If you’ve been following us on LinkedIn, you may have seen some videos we shared recently about our journey towards becoming B-Corps certified. This is a really exciting journey for us as we think it will help us to walk the walk as well as talk the talk! The best part is we’re going to take you all along with us for the journey! We want to be as honest and transparent about the process as we can be, to help any of you who are thinking about making the jump yourselves.
In this first instalment of our “Becoming B-Corp” series, we’ll be sitting down with the team at The Happiness Index who are driving this change and picking their brains about the intricacies of the process and what inspired them to want to do it in the first place. We’ll be talking to our Finance Manager, Noelle Kelly, Head of People, Gemma Shambler, and our Chair of Happiness, Martin Colenut.
Q: What is a B corp?
Gemma: A B Corp is an organisation that has made a legal commitment to balance profit with purpose.They demonstrate to other businesses that you can be successful whilst still treating your stakeholders well and having a positive impact on your community and not harming the planet in the process.
Martin: There’s also a rigorous review process to ensure a balanced business – across people, environment, community and commercial.
Noelle: For me, it’s a company that does not ‘win’ at all costs. It balances profit and purpose and refuses to sacrifice one for the other.
Q: What are the requirements to become B Corp?
Noelle: There is a hugeeee assessment which we have been going through where they ask questions regarding all areas of the business (customers, governance, environment & workers). You have to successfully reach a point score of 80 to be an official B Corp -at which point you would need to change your company articles to make the legal change.
Martin: This starts with an impact assessment to understand what the organisation needs to do to qualify for B Corp status. The organisation, supported by B Labs then starts to evolve and introduce new initiatives to meet more B Corp criteria eventually leading to full accreditation and legally binding changes in the way in which a business operates.
Gemma: There is then a legal requirement to change the businesses “articles of association” which means that The Happiness Index as its own entity has committed to this cause – rather than just the Directors or Leadership team. This means that if there was a change of personnel, the commitment remains in place.
Noelle: Also, from a personal point of view, a requirement of being a B-Corp is being a force for good in the world!
Q: Why are we doing this?
Martin: The standards set by B Corps mirror the culture and values we are working with at THI.
Noelle: The values and morals that B Corps hold also fit well with us becoming more quantum. Once we qualify it will show that we really do want to have a positive impact in the world and it isn’t just something we say externally.
Gemma: If you want a bit more insight, definitely check out Chris and Matt’s videos, because they give a lot of background there.
See Chris & Matt’s thoughts on the matter:
Q: What will it mean for our employees?
Gemma: It will mean that our people can truly feel like they are a part of a force for good and that the company is committed to the highest possible level to doing right by them – not just treating them fairly, but treating them well!
Martin: They also will get a continually evolving and progressive workplace based on exceptional values.
Noelle: Yes, and it will further prove that we want to treat our people correctly and make them feel that they are also part of something much bigger than just a business trying to make a profit.
Q: What will it mean for our customers?
Noelle: We believe it will give them confidence that The Happiness Index is the right company to work and we can help them on their journeys to becoming better workplaces!
Gemma: I agree, they can be confident that they have chosen a supplier who is actively walking the walk and not just talking the talk to try to win business.
Martin: Ultimately, our customers will get a “partnership” experience-driven by values and culture. In short, much more than a commercial relationship.
Q: What does the timeline look like?
Martin: We are still working on the impact assessment but being fully accredited by 31st March 2022 is the target. Hopefully sooner, but there is a lot to do!
We can’t wait to continue sharing our journey with you until we joing the B Corps community…and beyond!