Work.Life’s mission is to create sustainable, happy and inclusive workspaces that help businesses to grow and succeed. We’ve always been passionate about our social and environmental impact, so we wanted to prove it! In 2021, we’ve set ourselves the goal of becoming B Corp Certified.
B Corporations are companies who value purpose as much as profit. They “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.” There are currently 3,800+ B Corp certified companies worldwide – and we want to be one of them!
To become B Corp certified, businesses have to score 80/200 points in five key areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. So far, Work.Life have submitted our assessment with 91.5 points, and are in a queue to be audited by a B Lab analyst. In the meantime, we thought we’d catch you up on our journey! To find out more about why Work.Life wanted to pursue B Corp certification, we spoke to our Head of Marketing and passionate B Corp committee leader, Sarah Sich.
Sarah, you’ve been the driving force behind our B Corp journey so far. How did you first find out about B Corp?
It took three encounters with the idea of B Corp before I decided to really put together a case for pursuing it at Work.Life.
Firstly, I was talking to a friend who works in fashion about what they’re doing for CSR and she mentioned that they were looking into getting B Corp certified. This set me off on an all-nighter where I stayed up researching about it, as well as other certifications out there for businesses.
Then, I was reading Courier Magazine and came across a piece talking about brands like Patagonia and Cook (both B Corp brands), who have proven that having a social mission and prioritising non-commercial items doesn’t mean shunning business success.
Finally, not long after, I was at an awards ceremony for Escape the City, and a representative from B Lab was there to talk about B Corp. That’s when I thought – OK, this is a sign! This is what Work.Life should be doing.
How does B Corp relate to Work.Life?
Work.Life is a workspace business driven by our passion for employee wellbeing and happiness. Pursuing B Corp will help us expand that to other important impact areas such as the environment and communities.
As a provider, we also have a duty to our members to ensure we’re providing sustainable workspaces. For a business our size and a brand with our mission, it just felt like the right thing to do. Beyond that, it also has many commercial benefits:
- Attract new members (60% of consumers are more likely to buy a service/product if the business has clear social or environmental values)
- Build on our amazing company culture and attract new team members (48% of certified businesses found that prospective staff were attracted to them specifically because of their certification)
What do Work.Life want to achieve by becoming B Corp certified?
The main achievement is to have better company processes which ensure environmental and social impact is always considered as part of all of our decision making.
The certification will also act as a clear sign to all stakeholders that we’re running a caring and ethical business.
Of course, we are looking forward to joining the already 3,800+ community of businesses who are certified and having that support network to continue to improve our impact score.
I also really think that in 5 years, more and more businesses from different industries will become certified and there’ll be no reason to work with companies or suppliers who aren’t. So we don’t want to be on that side of business when everyone does come to realise that this is the future!
What’s involved in the B Corp certification process?
The first step is of course getting buy-in from the business and the team! In our case, that was pretty easy as we’re all a really great bunch of humans.
The second step is filling in the assessment to figure out what your current score is (80 is required to submit your assessment to B Lab).
The third step is planning out what areas you’re going to pursue and commit to making the changes required to gain more points.
Finally, it’s making those changes, which can vary from implementing ways to measure/track new metrics, creating a new policy, updating processes and training, etc. I’d recommend creating a committee of people in the team to do this as you’ll require knowledge and decision-makers from areas such as HR, and facilities to input and sign off on changes as you go.
Most importantly, you should be communicating everything you’re doing to the whole business – the certification isn’t a tick box, it ensures a new way of working & decision making which impacts the way everyone works. It’s also so important that the whole company understands what is being done and why.
What’s the next step?
We want to be the best business we can be, so the journey doesn’t end here. As we wait for our submission to be audited, we’re continuing to work on improving our impact areas. We have committed to working on three improvements each quarter to ensure we’re continuously trying to be a better business.
In the meantime, you can read more about CSR at Work.Life.
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This is a syndicated post, originally published at https://work.life/blog/why-we-want-to-become-a-b-corp/