19 May, 2023
If you’re a purpose-led company, that’s enough right? Wrong. Relying solely on your purpose to show how you’re doing good doesn’t cut it anymore.
This is demonstrated by B Corp’s change in approach to introduce a minimum standard across 10 criteria, which include fair wages, diversity and inclusion, human rights, and climate action. B Corp is a global certification scheme for companies that use business as a force for good. The new approach would replace the current standards, which allow companies to choose the categories that they excel in to collect enough points to certify. The new standards are on track to begin in early 2024, pending a public comment period.
So why does this matter? If you’re looking to achieve or keep B Corp status, you will need take action to show how you are making progress across the full spectrum of areas that are essential for a positive impact on planet and people, as well as profit. Using only recycled materials but not paying minimum wage will no longer be enough. Being a genuinely progressive business is not just about what you do and why, but how you do it as well.
It also reflects a wider societal shift in expectations for purpose-led brands. Shareholders and investors are increasingly demanding brands to go further in their responsibilities to society, recognising the potential for their bottom line. This is demonstrated by the latest impact report from the Craftory, the first UK-based investment company investing exclusively in purpose-led consumer goods. The Craftory (a B Corp itself), is shifting the majority of its portfolio to B Corp certified brands, thereby ‘helping [those companies] create a competitive advantage and attract customers, employees, and investors who share their values.’
As a purpose-led brand, you’re already doing good. But over time you will be held to a higher set of expectations by consumers compared to other companies. B Corp is a practical tool that will soon show how you’re making a difference to society as a whole. The culmination of being purpose-led and B Corp certified is a powerful position to be in.
By Alice Railton