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Becoming B Corp – we just did it and you can too

Lisa

05 / 10 / 2020

Eighteen purposeful (and gruelling) months since we started the process, we’re thrilled to announce that Given is now officially B Corp certified!

Founded 10 years ago with a purpose to help brands grow by doing good, we knew the Given and B corp missions were kindred spirits – so last year we decided to make it official and pursue a B Corp certification.

Since then, we’ve taken a good look at every corner of our business – from worker and health care policies, to our own impact on the environment and our community. Two rigorous assessments, over 200 questions and a ridiculous number of agency working groups later, we’ve managed to build on and formalise lots of the things we were already doing to bring us up to the B Corp standard.

But this isn’t about us. This is about a new way of doing business that every business can and should be part of.

Ben & Jerrys, Tony’s Chocolonely, Pip and Nut – these are just some of over 300 UK and 3,565 global B Corps, with this number on the rise. We believe the model it sets out should, and will, be the standard model for businesses of the future. In fact, Given was founded with this mission: to make business a force for good. We’re just the most recent joiner in an ever-expanding group of B Corp certified businesses – could you be next?

In a nutshell, B Corp is to business what Fairtrade certification is to coffee. Certified B Corporations (B Corps) are businesses that commit to having a positive impact on society and the environment. To get certified, we had to pass a rigorous assessment which interrogated five different impact areas — governance, workers, community, environment, customers. Was it easy to get? No. Worth it? Absolutely. Here’s five things we wish we had known at the start of our journey. We hope they will help you get there quicker.

START ANYWHERE

The journey to certification doesn’t need to start with management.

In fact, our senior designer Lisa and strategist Tom were the first to raise the idea of becoming certified. Like any Given project, collaboration was key. So, from that lightbulb moment to working groups, we’re proud of the team effort that got us over the line. So if you’re interested in your workplace becoming certified, why not start today?

MAKE A LOT OF FRIENDS

Anyone can start the process, but no one can do it alone, you’re going to need input from all parts of the business.

Having a shared goal and buy-in from all levels will make the process a whole lot easier, so start early and don’t be afraid to put your big B Corp dream out there, you might be surprised at how willing others are to help.

THINK BIG PICTURE, VIA LITTLE PROJECTS

We’re not going to sugar coat it — getting certified is a huge undertaking.

With five areas of assessment and over 150 questions to complete, it can be tempting to try and tackle it all at once. But by taking it section by section, task by task you can keep on top of to-do lists and working groups. Create small manageable goals and don’t take on new projects until they’re done.

SOAK UP EXPERIENCE

Sarah from Beryl came to our office for a lunch and learn session – and, boy, did we pick her brain.

From B socials, where you can ask as many silly questions as you like, to helpful people who have already gone through the process there are loads of resources available to you.

GET FORMAL

You might already have awesome flexi work policies, healthcare and volunteering opportunities, so now’s the time to formalise them.

Doing so will not only make the assessment process easier but remind you of what a great place you’re part of. B Corp certification is the perfect time for self-reflection. By examining closely the areas you can improve on you’ll create the best version of your business, which is good for employees, customers and of course, the world!