An interview with B Lab – PODCAST

In this podcast, Clarasys chat to non-profit network B Lab UK about how they are transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

An interview with B Lab – PODCAST

In this podcast, Clarasys chat to non-profit network B Lab UK about how they are transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

Clarasys-presents-Simply-Sustainability-podcast

Meet the author

Ruth Wilkinson

Senior Sustainability Consultant

Non-profit organisation B Lab UK‘s Director of Growth and Product James Ghaffari chats to Clarasys’ Ruth Wilkinson about all things B-Corp.

In the fifth episode of ‘Clarasys presents: Simply Sustainability’, Ruth and James discuss B-Corp’s mission and purpose, some tips and advice to other organisations who may want to undertake a B Corp and a discussion about the challenges that both B Corp and the business world are facing when trying to become more sustainable.

Listen here or read on for an edited transcript.

 

Ruth Wilkinson: In today’s podcast. I’m absolutely delighted to be talking to B Lab, a nonprofit team behind B Corp. The standard that is aiming to transform business into a power for good and help solve some of our biggest environmental ethical and social challenges.

Ruth Wilkinson: So let’s kick off the podcast with some introductions.

Ruth Wilkinson: Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Ruth Wilkinson. I’ve joined Clarasys as a Senior Management Consultant, specializing in sustainability, and I’ve previously been a sustainability lead at a large charity in the UK. Over to you James.

James Ghaffari: Hi. Yeah, I’m James and I’m the Director of Growth and Product at B Lab UK. And I spent a bit of time actually working in several different charities, that also work directly with businesses.

James Ghaffari: So that’s been most of my career, really. And I’m delighted to be here with you today.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s great. Thanks so much for joining us.

Ruth Wilkinson: So in this podcast, we’re going to be hearing from B-Corp about their mission and purpose, some tips and advice if you’re thinking about applying to be a B Corp and a discussion about the challenges that both B Corp and the business world are facing when trying to become more sustainable.

Ruth Wilkinson: So to kick us off, James, please do tell us a bit more about your mission and purpose at B Lab. And we’d love to hear a bit about kind of how many companies you work with and anything else you want to share. 

What is B Lab’s mission?

James Ghaffari: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the simplest way of explaining it really is that companies that are certified B corps really are a community of businesses that have come together to do business in a different way, in a way that puts people and planet alongside profit.

James Ghaffari: And by creating that community, they’re really trying to show other businesses the way forward. If we look at how business has been done, really over the past, say five decades, the model is that companies can really do anything in search of profit they can pollute the environment. They can cause greater social inequality. And really what we’re saying as B Lab and through the B Corp movement, is that business can’t go on doing that anymore. Businesses have to actually address some of these social and environmental challenges, and really that’s what the B Corp movement’s here to do is to show a model of how that can be done.

James Ghaffari: And there are about 4,500 businesses doing that around the world, and actually 650 now in the UK, which is the fastest-growing B Corp market, which we’re extremely excited about.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s amazing to hear it’s the fastest growing. That’s brilliant. And do you see a kind of trend in terms of the industries that get involved or the size of the companies that apply to be a B-Corp?

What businesses apply to be a B-Corp?

James Ghaffari: It’s really very, very diverse. So we’ve got a good kind of group of different sectors of companies, that are represented in the B Corp community, both B2C as you’ll probably know a lot of brands like the kind of Patagonia’s and the Body Shops of this world, as well as, news organizations like the Guardian.

James Ghaffari: But we also have a real lot of B2B brands as well. So those companies that want to work with other businesses in their supply chain and talk to those businesses about what they do with their sustainability and how they are intentional in the way they make decisions on their social and environmental performance. So certainly in terms of sectors, we are very, very diverse.

James Ghaffari: And then what we’ve done over the last five years. So, B lab UK was founded in 2015 and it was really founded on the back of some inspiring kind of social enterprises and really purpose-driven SMEs. And they, they were really the kind of foundations of the B Corp movement here in the UK.

James Ghaffari: And what they’ve done is they’ve helped us grow profiles, such that we now have very, very large businesses and even multinationals that are interested in B-Corp certification. And that’s really important because ultimately what we’re trying to do is to change the way in which business is done and build a more kind of equitable and regenerative economy that works for everyone. And that needs both the kind of real purpose-driven SMEs and the big multinationals to get on board with.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah, absolutely. And are there any particular industries that you’re targeting specifically at the moment that you think you’d like to see more engagement from?

Which industries have B Lab been targeting for B Corp engagement?

James Ghaffari: I think a great thing that we’ve seen really is that obviously since the start of the pandemic, we didn’t have a lot of representation from hospitality businesses, and that’s probably quite understandable in that it’s probably the most difficult two years that they’ve ever experienced.

James Ghaffari: But what we’ve seen over the last six months is that with the hospitality industry coming kind of back online and the operations coming back online is that there’s been a lot of hotels and a lot of restaurants that have really kind of engaged with, with B Corp and tried to work out how they can go and start their B Corp certification journey, which has been fascinating for, for a couple of reasons.

James Ghaffari: I think firstly because it’s just really inspiring to see an industry that’s been so affected by the pandemic and the last two years really coming back and making and wanting to make decisions in a really intentional way about how they run their business. And also the fact that the hospitality business is a really people-powered business. You know, there’s, there’s probably no greater industry in the UK that employs so many people. And so for us to see those kinds of businesses engaging with their sustainability and B Corp as a kind of validation of that has been amazing because then we just have more and more people that are working for B Corp’s.

James Ghaffari: And that really know that the business that they’re working with aligns with their values, which is fascinating for us to see.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s so interesting to hear about hospitality and really exciting. Cause I think you’re completely right. And I know we’ve seen at Clarasys kind of consumer trends changing where consumers want to see different things from the products that they’re buying.

Ruth Wilkinson: And particularly when they are thinking about purchasing a meal or they want to know the origins of that and the traceability within that supply chain. Really interesting different challenges around sustainability there. That’s really fascinating. Thank you.

Ruth Wilkinson: I’d be really interested to hear a bit more about the challenges you guys have faced perhaps in the UK or globally.

Ruth Wilkinson: What challenges have you faced while establishing the standard? What have you learned from that? And what’s, obviously you talked a bit about some of the successes, but any particular other successes you wanted to highlight?

What successes and challenges have B Lab faced?

James Ghaffari: Yeah, I think the things that we’ve seen that have gone really well is essentially kind of starting by developing a standard really.

James Ghaffari: I mean, B Corp was launched in 2007 by three of the founders of And One, which was a big basketball footwear and apparel company in the states. And it was really founded on the basis that they wanted to find a way in which businesses could show and externally validate their social-environmental performance and that businesses could kind of lock in the mission, the kind of purposeful mission of their company through capital raising, growing, and eventually selling the company.

James Ghaffari: And that’s where the kind of B Corp legal change comes in or the B Corp legal requirement.

James Ghaffari: And so the idea of establishing a standard really kind of from nothing over the course of kind of 10 or 15 years, has been great for us to see and great for us to see not only lots of businesses kind of becoming B-Corps and going on that journey, but a lot of businesses actually just using the B-Corp standards and engaging with the, what we call the B impact assessment, which is our impact improvement tool that we have online, which is free and confidential for every business to use.

James Ghaffari: We’ve had, over a hundred thousand businesses use that. So it’s, I think that’s one of the real big successes is building a standard that can work across a number of different industries, and actually building something that’s valuable for businesses that are just starting out on that journey of trying to understand what sustainability even means.

James Ghaffari: I know you spoke about it as being kind of an intimidating landscape and it really is for a lot of businesses. So I think that’s definitely a success.

James Ghaffari: And I think looking forward into the, into the future and thinking about where we can learn and develop is one of the kind of big things that, that we want to do is to maintain the rigour of the certification and make sure that yes, we’ve got an extraordinarily large amount of demand at the moment.

James Ghaffari: And we want to make sure that we can service that demand and that every company that wants to go through the B-Corp journey and improve their impacts can obviously go on to have that validated and to join the B Corp community. But also that in that we don’t lose sight of the rigour of the standards.

James Ghaffari: And we make sure that we’re holding all businesses to a high set of standards on their social-environmental performance.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah, I can completely understand that that’s a huge challenge. And how do you stay at the cutting edge of sustainability? It’s shifting all the time, it’s growing all the time and we’re learning so much from the science and the efforts of research that are going on. It must be a huge effort for you guys to keep on the cutting edge of that.

How does B Lab stay at the cutting edge of sustainability?

James Ghaffari: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the key things that we do is yes, we require companies to recertify every three years, so they have to submit their assessment again and go through that whole verification process. But, in addition to that, we have to update our standards as a matter of course, every three years to make sure that they are moving in line with existing and developing best practices.

James Ghaffari: And actually we are in the middle of our biggest review of our performance requirements to date. And so a bit of a plug for that. If anyone listening is really interested in performance standards and sustainability standards is to go onto our website and have a look at how we’re developing our standards and please provide feedback on that because we are going through a kind of public comment period, and we’d love to hear from stakeholders all across the globe in all different sectors and from all different levels of expertise to, to tell us, you know, how we can use.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s amazing. I’ll absolutely log on and have a go at that for you.

Ruth Wilkinson: Let’s start talking about if we’re talking to companies who are interested or thinking about taking on a sustainability standard.

Ruth Wilkinson: One thing that I found as a sustainability leader is there’s lots out there, lots on the market and lots of standards to look and it can be really overwhelming. I was drawn to B Corp, based on the fact that it had that B impact tool.

Ruth Wilkinson: How are you finding working with the other standards out there and some of the global standards as well? Are you collaborating with them? Have there been challenges there?

How does B Lab work with other global standards?

James Ghaffari: Yeah, I think if we look at kind of what the real vision of the B Lab network and the B Corp movement is, it is to build a sustainable and equitable, regenerative economy that works for all people and planet. And that can’t be done alone. That’s a systemic change that we’re trying to realize. So we have to do that in partnership with other people, with other movements and with other standard-setting organizations.

James Ghaffari: So obviously we are involved in all of the kind of big coalitions, like the impact management project and things like that. But we also recognize that there are some brilliant standards out there that are doing things slightly differently to B Corp. So there is some kind of narrower standards, so more focused standards.

James Ghaffari: So the likes of kind of Fairtrade and organic and FSC, and all of these certifications are actually recognized in the B impact assessment and so if a company is actually really wanting to drill down on a certain aspect of their product and get that certified by one of those organizations then that is recognized as a positive impact in your B impact assessment. And so, yes, we’re always trying to work with those other organizations.

James Ghaffari: And then I guess on a broader basis, you have different organizations that are kind of taking, a greater look at company’s sustainability or companies kind of purpose and mission.

James Ghaffari: So a good example is the UN Global Compact are the host of the sustainable development goals, and actually we’ve developed a tool called the SDG action manager, which we did in partnership with the UN Global Compact so that we could give companies a way of kind of reporting their progress against specific sustainable development goals and to, yeah bring the kind of technology of the B impact assessment with the vocabulary of the sustainable development goals so that companies can really understand their performance against them.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s amazing. Some amazing collaborations and partnerships there. And I loved the idea that if you do so a narrower standard, that you can layer the B-Corp on top and that comes part of it. So you don’t feel like you’re duplicating your efforts to get recognized externally.

Ruth Wilkinson: So thinking about companies that might be interested in undertaking B-Corp, what advice would you give anyone looking into B Corp at the very start of their journey?

Advice for companies interested in undertaking B-Corp

James Ghaffari: So I think the most important thing is to remove that kind of intimidation factor. As I say, you mentioned the sustainability landscape and how it can be kind of vague and intimidating quite difficult to navigate. And so what I like to do is to think about sustainability just as a business, thinking about your stakeholders.

James Ghaffari: So think about those groups of people that are influenced or can influence your business. And those are your stakeholders the people that work for you, the society or the community in which you operate, your suppliers. Yes. Your shareholders and the environment at large.

James Ghaffari: And sustainability is just looking at your relationship with those stakeholders and thinking how can this be better? How can I actually improve my relationship so that I’m making a positive impact through my business, on those stakeholders, on the, on our workers or on the environment or on the community in which you operate. And taking that kind of view, that’s really where the B impact assessment sits.

What is the B impact assessment?

James Ghaffari: So it is this online free and confidential tool that helps you to basically measure your impact against those kinds of stakeholders. As a business, the best way to do it is to just go online and start working through that assessment and answering, it’s around kind of 200 questions. And really, it just gives you a picture of, you know, how am I performing against the kind of worker impact area or against the governance impact area or against the environmental impact area.

James Ghaffari: And so by first kind of measuring that, you then kind of get this idea of, okay there’s a kind of human factor in it where you really want to improve straight away. And actually, there’s a huge amount of tools and bits of knowledge on the impact assessment itself to help you through that process.

James Ghaffari: So my first tip would really just be to get online and start answering some of those questions, even if you take it section by section. But the kind of second part of it is that B-Corp certification is not just that kind of performance requirement through the B impact assessment.

James Ghaffari: So for those companies that are not just kind of wanting to measure their impact using our tools, but actually want to go and become a B Corp. A really important thing is to really understand what’s called the B-Corp legal requirement, which is where we kind of go beyond just measuring the performance of the company. And actually, we require all companies to make a change to their articles of association, their constitutional documents, to say that they will consider the impact of their decisions on all of their stakeholders going forward and not just their shareholders.

James Ghaffari: And that’s a really big thing for a business to state, that actually everything that they’re going to do going forward is going to be based on what is best for not just their shareholders, but for their workers, for the environment, for society. And so, as you can imagine, it’s really important to get that understood by leadership and by ownership and to get everyone behind it.

The importance of considering sustainability across the whole business

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah absolutely. And that’s something actually that we do a lot with Clarasys with our clients is we, talk to them about their mission and purpose as an organisation if not-for-profit or for-profit, and actually think, how does the sustainability challenges we’re facing intersect with you being able to achieve your mission and purpose.

Ruth Wilkinson: And across the board, there’s never been an instance where it hasn’t intersected, you know, we were always able to make that connection. And I think when you make that connection between your strategic direction and then the sustainability challenges we’re facing as society, suddenly it becomes a lot clearer and a lot easier to pave the way towards making a difference.

Ruth Wilkinson: Because I think it can feel very different. I think sometimes people do come in and think I don’t really have that much control over my sustainability impact and it’s not part of my core business model and it’s hard to change. So, you know, making that difference from the very top, really helps people get on that path, I think.

James Ghaffari: Yeah. And that’s really interesting because actually the way in which companies kind of embrace their sustainability a lot of the time is to just really start thinking about the things that they’ve always done and to think about them in a more intentional way. And actually, that is kind of the same, I guess, muscle as innovation strategy in companies.

James Ghaffari: And really interestingly, we did some research comparing B Corp SMEs with the UK SME population. One of the things that we found, which was quite surprising was that 45% of, B-corp SMEs had applied for and received, R and D tax credits in the last three years. And that was compared with 6% of the UK SME population.

James Ghaffari: And so there is something really interesting there about the same kind of way of thinking that drives sustainability is the same kind of way of thinking in the same way of operating as a company that drives innovation. It’s about doing those things that you’ve always done, but actually relooking at them in a more intentional way and thinking let’s not just do them the way we did before let’s do them in a way that’s more considered and more intentional.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s so fascinating to hear about that research. And I think you’re completely right in that the best examples we’ve seen of companies embracing sustainability, hasn’t been where they’ve layered in a load of sustainability actions on top of their existing business model, but actually where they’ve evolved their business model to integrate it.

Ruth Wilkinson: And particularly I’ve certainly seen some great examples of kind of continuous improvement featuring sustainability evolution that helps them improve their performance as well. And I think that’s the other really key bit around that as well is how does sustainability help you improve your performance as a company, you know, reach a different audience or engage your consumers better?

Ruth Wilkinson: There’s always, I think, a reason to consider it even if it is just thinking about your performance. Hopefully, the broader global agenda is enough to consider it So thinking about the people that are applying to be a B Corp at the moment, what would you say are the biggest challenges they’re facing as companies?

Biggest challenges companies applying to be a B Corp are facing?

James Ghaffari: I think the most important thing for companies is just to get started and start measuring their impact, and their performance on social environmental factors. I think where the challenge comes in is that because we’ve set quite a high bar for B Corp certification at 80 points on the B impact assessment, most companies obviously have to go through an improvement period. And yes, there’s a lot of tools on the impact assessment. And obviously, companies can kind of talk to their workforce and get their employees to kind of contribute ideas, but really the rubber hits the road when a company has gone through their first B impact assessment.

James Ghaffari: And got a baseline and maybe they’re scoring 55 points and they feel like they’re a long way away from the 80 points, but that’s where that kind of big challenge comes in. And then companies really need to decide, are we comfortable just measuring it or do we actually want to put in a roadmap for improvement in place?

James Ghaffari: And I always stress for companies. You don’t have to have say B Corp certification as the goal for what you’re trying to do. You could just have, getting a five-point increase or a 10 point increase because ultimately, what you’re doing to get that is making the company a better place to work in and a better place for the communities in which it operates and a better place for the environment.

James Ghaffari: And so that in itself is a good enough goal to kind of get companies moving forward on that B-corp journey

Ruth Wilkinson: I can see why, obviously it’s a huge undertaking to become a B Corp. And it’s a massive accolade for companies that do, and they can obviously represent that with the B Corp branding on their branding. And I can see why companies who maybe that’s a few years away would look to find some kind of stage gates within that, to be able to demonstrate the difference they’re doing in that time.

Ruth Wilkinson: What would you recommend to them in terms of being able to talk to their audiences about the differences they’re making already? Even if B Corp’s still a few years away.

Advice for businesses to demonstrate sustainable differences they’re making

James Ghaffari: Well, I think that’s actually one of the best points really, is that just talk about it and communicate about it early and often. So if B Corp certification is something that you want to do as a company, and you’re really kind of bought into the values of the B Corp community and the B Corp movement, then even if you’re not scoring near the 80 points at the moment, the best thing to do is really to communicate sometimes externally, if you feel comfortable with that.

James Ghaffari: But certainly internally with your workforce and with your employees. Because it can be for employees, enormously motivating and valuable to see that their business is actually holding the same values that they do. And the fact that a company kind of feels confident to come out and say, you know, we’re going to be honest, we want to get to B Corp certification, or we want to become a more sustainable company more generally, we’re not there yet. We have several challenges, but come and help us on the journey and come and tell us what you think we can do is a fabulous way of kind of motivating people and getting them to kind of identify with the journey that you’re going on as a company.

James Ghaffari: And ultimately it means that once you become a B Corp where you get to where you want to get to, it’s going to mean so much more to the people that have contributed to that. And it’s going to be really, really valuable for them.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah, absolutely. I can see that. That’s great. So, obviously, we’ve been talking about the companies that undertake B Corp and actually, you have to be a for-profit company to do B Corp. So what about the organizations that aren’t for profit or aren’t applicable for B Corp? What is it that they might be able to take from the work that you’re doing without being able to undertake the accreditation?

What can not-for-profits take from B Lab?

James Ghaffari: Yeah, as you say, all for-profit companies can become B-corps and there are a couple of caveats to that. So if you’re a startup, you can’t actually become a full B Corp because if you have less than 12 months in operation, you can’t have a kind of verified B impact assessment because it’s based on the last 12 months of data as a company.

James Ghaffari: So all startups can actually apply for pending B Corp certification, which is like a 12-month on-ramp to certification. You can become part of the community. You need to make the B Corp legal change. And then after 12 months, you can then apply for a full B Corp certification. But for nonprofits, I think that the B impact assessment can be enormously valuable.

James Ghaffari: It’s not solely focused on for-profit companies. So as I said, it is free and confidential. And either as a for-profit company, you could take the whole thing and you could set some goals for improvement over time. Or even if you’re maybe a head of HR in a not-for-profit or a head of procurement or a head of finance, you can pick certain sections.

James Ghaffari: So you could look at just the governance section or just the workers’ section or just the community section. And actually, take a look at that and use that as a bit of a roadmap for even your department in taking sustainability forward. And so I think that’s certainly something that people who are working in non-profits can take from some of the tools.

Ruth Wilkinson: So when you see organizations talking about their sustainability work, what have been the best examples of kind of reporting that you’ve seen, where organizations have really communicated to their audience what they’re doing in this space?

Best reporting examples of organisations communicating their sustainability work

James Ghaffari: Some of the best communications that I’ve seen have been the most authentic. And what I mean by that is that we never talk about B-corps as being the perfect companies. We will say that they have met a certain high standard of social-environmental performance, and they’ve made a legal change to mean that they will consider their stakeholders going into the future and within decisions that they make as a company.

James Ghaffari: But we are kind of committed as a movement, as a community, to continuous improvement and to transparency. And so some of the best kind of announcements of B Corp certifications that I’ve seen, where companies have said, yes, we’re a B Corp, but we haven’t been doing well in this area and we can improve on it.

James Ghaffari: I think that level of authentic transparent communications is what kind of builds trust with your stakeholders? I don’t think people respond necessarily that well if you kind of say we’re the best company and we’ve, figured everything out because sustainability is extremely complex and there are kind of layers to everything that you do and equal and opposite kind of reactions to every action that you take.

James Ghaffari: And so the most important thing is to be transparent. And to be honest with all of your stakeholders, because that’s the thing that builds trust, and it helps you to bring them along with you on the journey. And so those are some of the best bits of communication that I’ve seen.

Ruth Wilkinson: I couldn’t agree more, but I think it’s so, uncomfortable for organizations to do that. But I agree with you as a consumer, I like to see authenticity and honesty, from companies I buy stuff from. Thank you for sharing that.

Ruth Wilkinson: And actually something that we often work with clients on is actually the fundamentals of having some robust data behind which they can stand and collecting the data in the right places.

Ruth Wilkinson: And then using that to demonstrate the difference they’re making and create their reporting. And that would indicate, you know, we’ve done really well in this space. We set these targets. We’re actually struggling over here. These are our roadmap goals, but we can’t hide behind a kind of greenwashing statement and actually have some proper numbers and proper direction of travel in place.

Ruth Wilkinson: Which is really challenging. But I think a hugely important part of, of undertaking sustainability as an organization.

Ruth Wilkinson: So we’re reaching the end of our podcast now. So I really want to hear about the future of B Corp. What are your big ambitions and what are you looking to do next?

What’s next for B Lab?

James Ghaffari: The real ambition that I have, so my role at B Lab UK is around kind of building out the community and helping businesses understand how they can go about their certification journeys. And while we have a really great diverse kind of group of sectors and regions represented in the B Corp community, it’s not as representative as it could be.

James Ghaffari: And really what we want to do is to create a community where every single business in the UK can see themselves. And so we want to look at those sectors that aren’t yet represented in the B Corp community, those regions in the UK, that aren’t yet represented. And we want to represent some more founders of diverse backgrounds.

James Ghaffari: And that’s really how we want to build out the B Corp community. So if you’re a consultancy in Aberdeen or you’re a coffee shop in Cardiff or a manufacturing company in Brighton, you can see yourself in the B Corp community and you can see a peer that’s done something similar.

James Ghaffari: So it actually feels like it’s achievable for you. And that’s really very, very important for us.

James Ghaffari: But over and above that we really want to see not just growing the B-corp community, but just more businesses that are trying to act like B-corps or act in a way that is embracing their responsibility to all of their stakeholders and not just their shareholders.

James Ghaffari: And you can do that as a business, either through making that change to your constitutional documents that like those B corps or you can just use the tools of the B impact assessment to kind of measure, manage and improve your impact. And so, that’s really something that we’d love to see is just more and more businesses engaging in measuring their impact and making decisions going forward in a more intentional way.

James Ghaffari: And finally, I think just picking up on that point around the legal change that companies make is that we have a campaign actually running this year and going forward, that’s called the better business act. And really what we’re doing here is we’re creating a coalition of businesses around the UK that are calling on the government to change the company’s act so that the status quo for all businesses in the UK is that they have to think about all of their stakeholders in their decision-making and not just their shareholders.

James Ghaffari: The way in which business operates in the UK at the moment is that businesses can kind of do anything as long as they are meeting their fiduciary duty to maximise value for shareholders. And through this better business act and this is something that’s been supported by almost 1000 businesses now in the UK, we want to kind of change that and we want to make a significant change to the way in which business operates in the UK and hopefully set a precedent for countries around the world.

Ruth Wilkinson: That was actually great timing that you said that cause I was about to ask you, do you think it’s even a choice anymore that companies can’t think, or, you know, aren’t even going to be able to think about beyond their fiduciary duty to their shareholders?

Ruth Wilkinson: Cause it just feels like the world is full of these climate crises that we’re facing, sustainability issues that are global. We haven’t got a choice anymore to not think about this. And anyone that doesn’t isn’t going to exist in the long-term, in my opinion.

James Ghaffari: Yeah, I think the moral case has kind of always been there and it’s just been highlighted more recently.

James Ghaffari: I think the business case, even for sustainability is becoming even more convincing.

James Ghaffari: The fact that businesses that are kind of operating sustainability, can access lower cost of capital and showing better operational performance, have more motivated employees and more loyal customers.

James Ghaffari: So the business case is there as well. The last step I think is what we’re looking at here is, is regulation and really asking the government to recognize this and to make sure that all businesses as a matter of, kind of compliance, need to actually operate in this way.

Ruth Wilkinson: Yeah, that makes complete sense. And what an amazing campaign, best of luck with it.

Round up

Ruth Wilkinson: We’ve reached the end of our time. that’s been absolutely brilliant to hear from James from B Corp, about the ambition that B-Corp have got, about the amazing work that they’ve done so far, about some of the challenges faced by the people applying for B Corp and some of the opportunities as well in that space.

Ruth Wilkinson: James, if listeners are interested in finding out more, where should they go to find more information?

James Ghaffari: The best place to go really is just our website. We’ve actually just launched our new website. And so it’s got a lot of information up on there. A lot of information about what current B-corps are doing, a lot of information about the kind of events and campaigns that we’re running, and then a lot of information about how you can actually take those steps to become a certified B-Corp as well.

Ruth Wilkinson: That’s great. Thank you. And anyone listening, who wants to find out more, please do visit the Clarasys website as well. We’ve got a dedicated sustainability page you can check out.

Ruth Wilkinson: And then please do join us for another podcast coming up in the future.

Ruth Wilkinson: Thank you so much, James, for joining us today. Really great to have you.

James Ghaffari: Thanks, brilliant to be here.

For more information, please contact us at sustainability@clarasys.com.

To find out how our sustainability consulting can help you, get in touch. To find out more about B Lab check out their website or follow them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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