“What is BCORP?” I hear you ask (I need to quieten those voices in my head!).
BCORP is a certification that promotes better business practices with the ultimate aim of making the world a better place.
Becoming a certified BCORP indicates that your business meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
It’s something that we’ve been looking at for a while now, predominantly as it already aligns with our beliefs and values as a company.
In practical terms, it provides a framework and guidance for continuous improvement through a number of online tools, plus manual verification and certification. The TLDR process involves completing an online self assessment of around 160 questions split into the main areas that a business impacts, those being Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. This gives you an instant score benchmark from which to improve, with 80 points being the requirement to apply for certification. The process of certification is essentially uploading the necessary documentation that evidences your self assessment.
When we carried out the initial assessment we were already at 66 points, which is a good start point, with the average score of other companies that have been assessed being 53. The report gives us our strengths and weaknesses, with pointers towards the areas for greatest improvement. We’ve then put in place a plan to make improvements to Engage and our impact on people and planet which should bring our score up above the 80 threshold, ready for submission by the end of August.
We’re really excited to be on the path to certification - it’s not an easy thing to achieve and in fact we’d be the first company in Leeds to attain it. But we won’t stop there. Certification is just the first stage and we’ll then be setting company goals to attain improved scores year on year, as well as writing these pledges into our mission statement and company articles of association.
We might not be able to change the world overnight, but we can all make a start to become a (B)etter (Corp)oration.