The B Corp certification process was established in 2006 to assist mission-driven businesses in protecting and improving their positive impact over time.
Certified B Corporations are companies that adhere to the highest standards of verifiable social and environmental performance, public openness, and legal responsibility in order to balance profit with purpose.
Recognizing that governments and NGOs only go so far in facilitating change, we join a growing number of for-profit businesses that strike a balance between profit and purpose.
We are really happy to announce that we are now a member of this expanding worldwide community dedicated to creating a better environment, a stronger community, and reducing inequality.
Why did we choose B Corp?
Our Founder, Sarah Whale, found out about B Corp when looking for a Finance Director role before deciding to create Profit Impact.
The sound of the mission was inspiring, with the ambition of B Corp being that in future they wouldn't be needed, it would just be the way that businesses operated.
The holistic approach of looking across the whole business on a strategic but also operational approach makes business sense.
While there are other sustainability certifications and methodologies that are equally worthwhile, B Corp encourages a broader outlook while inspiring you to go on a journey.
You don't have to be perfect from day one, you have to be good enough and willing to improve.
How have we managed to embed sustainable thinking within Profit Impact to become a B Corp?
We’re absolutely delighted with our score of 131.5. To achieve certification you need to score 80 or above so we have more than surpassed requirements.
You can see from the table below the scores that we got across each pillar and for impact area we scored higher than the average across the UK in our sector (management consulting with profits) and within the size 1 to 9 employees.
We are particularly pleased about this because it means we have strength across the whole business, which sets us up really well to grow in a sustainable way.
Operationally we have a sustainable business that has allowed us to become B Corp certified.
We have a very low environmental impact from operating virtually, and we offer selected discounted services to businesses that have majority female founders. In the future, this is an area where we hope to develop further tools to support founders to create financially sustainable businesses.
Aside from the operational impacts, we have 3 specific elements designed into a business that creates positive impact. The first is our commitment to younger generations and wherever possible, we look to create tangible opportunities to develop and invest in young people. Whether that's people in our team or people that need mentoring or looking for work experience, which is also reflected in our excellent benefits for our team.
Our second commitment is to donate a percentage of our revenues to Trussell Trust.
The final commitment is in the services that we deliver to our customers. Our services challenge and guide other businesses to develop their sustainable impact.
In some ways it has been easy to embed sustainable thinking into Profit Impact, given that all of the team are behind the purpose and can see the need for the changes that we are making.
However, you cannot get away from the fact that we are a bootstrapped startup which offers its own challenges. Committing to reviewing your impact on a monthly basis and all the important decisions you make doesn't always come naturally, even to us.
We remind ourselves and each other whenever we’re moving off track and continue to look to the B Corp community for inspiration to get us back on track.
Having a sustainability framework with which to plan and build around has really helped Profit Impact think of plans for the future.
We believe our B Corp certification evidences our commitment to sustainability for now and in the future. We hope it will encourage others on their journey.
What is the impact on our stakeholders:
Startups should be considering its impact on it’s stakeholders from the outset. It does not make financial sense to not consider your stakeholders or you risk losing financial value from day one.
There will become a point where growing businesses no longer shout about their equity raises in isolation. Rather they will talk about the impact that they've had so far and the impact this equity raise will have on their stakeholders in the future.
Now this change won't be something that Profit Impact will bring about on it’s own, but we will have contributed to these changes simply by being here and talking about the need to consider all your stakeholders.
Our sustainability goals target 90 hours of employee training for each full time equivalent. This is just one of our ways of ensuring our team is motivated and empowered to develop and learn.
According to Culture Amp, “employees at B Corp are more likely to view their leaders as communicating a motivating vision to employees”, this is notably one of the top drivers of employee engagement at B Corps.
This highlights why 82% of employees at B Corps find their company’s commitment to social responsibility as more genuine compared to 70% of employees not in B Corps.
Hear what our employees at Profit Impact had to say about our B Corp certification:
“It feels great to work for a purpose-driven company that does more for the planet. I feel heard and supported as an employee, and motivated to do the right thing. Being a B Corp means I can proudly say that we are doing more than just helping others, but that we continue and strive to be better as a team and company.”
Amyra Haddouch, Research Analyst
“When I first joined Profit Impact, I didn’t know what a B Corp was, but the journey of discovery and realising it matched perfectly with my ideals meant that I knew that this company was right for me. I’ve never been more grateful for having the opportunity to keep learning and growing, knowing that no matter what happens, I’ve become a much stronger person for joining this amazing team.”
Jimmy Sherwood, Marketing Executive
Understanding impact within governance entails an evaluation into a company's overall mission, and the engagement around its social and environmental impact, ethics, and transparency.
The main impact on governance for Profit Impact, is that we do consider our social and environmental impact as part of our board reviews and by ensuring more regular reporting.
It also means an evaluation of the ability of a company to protect their mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision making through their corporate structure or governing documents.
We have the mission lock in place which means that we are committed to considering all impacts and that can only be reversed if our articles of association are amended at Companies House.
We absolutely view our suppliers as our extended employees and we look to treat them as we do our employees - our goal is to have long-term relationships wherever possible. We do have a goal of having 80% of our spend in the UK and we're finding that quite challenging to achieve because a lot of our spend is in tech, but will continue to work on this.
One of our Impact Business Models (a specific way of working designed into your business to have a positive impact) is to support younger generations. We have supported four young people through the Government’s Kickstart scheme which has been mutually beneficial.
We do have a goal of having a board member under the age of 30. This is to support us to have balanced viewpoints within the business and to challenge our traditional thinking.
This is something that we wanted to get in place since the beginning but so far, we've not been able to achieve this. This very much is still on the plan and it's something we will be considering for when the time is right.
“Just knowing the strict process they have in place to decide who they work with as their suppliers, I am excited and privileged to be part of the Profit Impact community as they reach B Corp certification. On a journey to make my business and life more sustainable I look forward to learning from Sarah and her business as we continue our partnership.”
Danny Matthews, Danny&.co
We always aim to provide the best service for our customers and do this by ensuring quality products and services are offered depending on the assessment of the needs of the customer.
Then, we utilise feedback channels to assure our services have improved the social impact of the business and work on progressively improving our service.
“It’s all about tangible actions. It’s not just a philosophy. There’s a real change happening for future generations. It's not a one size fits all solution. Sarah was pragmatic. She understood our business, and was empathetic about what we can achieve now, and the steps we’ll take in the future.”
Micarla Sullivan, Atomic Innovation.
We designed our business to have minimal impact right from the start, by operating virtually, having a needs only travel policy and using refurbished hardware. We manage our carbon footprint using our carbon calculator to reduce emissions through target setting.
With this, we hope to achieve net zero by the end of March 2022.
Read more about our Net Zero Strategy on our insights and how you can benefit from implementing a strategy of your own.
What change do we expect Profit Impact to make in a 5 year time frame?
Profit Impact hopes to inspire other business service organisations to either take up their B Corp journey or to have embedded sustainable goals and decision making into their business.
We believe there is much potential for business services to have a positive impact on the business community.
In 5 years time we would expect Profit Impact to have supported 1,000 businesses to make long-term holistic decisions. We will be measuring our impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals and sharing our results as we move forward.
We are excited by the ripple effect that this will create amongst employees, investors, suppliers, local communities, the environment and of course the governance within businesses.
By our small bootstrapped startup achieving the B Corp certification we hope we’ve inspired others to believe it is possible. It truly is achievable and we are really proud of what the team has achieved and the ripple effect that it's had already.