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What is the Better Business Act?

Britain has a long history of responsible businesses that care for their staff, give back to the communities they rely on and work to reduce their environmental footprint. These companies are the backbone of our economy, and their leaders play an essential role in our society.

The fact that you are here tells us that you are probably one of those leaders, or aspire to work with a company that acts like that.

The Better Business Act (BBA) is a legal attempt to level the playing field and ensure that all companies operate responsibly. Currently, the Companies Act allows companies to pursue profits at the expense of people and the planet. The BBA will help to ensure that businesses take into account the impact of their actions on employees, communities, and the environment. So we move from a sole consideration of Profit to a consideration of People, Planet and Profit.

By supporting businesses that act ethically, we can create a better future for everyone.

Where does B Corp fit into this?

Simply it is the best framework we have found to implement and monitor the principles of People, Planet and Profit in my own business model and we now use the same framework to support and guide other business leaders to implement this in their business.

In addition to ensuring businesses make decisions in respect of all stakeholders, not just shareholders the Better Business Act (BBA) will encourage businesses to be more transparent about their decision-making process and to consider the long-term impacts of their actions.

B Corp provides the framework that gets companies to develop deeper trust within their market, transparency in their actions and long-term thinking which is what our public is demanding more of.

Putting your decisions through these 3 filters will change your business and our world for the good, as we change behaviour then attitudes follow suit.

Mary Portas is a high-profile businesswoman and co-chairs the BBA campaign. We are going to use a direct quote as she sums up perfectly why we do what we do with Profit Impact.

“The world isn’t filled with bad people doing bad things. It’s filled with mainly good people misguided under the sway of bad ideas. People are incentivised badly. Growth and profit needs to be replaced with People. Planet. Profit. In that order. Kindness isn’t soft. In fact these are the hard skills for the people leading business. How to listen, love and respect all the people that you work with. That’s the hardest thing to do. It takes courage and perseverance. But it will create a kinder, more freeing and collaborative future for us all.”

Mary co-chairs the BBA with Douglas Lamont, CEO of Innocent, and in the interest of fairness here is a quote which resonates with us too:

“Aligning the long-term interests of all stakeholders from shareholders, to the planet to our employees is both the challenge and the opportunity. What businesses that do this well have shown (many of whom are fellow B Corp companies) is that this is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do – delivering strong returns for shareholders as well as operating in a responsible way.

It’s for this reason that I’m a passionate supporter of the Better Business Act, with its ambition to create a clearer legal framework for directors to align the long-term needs of all stakeholders with a simple amendment to the current Companies Act. “

What’s next?

As the public becomes more aware of social and environmental issues, they are increasingly demanding that businesses take greater responsibility for these issues.

More and more companies are adopting purpose-driven models in which they seek to make a positive impact on society.

This shift is not only driven by consumer demand, but also by the fact that purpose-driven businesses are more successful and sustainable in the long run.

Being purpose-driven...

  • Better connects businesses with their customers and employees, leading to better performance overall.

  • Attracts talent for a strong sustainable workforce and builds a loyal customer base.

  • Builds a sustainable and robust supply chain.

As the evidence continues to mount, it's clear that being purpose-driven is good for business. And that's good news for everyone.

Contact us to find out more about the Better Business Act and how this could support your business creating more impact.

Written by:
Sarah Whale, FCCA
Sarah is the founder of Profit Impact, which guides businesses to measure and grwo long-term positive social, environmental and financial impacts. Sarah has over 20 years experience as a senior financial professional as well as a qualified in Cambridge Institute Sustainability Leadership and B Corp Leader.