During our Appreciation Dinner, Simon announced we had become a B Corp. I realised many would know little about B Corps so let me explain.

What is a B Corp?

The B Corp (Benefit Corporation) movement was established in 2006 and set out to harness the power of business as a force for good.  The three pillars of the B Corp movement are people, planet and profit. The order is significant. The B Corp Community has grown into a global movement of over 7,800 businesses in 92 countries across 161 industries with 708,300 workers, all committed to bring real benefit to stakeholders, not just shareholders.

It sets high standards of fairness and respect in terms of how businesses deal with their supply chain, their staff and their local communities. It requires us to have clear processes in place, which they ask to review, ensuring our staff are treated fairly, and have access to a range of protections and benefits.

Why become one?

The certification process is undertaken by B Lab, a UK nonprofit body responsible for assessing companies and partnerships applying to become B Corps. The process and analysis is rigorous, with applicants required to provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company legally embeds their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles.

We wanted to be benchmarked against the most progressive business thinkers and organisations across the globe. We wanted to create a great place to work, and have our efforts put under scrutiny. We wanted to be seen as a company who looks after its staff and clients to an exceptional level. The growing importance of environmental stewardship is also a key component in the assessment.

The whole process is repeated every three years to ensure B Corps continue to refine and improve across its operations. In the interim, B Lab review the process and dig deeper to ensure companies continue to drive up their standards.

The B Corp community in the UK, representing a broad cross section of industries and sizes, comprises over 1,500 companies and include well-known brands such as The Guardian, Innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.

What does it mean for clients?

Confidence for the future. It sets in stone our commitment to deliver on our goals and to continue going beyond simply generating profits. Our values and operational integrity are reviewed by an acknowledged third-party process to ensure we continue to raise standards of operational delivery.

The possibility of companies losing their certification for letting standards slip is very real. There has been a case where a well-known local brewing company had their certification rescinded as their former staff reported the company as having a “rotten” culture.

We look forward to the challenge of improving our score when the next review comes around. We already know the standards have been raised since we embarked on our own journey. Raising the bar is nothing new to Stewardship Wealth, it’s part of our culture. We intend to elevate our existing standards and, having gone through a highly detailed examination of our business operations helps us identify areas of improvement.

We scored well above the entry level which is really encouraging and should provide evidence of our existing quality and our ambitions to go further.