19 December, 2018
Before parting with our hard-earned money, many of us think hard. Of course, we consider the quality and price of the product or service we want to buy. But increasingly, we want to know who made it and where? What’s the supply chain story? What resources and materials were used? We want to purchase a guarantee that when we spend our money, it is not having a negative social and environmental impact.
Now, we are demanding more from the businesses that provide our goods and services, and using our purchasing power, we are telling them that it is no longer acceptable to strive for profit alone. Research found that, when asked, 68% of UK consumers class ethical behaviour as a ‘critical’ factor in their shopping habits. If an ethical product was more expensive, around half of UK consumers (53%) would be happy to pay more.
Just as consumers are demanding that businesses do more for our shared social and environmental wellbeing, the B Corp movement recognises that there must be a better way to do business. Rather than waiting for changes in legislation, B Corp encourages private organisations to drive a global movement pushing businesses to be a force for good, not just for profit. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
In Scotland, there is a growing network of B Corps seeking more opportunities to come together and share best practice. Through Scotland Can B and Social Enterprise Scotland, Resource Futures were invited along to a great evening of networking between B Corps and social enterprises operating in Scottish communities: ‘Shared Values: How can Social Enterprises and B Corporations work together?’
At the newly opened Finisterre on Edinburgh’s George Street, we came together to share ideas, listen to others’ experience of being part of B Corp and learn what we could do to improve. All attendees were then encouraged to select one of the Sustainable Development Goals that was personally most important to them and the work their organisation does. For me, working with Resource Futures and supporting businesses across the UK to use resources more effectively and implement circular economy practices, it had to be Goal 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption. Selecting a specific SDG then gave us all a talking point and we embarked on a speed-networking activity to talk to everyone else in the room. We also heard from a range of speakers who explained how B Corp has grown and continues to be embraced by an increasing number of UK organisations.
Resource Futures is a proud member of the B Corp community in the UK. In 2016, we joined the ranks of around 2,000 B Corporations from more than 130 industries in 50 countries using business as a force for good. B Corp has made a positive impact, encouraging many of us to reconsider what business is for and how we can do better. In order to become certified, organisations are audited on their social and environmental influence, looking at how a company’s business model impacts workers, communities, and customers.
All certified B Corps have their impact report published online and this information is accessible to all. Have a look at Resource Futures’ impressive rating: https://bcorporation.eu/directory/resource-futures
If you would like more information on the benefits of becoming a B Corp or would like to know more about our journey, please get in touch!