Becoming a B Corp has fast become a key indicator of your sustainability, values and ethics as a business and more and more agencies are joining the application process.
But with only 20% of applicants ever submitting their assessment, what is holding people back from finishing the process and becoming a fully-fledged B Corp?
I spoke to Madelyn Postman, director of Grain Sustainability to find out.
Our commitment to B Corp Status & Sustainability
The Agency Collective is absolutely working towards becoming a registered B Corp. I certainly have found that the amount of organisation and policymaking something of a daunting prospect.
“Sometimes it does feel like it’s all about writing policies,” agrees Madelyn.
“There’s a truth to that, but it’s also about formalising processes. This tends to not happen in smaller companies or young companies.
There’s usually not really a need for it without the BIA but it’s great to do it because it gets that culture.”
The BIA Impact Assessment
The BIA (B Impact Assessment), is the questionnaire that breaks down what the business applying to be a B Corp is doing in five key areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers in terms of ethics and sustainability.
From A Corp to B Corp
Grain successfully applied for B Corp certification in September 2021, with the process concluding in January of this year.
“It can be tedious, but it’s a good exercise.
It also helps you put systems in place, whatever it might be, like employee feedback or tracking your employee turnover.
So things that are good practice and also help your company be more valuable, more scalable. A lot of good’s coming out of it.”
Why the low completion rate?
But why are so many companies not completing the process?
“The knowledge base has a ton of information on it. They’ve got these best practice guides.
It’s a great source of information.
All of this is free and you don’t need to be a B Corp to access it.”
So it may well be that these resources are having a positive impact by encouraging companies to improve, even without completing the certification process. Which can only ever be a good thing.
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Madelyn’s career began in Italy, including five years as an art director at Gucci Group, where her key projects included art directing the first Gucci and Sergio Rossi websites.
She moved to London in 2000 and in 2002 co-founded design firm Vivian Cipolla, where clients included Nokia and Burberry. In 2007 Madelynestablished Madomat, working on projects for Sunglass Hut and Richemont before joining Grain in 2010. As co-owner and director of Grain, she was a major driver in the consultancy’s sales growth of up to 35% year on year since 2010.
After focusing more and more on sustainability and purpose-led businesses over the years, in 2020 Grain shifted wholly to sustainability consulting, with the mission of helping businesses become champions for the planet. They provide the assessment, planning, and implementation tools necessary to make sustainability an integral part of business. Sectors include education, built environment, manufacturing, pharma, mining, fashion, packaging, and finance.