UK steps up in sustainability movement as B Corp community reaches 1000
Britain has one of the largest and fastest-growing communities of sustainable businesses in the world as B Lab UK announces that there are now over 1,000 Certified B Corporations in the UK.
B Corporations (or B Corps) are businesses verified to high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
With the UN calling for transformational change to avoid climate disaster, now more than ever the UK needs businesses to act as a force for good.
Household names who are part of the first 1,000 to have achieved B Corp status in the UK include Innocent Drinks, Jojo Maman Bébé, Baringa, Finisterre, Sipsmith and Simplyhealth, while a number of famous faces, including Jamie Oliver, Matthew Freud, Emma Bunton, Jaime Lang, and Bear Grylls, have also worked to certify their businesses.
At the time of this milestone
B Corps are represented in all corners of the UK.
At the end of last year, there were just 564 B Corps, now there are 1,000 – to put that into context that’s the same number of B Corps as the whole of mainland Europe.
With over 500 B Corps, London is the city with the most B Corps in the world, and they can also be found in cities across the country including Bristol, Manchester, Brighton, Edinburgh, and Cardiff.
The furthest flung UK B Corp is Bruichladdich distillery on the southwestern tip of the remote Hebridean Island of Islay.
B Corps are strong performers.
Compared to traditional businesses, B Lab UK data shows that B Corps have a faster growth in turnover (27% vs 5%) and employee headcount (14% vs 1%), greater levels of employee retention, engagement, and diversity, higher levels of innovation and are more successful in securing equity finance (70% vs 56%).
B Corps deliver positive impact for all stakeholders.
B Corps commit to measuring and managing their impact on workers, customers, and communities as well as shareholders.
And this year 165 UK B Corps were honoured as Best for the World, a global measure of the highest impact B Corp businesses.
B Corps are equipped to step up to the scale of challenges we face.
Mission-led businesses are more likely to be reducing the burden of the cost of living crisis for their employees, suppliers, and local community than non-mission-led businesses and take steps to reduce their impact on climate change and the environment.
B Corps are the proof behind the campaign to change the law with the Better Business Act.
This is now backed by over 1,500 businesses. Seven in ten (72%) of the UK public believe business should have a legal responsibility to people and the planet, alongside maximising profit.
B Lab UK is bringing together the first 1,000 B Corps for a milestone event at the Natural History Museum on 24th November. To learn more about the 1,000 B Corps milestone, the journey there and what it means for the future of B Lab’s mission to transform the economic system, check out the 1,000 B Corps page on our website (from Monday).
Chris Turner, Executive Director at B Lab UK, commented: “We urgently need business to step up and respond to the challenges of this moment, from acting on the climate emergency to tackling the cost-of-living.
“Reaching 1,000 B Corporations in the UK shows that this leadership is possible. It is our privilege to be working with such a passionate community of businesses, who have been the loudest and proudest advocates for the way in which certification has helped them to ‘measure what matters’ and change the way their companies behave.
“But there’s still a long way to go. If we want B Corp to continue to represent the pioneers of better business, we must intentionally keep moving the goalposts and challenge ourselves to go further, faster.”
Sneh Khemka, CEO at Simplyhealth, who certified as a B Corp earlier this year, commented: “As a purpose-led health solutions company, we’re striving to improve access to healthcare for all in the UK. For 150 years, we’ve always stood for a healthier world – through our positive impact on the environment, in the way we contribute to society and by governing ourselves in a responsible way.
“Being a B Corp is a beacon for us to carry and something we cherish. For us, this is just the beginning. B Corp now gives us a framework to measure our actions and hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards, so we can continuously improve our business impact and support other businesses to do the same”.