Going beyond B Corp

Georgie Howlett
Written by Georgie Howlett

In the 18 months it has taken to achieve B Corporation status our thinking has moved on in terms of what it means to us in terms of our work, team and clients.

Stand was founded on the belief that communications can change things for the better, and this belief has run through our DNA since day one. Achieving B Corporation status is not a case of job done. Like many other B Corporations, it’s about how we live it and how we continue to raise the bar in how we operate, in our culture and in our work with clients.

Since completing our assessment, we’ve continued to make improvements to our business, including trialling a 9-day fortnight and looking for how we can overcome obstacles around environmental metrics when we’re in a serviced office space.

These changes are not about improving our score, but about going beyond B Corporation as an assessment framework. We want to use our position to influence our own network, and to help further the impact of the B Corporation movement.

The number of businesses certifying as B Corporations is rocketing. Whilst this is positive, it also presents the risk of it becoming a tick box exercise (albeit quite an intensive one). B Lab doesn’t want B Corporation to be a stamp or a club, it wants it to be a movement. This requires the businesses that have met the strict and robust assessment on paper, to live and breathe the sentiment behind the scores – to be activists for change.

I wrote something recently for PR Week about why we need more brand activists who are going beyond the statements, policies and paperwork to bring about real change.  As we face the biggest fall in living standards since records began, and the climate crisis is ‘widespread, rapid and intensifying’ we need change now more than ever. Cash-strapped charities and government alone cannot tackle these enormous, systemic challenges, and citizens want brands to step in – in fact they are loyal to brands that do.

Our mission has always been to change the world for the better. Achieving B Corp status is a significant milestone on that journey, and warrants a moment of celebration. But the true impact is what happens next.

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