B Corp: Business as a Force for Good

We are excited to be in the process of applying for B Corp certification.  B Corp is a certification programme that was started in the USA based on the belief that business can be a force for good.  In contrast to industry specific certifications (such as Organic, to which we are also converting the farm, with the Soil Association), B Corp is applicable to any industry and any business.

While you may not have heard of B Corp, we are sure that you have heard of some B Corp certified companies.  One of the founding members is Patagonia.  The outdoor clothing company has a remarkable history and reputation based on realising the impact they were having and the responsibility they had to reduce that impact, and tell others about it. Pukka Tea is another. Closer to home, the inspirational Stroud Brewery has been B Corp certified since 2018.

What does it involve?

Well, what doesn’t it involve!? As Patagonia’s manifesto states, we should lead “an examined life”.  To us, that means that it is not good enough to just say “we run a regenerative farm” and be satisfied with that.  Without the proof, the data, such statements may turn out to be baseless.  Without examining what we are doing and the impact we have, how can we be sure that we are doing ok and, more importantly, how can we set objectives for reducing our impact in the future?

So there are many checks and much documentation that needs to be in place.  Some of it, we should have had in place already and it has been a good nudge to get our house in order.  In other cases, such as attempting to engage with our suppliers, customers and partners, we hadn’t thought we had the time or that it would result in any significant impact.  But part of the B Corp approach is that you should talk about what you are doing and why.  That doesn’t mean being preachy, but engaging in discussion is a great first step.

What are the next steps?

We have been working with the excellent Camilla Barnes in preparation for submitting our application.  We feel like we are very close to being ready and hope to submit by the end of March.  It will probably take quite a few months before we hear back from them but hope that we will be certified by the end of this year!

If you want to learn more about it, or chat with us about our experience, please feel free to get in touch with either Eric or Camilla.