Last summer Sharon Smallworth, from the Resonance communications team, shared Resonance’s journey through the B Corp recertification process and she now reports how we did!
I am delighted to report that for our B Corp recertification, Resonance has an improved score of 128.9, from our first accreditation score of 115 in 2018. When we completed the recertification process last summer, I was under the impression that the hard work was over. How wrong I was! The verification process carried out by the B Corp team is incredibly thorough. There was a delay to the process beginning, but when it did start, it was full on until we had answered all their queries and often had to explain our answers in more detail or perhaps provide more proof. Also, we now have a plan in place illustrating all our goals for the next three years, and the areas of the business that we want to target.
So, what exactly is B Corp?
B Corp is a community of over 4,000 businesses, in 70 countries and 150 industries, which have been through the B Corp certification process to ensure that they meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability, to balance profit and purpose.
The process splits businesses into five sections across key areas:
To certify as a B Corp, a company must achieve a minimum verified score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment. The B Impact Assessment asks around 200 questions about how the day-to-day operations of a company create positive impact for the company’s workers, community, and environment. Additionally, companies can earn further points if their overall business model can be shown to create positive social and environmental impact as well, qualifying the company for specific Impact Business Model points. Scores for Certified B Corporations are verified by the non-profit B Lab.
How did we improve?
One thing we discovered when we were working through the 200+ questions, was that some of the questions had changed since last time. B Corp aims to improve and strengthen its accreditation over time, and so questions get moved to other sections, the weighting of some is changed – some up and some down, and new questions are added. We showed increased scores in all but one of the sections. We were already listed as Best for the World for Governance and Customers and have increased our scores in both of those areas, which is great. But the two key areas of improvement are for Workers and the Environment. Resonance has worked hard to consult with our team members to find out what changes would be of benefit to them, and we have implemented many of the suggestions: from more flexible working hours and the creation of job-sharing opportunities to working from home more (the necessary implementation of this during the pandemic proved it works and it also helps with the environment) and that has been further rolled out. The number of our staff taking advantage of our half day a month paid volunteering leave has also increased, and more and more of our long-term employees are enjoying additional annual leave. We appreciate how hard our teams work, and we are pleased to listen to their suggestions and implement improvements when they prove popular and work for the business.
Our score for the Environment has increased significantly, considering we are non-manufacturing, and therefore, many of the questions don’t actually relate to our business. However, we are happy to see the score improve to 8.3, most of which, is as a result of our starting to measure our usage of water and other utilities. We have also made improvements in our reuse & recycling and our transport policies.
For the first time in 2021, Resonance also published B Corp data in our Annual Report, and we intend to use that data to explain our goals going forward and to keep our clients and peers updated as to our progress. We will also be adding our B Corp data onto our website.
What happens now?
Having been through recertification, we are now consolidating our goals for the next three years – until we will need to recertify again – and putting in place the processes required to gather the data we will need to prove the work we are undertaking.
We will be particularly focusing on improving our environmental footprint further and have established an internal working team to focus on this, in relation to our offices and to our tenants’ homes. This is well underway. We will also be looking to improve further both in the areas of Workers and Community, and again internal working groups have been established to help us progress.
Anything to share?
As detailed and sometimes complex as the process is, Resonance is fully committed to the aim of balancing profit with purpose and maintaining and improving our B Corp accreditation, and we would encourage other businesses to do the same.
Evaluating every aspect of your business in this way, really helps you understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and whether there is a better way. As we have discovered again and again, there is always room for improvement and this framework helps you achieve the change you want and need to make.
Go on, join the movement and give it a go! You’ll be pleased you did.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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