As an SME, and as social value practitioners, we have always held the values of creating better outcomes for all stakeholders. This philosophy is built into the essence of RealWorth. As such, we have been looking to cement and solidify this philosophy for some time. For example as employers, our employee handbook shows our commitment to flexible, supportive working. As social value practitioners our person-centric approach reduces the risk of social value being determined by box-ticking exercises and provides actual positive change for communities. Applying for B Corp status seemed like a natural next step to becoming a more transparent and accountable business for good, as many of the requirements align with our existing principles and reflect the ethos of what B Corp certification represents. Now almost twelve months into the journey, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our business, what we are doing well and where we can improve.
So What Have We Actually Done?
The first thing we did was submit an interim assessment. We used this assessment to measure and document what we already do, and what changes we could make to improve. We had to make some changes and formalise some existing policies to comply with the assessment criteria. We changed our companies’ articles and memorandum of association. This ratified that the Company’s purpose is to have a positive impact on society and the environment in addition to benefiting shareholders
What Happens Next?
We passed our interim assessment in the summer, and are now in the final stages of verification by a B Corp assessor. On our current trajectory we hope to be certified in early 2022.
We believe that this certification will help us to congruently and modestly explain the positive impacts we have on our employees, our clients, our suppliers and most importantly, the people affected by the social value work that we do. By joining the B Corp family, we are consolidating our promise to put the interests of all our stakeholders on an equal footing with shareholder interests. We intend to use the B Corp approach to grow sustainably, in a way that supports people and planet.
Would We Recommend This to Other Firms?
The process so far has been incredibly helpful in understanding where RealWorth stands against some very rigorous and widely respected ESG-style criteria. It has pushed us to think more critically about how day-to-day operations can best support our beliefs and principles. Whether we achieve certification or not this time, and if so, how that improves or supports our business and our culture, remains to be seen.
So far, every stage of our B Corp journey has been useful and beneficial. If you haven’t done so yet, take a moment to explore the values and business practices that B Corp endorses. We will share more about our own experiences as they unfold.