Building the case for purpose-led change: Why being B Corp certified makes the difference between blue-washing and having real impact.
Skating Panda has always been recognised by our clients for being ahead of the game when it comes to driving positive change, and the decision to apply for B Corp certification was a natural part of our organisation’s progression. But why are others, from Octopus Investment, through to Bird, the sustainable sunglasses company, flocking (if you’ll excuse the pun) to go through the rigorous process to achieve their B Corp status? And is it all ‘blue wash’* for a quick PR stunt or is there more to it?
Chris Turner, B Lab UK’s Executive Director, responded in an article from ‘This is Money’ last year to counter voices claiming that being B Corp certified might just be a PR stunt.
‘If it was only a PR exercise you wouldn’t make it through because of the amount of time and effort it takes to certify. If you thought “I’m going to get some great headlines and response, then you’d quite quickly become quite discouraged by how much work you have to do.”’
‘However, I don’t think you can argue with the fact that it’s a great PR tool for businesses to say they’re a B Corp. B Corp carries a lot of weight and credibility. There’s nothing wrong with it being a PR exercise if it’s got the backing of being really robust and credible as a certification.’
B Lab’s purpose is focused on driving economic systems change to support a collective vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy. Central to becoming a B Corp is a thorough assessment that focuses on environmental performance, transparency and accountability in the following areas:
Governance: code of ethics; financial information disclosure; whistle-blower policy; mission and engagement
Workers: career development; health, wellness and safety; tracking satisfaction and engagement
Environment: environmental management system; recycling materials; water, waste and energy usage
Community: civic engagement and giving; diversity, equity and inclusion; supply chain management
Customers: customer feedback or complaint mechanisms; regularly monitoring customer outcomes and wellbeing
Skating Panda has never shied away from hard work. Achieving real impact is in our DNA, and we’ve never been just about the headlines. Indeed, we haven’t really sought the headlines – we’ve focused on the work – as it’s the outcomes of targeted coverage (and so much more) on the world’s most important challenges that interests us.
With that in mind, we’re really excited about being part of the B Corp ranks and supporting others who want and need to make the jump.
To chat to Skating Panda about your own purpose journey and ways in which we can help you drive it forward, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about joining Skating Panda and others as a certified B Corp visit: https://bcorporation.uk/b-corp-certification/
*Here we’re referring to blue washing as a situation where an organisation tries to improve public perception of their morals without legitimately introducing any policy reforms.