Driven by our belief that business should be a force for good in the world – 12 months ago we set out on our journey to become a certified B Corporation or ‘B Corp’. It’s been a tough but fascinating process to comply with B Corp’s exacting standards across a range of categories.
Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,400 Certified B Corporations® in over 150 industries and 60 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
It feels great to be in the company of these businesses, working together to update the old capitalist model that pursues (short-term) profit at all costs. Amongst our new peers are enlightened organisations such as Patagonia, Cook, Ben & Jerry’s, Method and more recently Havas London have become the first major agency to qualify.
The question is, what does it mean for L&Co? Well, the certification (B Impact Assessment) process was not just about ticking boxes, it forced us to think about all aspects of our business. For example, we have adopted a more rigorous vetting process for our suppliers and shifted our banking to the leading ethical bank Triodos. We have even rewritten our Articles of Association to give equal weight to shareholders, staff and the community we operate in.
Our next step is to focus on creating real positive impact. In 2018 almost 20% of our income came from organisations that were driven by a positive social or environmental purpose, and we plan to grow this over the next two years to at least one third.
The bottom line for us is no longer just about profit, it’s about people and planet too. And while we intend to wear the B Corp logo with pride, it’s the next two years that we should be judged on.