Key environmental status for Business West

By Barrie Hudson - 5 October 2021

  • Business West staff celebrate their achievement

    Business West staff celebrate their achievement

Business West has joined a distinguished global group or organisations reinventing business by balancing profit with people and the planet.

The business advocacy organisation, which represents businesses in Swindon and the wider region, has achieved B Corporation (B Corp) certification.
The certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations, covering five key impact areas - governance, workers, community, environment and customers, and the rigorous certification process  requires evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices. 

Business West’s carbon neutral target, Living Wage Foundation accreditation, Transparency in Supply Chains reporting and involvement in the BeOnBoard diversity initiative are all key factors in its reaching the benchmark. 

Business West Managing Director Phil Smith said: “We’re delighted to join a growing community of businesses globally pursuing purpose as well as profit. At the core of our mission is sustainable and inclusive growth of the region, which prioritises quality of life for those who live, work and learn here. 

"B Corp certification provides a roadmap of how we as a business can continue to improve and encourage others to join us so that we have a greater impact in the region that we serve.” 

Business West is now part of a community of 4,000 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK, representing a broad cross section of industries and sizes, comprises over 400 companies and include well-known brands such as The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole. 

In South West England, Business West joins organisations including Triodos, Finisterre, Hobbs House Bakery and Stroud Brewery in certifying as a B Corp.  

Greg Pilley, Managing Director of fellow B Corp Stroud Brewery, produced an organic pale ale to help Business West celebrate B Corp status.

He said: “My advice would be jump in there and register. It costs nothing to start working your way through the questions. There is a lot of emphasis on carbon and climate, and alongside that people and biodiversity. People must change their behaviour and move from measuring success purely on profit and GDP, to also measure the quality of life.” 

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, the organisation which certifies B Corps, says: “This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. 

"Business West are going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward with its thousands of clients and members. 

“We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community – from start-ups to multinationals and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force and B Corps demonstrate that you can do good in any sector. Welcoming Business West is an exciting moment – they work with 20,000 businesses across South West England and play a leading role in enabling the economy of the region to grow sustainably with inclusion at its core. 

"We and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased to support Business West in paving the way for a new way of doing things. 

“Being able to welcome Business West to the B Corp community is hugely exciting. Their commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and really help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”

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