 100% recycled silver and Fairmined gold, with clean designs and a clean ethos. ANUKA believes that every stage of the supply chain should be acknowledged and visible to the customer. Their B Impact assessment yielded an overall score of 108.3.
Social Change UK is a passionate and purpose-driven behaviour change organisation that collaborates with the government, businesses, charities, and the public sector to address social and environmental issues. The team conducts social research to help people and organisations better understand human behaviour, and they use behavioural science and behavioural insight to create campaigns, programmes, and interventions that benefit people and the planet. They have a B Impact score of 109.0 overall.
The Body Shop, founded in 1976 in Brighton, is a global beauty brand that offers high-quality, naturally inspired skincare, body care, hair care, and make-up that is ethically and sustainably produced. The Body Shop has a long history of supporting social and environmental movements, and it uses its global presence to raise awareness and advocate for long-term change on a variety of issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence, climate change, deforestation, whaling, and animal testing in the cosmetic industry.
JoJo began as a one-woman operation in 1993. Today, it is a leading multi-channel retailer with a global reach, stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a wholly-owned subsidiary business in the United States. The company works hard to maintain its values of putting people and the environment ahead of profit; they have an overall score of 81.1.
Weleda is the world’s leading manufacturer of certified organic and natural cosmetics alongwith anthroposophic therapy medicines. With an impressive 106.8 rating, Weleda’s corporate mission is “unfolding the health and beauty of people and nature.” Since its launch in 1921, the company has been guided by this principle, which has always prioritised sustainability over profit. The company’s bylaws also include a commitment to the environment and the common good.
Who Gives A Crap sells attractive, environmentally friendly toilet paper, tissues, paper towels and other products. They donate 50% of profits to help build toilets and ensure everyone has access to safe drinking water. They received an overall score of 108.9 on the B Impact assessment.
The Cheeky Panda is an example of an innovative disruptor concept – converting the world’s fastest growing plant, Bamboo, into tissue. They offer a truly sustainable alternative to one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, deforestation. The company was founded on their passion for environmental and social responsibility, and has an 89.4 rating.
With an overall score of 80.5, Sunday Riley’s mission is to create best-in-class products that improve the lives, wellness, and minds of the people they touch – whether that is skin care, a media platform, or a subscription box service. They make the best products possible and never compromise quality or effectiveness for monetary gain. They are dedicated to promoting Human Rights, such as equality, diversity in the workplace, and product inclusivity.
There are an impressive 700 certified companies in the UK, so if you are looking for more information on B Corps you can check it out here. We love that there are so many companies working on becoming B Corp certified and the positive change their projecting into their brand values. Get in touch to let us know your favourite B Corp brands by sending us a DM via Instagram @wearthlondon.