WEDNESDAY 28 OCT 2015 5:08 PM


B Corporation, a certification for socially-minded businesses, has expanded into the UK. A B Corp commits to harnessing the power of business as a force for good and aims to redefine success in business.

Businesses that have signed-up include, Ben & Jerry’s, Kickstarter and Patagonia. The UK brands join 1400 global B Corps. Michele Giddens, co-founder and partner at Bridges Ventures, a certified B Corp, says, "At Bridges, we have spent the last 13 years investing in businesses combining commercial success with positive social or environmental impact. So we are very excited about the official launch of the B Corp certification in the UK.  We hope it will give even more impetus to this burgeoning 'profit with purpose' movement, and raise awareness of the enormous value it can create, both for investors and for society as a whole."

To certify as a B Corp, businesses must change their legal documents so that employees, communities and the wider environment rank alongside shareholders in decision-making processes. Businesses are also assessed according to their social and environmental performance. They must achieve a minimum score in a ‘B Impact Assessment’ and sign a declaration.

B Corp was launched in the UK on 24 September. It is innovative in its emphasis on prioritising stakeholders who aren’t shareholders. This format, accepted by around 50 UK businesses to date, tends to have a more positive impact on the society and the environment. The popularity of the movement suggests that investors, employers and consumers are beginning to recognise that companies which create a positive social and environmental impact, and which treat their workers with respect and operate with good governance, are the most successful businesses.

James Perry, director at B Lab UK, a non-profit to support UK-based B Corps, says, “Britain has shaped so much of the modern global economy, and remains the world’s leading financial centre. But it’s obvious that the global economy needs to evolve so that profit, people and planet are all served by business. We must consign to history the idea that we have to choose between them. The B Corp movement is enabling businesses to make a positive contribution to all three. We stand on the shoulders of giants here, and are hugely grateful for the welcome we’ve had from an inspiring group of leaders from business, government and the social economy. We look forward to working together with them in this long term endeavour to create a new economy that serves people and planet as well as profit.”


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