Celebrating B Corp™ leaders: Companies we admire on our journey to certification
For B Corp™ month, we celebrate the champions who balance purpose and profit, who understand the better way to do business: B Corps™.
We’re currently waiting for our assessment to become a B Corp™, which, as they say themselves, ‘is one of the most rigorous, comprehensive and rewarding processes your business will undertake.’ B Corp™ have outlined the steps it takes to achieve certification, which we started towards the end of 2021:
- We started by completing the B Impact Assessment™ (BIA), comprising of roughly 200 questions and a disclosure questionnaire. The BIA measures a company’s social and environmental performance (it’s rare to achieve 80 points the first time, so most businesses will have to spend a significant amount of time working to improve their score.)
- Governing documents then needed to be updated with specific wording and filed with Companies House.
- We then submitted our application, which was broken down into two stages: Evaluation and Verification.
- And now we wait…
You may be wondering, ‘What is a B Corp™?’
According to their creator, ‘certified B Corporations™, or B Corps™, are companies verified by B Lab™ to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.’ There are now over 1,100 B Corps™ in the UK, and we are proud to work closely with some ourselves.
Here are some we find inspirational on our journey to certification:
1. Mindful Chef
The first recipe box in the UK to be certified as a B Corp™, Mindful Chef are renowned for doing good. In 2022 they donated 15 million school meals to children in poverty, cleaned 164,167 litres of plastic from UK beaches, provided 300,000 discounted meals to the NHS, donated 160,000 meals to The Felix Project, and donated over 25 tons of items to foodbanks. They’ve also made 89% of their packaging recyclable, and overall reduced their carbon footprint by 4%.
Recertifying in 2022 after their first certification in 2018, their score improved by 33%, pushing them up into the top 3% of global B Corp™ companies. So, how did they do it? They work with LEAF marque accredited British farmers, source grass fed beef, and British pasture-grazed lamb, free-range chicken and sustainably sourced seafood. They are a carbon neutral company, on a mission to be net zero by 2030.
Now that’s a company truly living B Corp’s™ motto: ‘Make Business a Force For Good’.
Passing their B Corp Certification™ early in 2023 after around 2 years of work, Rocketmakers have a goal to have a positive impact on the lives of 50 million people. B Corp’s™ pillars are people, planet and profit, which align well with Rocketmakers’ values.
In 2022, Rocketmakers made a huge impact. They supported 239 young people, hosted 45 for work experience, offset 3.1 tons of carbon, supported 16 outreach events, and facilitated 1 apprenticeship and 1 internship. They are also the official Creative Partner of Leukaemia Care, and have worked with many other charitable organisations.
From an environmental point of view, Rocketmakers has big dreams. They aim to be carbon net zero by June 2025, and supplement this in many ways. For two years they have been only been using green energy in their building, recycle more than just what the council facilitates, encourage environmentally-friendly commuting with active travel facilities, and more.
We designed Rocketmakers’ spacious Bath office a few years ago. The team needed a space that would meet their growing reputation and needs – in terms of space-efficiency, agility, and attracting potential new recruits and partners.
“Thanks to [Interaction’s] hard work, the Rocketmakers team and I now have a workplace to be proud of.”Richard Godfrey, Rocketmakers CEO
3. Pukka Herbs
Headquartered in Bath, just like us, Pukka Herbs have been brandishing their B Corp™ Status with pride since 2016. They are also certified Fair for Life, which they describe as ‘the gold standard in fair and ethical trade’, which means they hold themselves to treating their global workforce fairly and equally. They even give their employees free access to the Calm app, where they can access a variety of mindfulness resources, to support meditation, sleep and relaxation.
Similarly to Interaction, Pukka encourage their staff to take a few paid days a year away from their desk volunteering for charities and other non-profit causes. The team at Pukka are inclusive and diverse, and even give back 1% of annual sales to environmental and social projects.
Pukka committed to a target of net zero by 2030, use 100% community-owned renewable electricity, and organise an annual challenge to encourage Pukka people to reduce their collective carbon footprint year on year. On top of all of this, they’ve also pledged to eliminate any single-use plastic from their material stream unless environmentally advantageous by 2025.
4. Runway East
Co-working conquerers Runway East have been doing good since 2014, so it was no surprise when they achieved their B Corp™ in the summer of 2022.
Aside from their long-term environmental strategy for 2023, Runway East have implemented some swift solutions to minimise their impact, and do better for the planet. They combat energy and waste usage with smart thermostats, occupancy sensors, 100% renewable energy, composted food waste and a comprehensive recycling program. The cleaning products used in their sites are non-toxic and they have a wealth of active travel facilities.
We have created a handful of awe-inspiring workspaces for Runway East across Bristol and London, and we ensure that recycled materials are used, all recyclable construction materials are recycled, and hazardous waste is responsibly disposed of.
Runway East doesn’t just stop there: they also support their workers and the wider community. They aim to use local and minority suppliers, they facilitate a free meeting and event space for local charities and community groups, they have a blind hiring process, implement inclusive design across their working practices, and are generally great employers.
We are proud to have a long-standing relationship with such a progressive bunch.
5. Elvis & Kresse
Sustainable bag and homeware designers Elvis & Kresse couldn’t have put it better:
“If you are a designer or a creator for a brand which is exploiting the planet, you are not a creator, you are a destructor. Being a B Corp™ encourages us to take a step back and see how we can incorporate circularity at every stage.”
Elvis & Kresse have been certified since 2015, rescuing London Fire Brigade’s decommissioned fire hoses, transforming them into individual pieces, and donating 50% of the associated profits to charity. They’ve stripped business back to it’s roots: joyful hard work, done with a smile.
Management consultants OxfordSM have some core values which pose a great similarity to ours at Interaction, and are now approaching three years as a B Corp™.
They act as a positive force within the industry, facilitating sessions at COP27, carrying out pro bono work, donating £10k to suffering countries, and are even part of “a coalition for a cleaner, greener, fairer, future for all”, known as Better Business Act.
Grasping a better understanding of their carbon footprint lead the business to relocate to a smaller office, where they have significantly reduced their environmental impact. In addition, they also conducted specific internal training on carbon reduction.
Transparency is vital for ambitious businesses, and OxfordSM admit that they have a way to go to meet their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) targets. They also strive to make their workplace more inclusive and improve the culture within. Here at Interaction, we understand the importance of workplace culture, and design workspaces which support growth in this area.
We’re more than the sum of our parts
One of our key principles is We Prize Partnerships, because we know we’re more than the sum of our parts. Over 30 years our trusted network of suppliers has grown into something of a family, sharing our values and standards with companies such as Runway East and Rocketmakers.
We can all take inspiration from different businesses, even those we haven’t had the chance to work with yet, such as Mindful Chef, Pukka Herbs, Elvis & Kresse, and Oxform SM when it comes to addressing ESG, our community, transparency and accountability.
From minimising CO2 emissions to creating neurodiverse-friendly workspaces, find out how to harness the power of an effective ESG strategy by downloading our Guide for Ambitious Businesses.
Keep your eyes peeled, maybe next time you hear from us we’ll be sharing some exciting news… but for now we’re grateful to have a break from writing B Corp™.
Interaction operates completely independently from B Lab™ and has no affiliation or endorsement from the B Corp™ certification. Interaction is currently not a Certified B Corporation™. “Certified B Corporation™“, “B Corporation™“, “B Corp™“, “B Impact Assessment™” and the “Certified B Corporation™” logo, and all related names and marks, are trademarks of B Lab Company, and are used here with explicit permission from B Lab Company.
For more information, please visit bcorporation.net.