“We’re proud to announce that we’ve now become B Corp certified, joining a network of more than 2,500 B Corps in 150 industries. Together, we all share the same vision for a future where businesses not only drive profits – but positive social and environmental change.” – Jessi Baker, Founder & CEO, Provenance
B Corp as a certification body requires businesses to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance and accountability – all with the aim of leveraging the power of business to build a more inclusive, sustainable economy.
Why we chose to certify
Working in the sustainability sector, we see a lot of businesses and brands we admire. The overlap of brands we admire and brands who are B Corp certified is pretty extensive, so we started questioning internally whether certification was something we should pursue.
When we started exploring the B-Impact Assessment, it really resonated with us. The questions and evidence asked of businesses and really forces you to scrutinise whether you are running your business as responsibly as possible. Beyond the internal scrutiny, like Provenance, BCorp champion business-level transparency.
Whilst the certification itself was going to be resource-intensive for our small team, we recognised the benefits of certifying would quickly outweigh any length of time it took. We are now proud to be part of a network of amazing companies who share our vision for a future where businesses not only drive profits – but drive positive change.
What changes we made to our business
Despite Provenance being designed to drive social impact at its very core, to comply with BCorp – there were quite a few changes we had to make.
The biggest undertaking was amending our articles of association. Provenance already had articles of association committing us to our social mission and to the environment, however, we’ve now adopted the suggested legal wording proposed by B Corp. Our shareholders and Board of Directors voted unanimously in favour of the change.
For us, the main change came operationally. We are now committed to reporting on our impact annually – something we’d not done yet as a small startup.
We have also made a few other small changes, mostly around our own suppliers and the products we use. Provenance uses sustainable cleaning products and office supplies, and we now buy from other B Corp brands wherever possible.
What we are looking to improve
We have a long way to go in measuring our energy and environmental outputs. We are in a leased office and have a good relationship with our landlord, so the first thing we are doing post-certification is switching to a renewable energy supplier – fellow B Corp Bulb.
We have also already started measuring our carbon with our partner at Carbon Analytics, but being able to actually add our environmental outputs will give us a clearer picture of our impact, as well as enable us to make our own commitments to reduction.
We are still an early-stage company and a small team, however over the next 12 months, we’ll be focusing on creating the best possible working environment for our team. This will involve us bringing in a range of different staff training opportunities, particularly around diversity in the workplace.
Many of the businesses we work with are already part of the B Corp family, so we look forward to meeting more and continuing to using business as a force for good™. We also look forward to publishing and sharing the data behind B Corp certifications, bringing integrity to the certification and allowing people to understand more how brands align with their values.
🌍Are you a B Corp brand that wants to back up your certification with data and commitments to be better? Join our January cohort and get 3 months free as an ‘artisan’ business when you use the promocode ‘BCORP’ before the end of 2019.