B Corp certifications surge for British businesses

B Lab UK acts as the certifying body for B Corps, which are businesses that meet high standards relating to their governance, their advocacy for positive change, and their environmental and social impact.

To certify as a B Corp, businesses must complete B Impact Assessment. This rigorous assessment tracks the impact a business has on its staff, its customers, the environment and the communities in which it operates. It also assesses governance practices within businesses.

The average score for non-certified businesses who complete the Assessment for the first time is currently 50.9 points. Certification requires a minimum of 80 points.

B Corp certification has become increasingly popular across the world as businesses seek benefits such as collaborating with other purpose-driven firms and attracting sustainability-minded clients and customers. A particular attraction of the certification is that it is not permanent; businesses must re-certify every three years.

There are now more than 8,400 certified B Corps worldwide, with the UK hosting the second-largest national community. The largest, of 2,400+ firms, is in the US and Canada.

B Lab UK’s director of growth and product, James Ghaffari, said:It’s been brilliant to see the UK B Corp community grow from strength to strength. Reaching 2,000 B Corps in the UK shows that a new type of leadership in our economy is possible, but we know there’s still a long way to go. If we want the UK to continue to be a pioneer in better business, we must keep working together to go further, faster.”

Companies of various sizes and sectors have certified as a B Corp in the UK. Takeup has been strongest in the professional and technical service space, with more than 600 certified businesses. Sectors that are the least represented at present include construction and waste management with just hree certified firms each.

Well-known B Corps include mobile network operator GiffGaff, fashion retailer FatFace and soft drinks brand innocent.

edie’s publisher, Faversham House, received its B Corp certification in February after more than two years of tireless work behind the scenes. You can read more about our own B Corp journey here.

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