Latest Blog Posts

What are B Corps?

Our Founder, Gemma Murphy, recently caught up with Paul Coverdale, Founder of Purpose AMPLIFIED and B Leader to understand more about B Corp.

Purpose amplified logo

Certified B Corps are a new kind of business, balancing profit with people and the planet. At ViewHR we are enjoying watching and supporting more and more businesses who are striving to improve their businesses holistically and not just for the financial wins.

Here’s what Paul had to say:

  • Tell us more about B Corp

The B Corporation movement is a network of businesses around the world that collectively have a vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative community. More than 5,000 companies in 83 countries across 156 industries have been independently verified to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. There are almost 800 in the UK ranging from well-known high street brands like The Body Shop and Patagonia to start-ups and microbusinesses to professional services firms.

  • Why should we know about B Corp?

The case for taking action to address social injustice, inequality and the climate crisis has never been stronger but knowing where and how to start is challenging. Indeed it can quickly become overwhelming, especially for small companies. The B Corp framework is an accessible way to start to understand your impact. Using it will help to make you a better business!

  • What signals will client be sending who might be a good fit for B Corp?

While any business can become a B Corp (and as we speak, 1000 UK companies are actively doing so) those that are already thinking about or taking action to be more sustainable will find a natural alignment. If you’re a ‘born good’ business that was created to tackle a specific social or environmental problem then B Corp is definitely for you. Even if you’re not but have a feeling you should be doing something then I’d encourage you to register and explore the assessment – you never know what it might spark.

  • What is the B Corp process?

There are 3 fundamental principles that all B Corps subscribe to: accountability, transparency and impact measurement.

  1. Firstly, B Corps make themselves accountable by making a public commitment to consider all stakeholders when making decisions. They do this by making a legal change to their Articles of Association (or equivalent governing documents) that reflects that commitment.
  2. They also agree to be transparent about their impact, both positive and negative. B Corps are obligated to produce an impact report and make their environmental and social performance publicly available.
  3. To certify you have to measure your impact across the whole of your company, which is then independently verified by B Lab, which is the non-profit that administers certification and the B Corp community. To do this you have to complete a B Impact Assessment (BIA). It’s a free, online tool that asks you around 150-250 questions across five different areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. You are awarded points for doing good things – which you have to prove – and there’s a threshold you must reach before you can submit your work.
  • How does your role work in the B Corp process?

I’m an accredited B Leader trained by B Lab UK in all things B Corp. I advise and guide SMEs as they make their journey towards certification, ‘holding your hand’ as much or as little as is needed. While plenty of companies undertake certification by themselves my aim is to get my clients to the point where they can submit their BIA with confidence. I’m also a passionate advocate for the movement and speak or write about it whenever I can! I co-chair B Local Hampshire and we raise awareness about B Corp to the business community – you’re all invited to join our LinkedIn Group!

  • Who won’t fit the B Corp ethos?

Greenwashers and those that just want the badge as a marketing exercise. While certifying is a process, the culture that a business defines and embeds is far more important.

  • How can a HR support in the B Corp accreditation process?

You’ll have noticed that there is a whole section devoted to your workforce! Your people are one of your key stakeholder groups so it isn’t surprising that prospective B Corps are asked to show how they treat their staff. All aspects of HR for the individual are captured including recruitment, onboarding, training, feedback, career development, and benefits. You’re also asked about your impact on people as a company, around diversity and inclusion for example. For businesses that have limited or no in house HR expertise, help in this area can be invaluable.

If this article has grabbed you and you too are looking at sustainability, your people and creating balance in your business for more than just profit, then please get in touch to see how ViewHR and Paul can work to support you!