Why B Corp? What does it all mean?
Take a look at any company's website and you’ll usually find emblems and quality marks that illustrate their values and achievements. They can signify membership of a business guild or chamber, represent a charter or quality mark, and sometimes they are the ribbons and rosettes of well-earned awards.
We think these badges can be a really valuable tool to people, giving consumers a better understanding of a company’s background, mindset and values.
Well, there is one badge Hortiwool is very proud to wear – our B Corp Certified status.
Woolcool, the company behind Hortiwool, is now one of the only B Corps in their sector in the UK to earn this status. Never heard of B Corp?
B Corporations (or B Corps) are a growing group of companies across the world who are reinventing business, by pursuing purpose as well as profit. We have been certified by B Lab after meeting rigorous social and environmental standards which represent its commitment to goals beyond profit.
The B Corp certification is for all aspects of a business and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.
To receive certification, we had to provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices - including energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. Finally, to complete the certification, we have legally embedded our commitment to purpose beyond profit into our company articles.
As a result, we are now proud to be officially part of a community of over 3,200 businesses globally who have certified as B Corps. The B Corp community is reflective of the UK economy, with businesses of different sizes from a cross section of industries. These include well-known brands like innocent, Patagonia, Pukka Herbs, Abel & Cole, Divine, and JoJo Maman Bebe.
We decided to go for B Corp certification because it fits perfectly with our values.
As a company founded on principles of sustainability, we have always considered the impact of our work on the environment. By harnessing the benefits of 100% pure wool to create our Hortiwool pads, we have created a viable and sustainable use for an abundant material that is natural, recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable. An easy way to be sustainable in the garden.
Hortiwool Garden Pads can be used as an alternative to plastic or non-sustainable materials in many applications, including hanging baskets, fleece, slug deterrent, capillary matting or even as a growing medium.
B Corp also encourages firms to consider the social impact of its decision-making, which has always been an important part of our outlook too. Whether that’s partnering with charities, supporting our local community or creating a mutually-beneficial relationship with our team, our customers and our partners, we try to ensure that Hortiwool is having a positive effect beyond the business world.
We have never only considered the bottom line. The decisions we make always take into account the environmental and social impacts of our actions, to ensure they are as positive as possible.
B Corp certification reflects a sense of accountability – which has always been a key part of our business ethos – and a transparency that engenders best practice across all sectors and instils confidence in our products and methods.
A great example of that transparency would be how our parent company Woolcool has invested heavily in research into the benefits of using wool, partnering with top universities to create openly available and academically-robust data that has broadened the world’s knowledge of natural materials.
And, of course, it’s about recognising and minimising the impact of a business on the environment, and continually striving to do so. To always be better. This ethos has always been one of our driving factors
So, that’s what B Corp is – it’s a commitment to create a new kind of business world that puts people and purpose before profit.
We’re proud to be one of the first UK manufacturers of our kind in our sector to earn B Corp status. We want to encourage other businesses, across all sectors and regions, to consider going for it too.
It was a rigorous and detailed process which, if anything, showed us how we can do more to live up to the B Corp commitment. By shining a light on how we work, it confirmed what we already knew – we’re far from perfect, there is loads more we can do to be better and we will continue to drive to be so.
But by committing to the B Corp ideal, and embedding it legally into our company articles, we are setting out our stall to always try to be better. It’s a badge we wear with pride and an ethos we are committed to upholding.