Guest post: Happiful on becoming a Certified B Corporation

Happiful becoming a certified B Corp

Long-time client, Happiful, is an online magazine and resource with a mission to create a healthier, happier and more sustainable society and to challenge the stigma around mental health. It recently achieved Certified B Corporation to demonstrate its work and commitment in this area. We chat to Claire Vince, Head of HR, to find out what the accreditation means and how it was achieved.

What is a Certified B Corp?

Certified B Corporations are businesses that “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

The businesses are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. Described as “a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good”, there are currently over 8,000 businesses with the status across 162 industries and 96 countries.

What motivated you to go for this?

Here at Happiful, our mission is to create a healthier, happier and more sustainable society and to challenge the stigma around mental health. Being the sticklers we are to practice what we preach it just made perfect sense to us to become certified. We’ve known about B Corps for some time and, over the last year, we’ve been working towards achieving the accreditation. Being Certified by B Lab means you have met rigorous social and environmental standards. You are representing your commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit and are pledging your commitment to their values. It also demonstrates to other businesses and customers our dedication to being a values-driven business.

What was involved / what were the initial steps you needed to take?

Initially we had to take a step and look at what currently do that we thought meant we would meet the high standards imposed on all B Corps. We knew we were a socially aware company, but standards are very high. To make sure we would pass the B Corp audit, we needed to make sure everything we did was quantifiable and documented.

What did the process involve and were there any challenges along the way?

The B Corp certification is for the whole of your business and covers five key impact areas. Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, ensuring meet a minimum standard and provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices. This includes energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency.

It does take a lot of time to complete, with questions to answer within each area, as well as providing proof. They will then assess your response and score where you sit in each question. You then have the opportunity to comment back if there are any further points to discuss. We are a small company so the time resource to complete was difficult to manage. However, the certification was important to us to demonstrate our commitment to the company mission.

How did Bespoke HR assist in your journey to B Corp?

Bespoke HR have supported us over the last few years, helping us with processes, documentation and governance. Because of this, we were easily able to supply evidence of our working practices, how we manage our staff, and the value we place on our people. As we already had documentation in place for all of this, it sped up the application process in this area considerably – saving us valuable time and resource.

What has been the outcome, what does it means for your business and employees?

It proves to everyone we are dedicated to our mission, values and the responsibility we have to our environment. Employees feel proud to work for us because we do want to make a difference and that we are holding ourselves accountable to our responsibility, one of our core pillars to support our mission is: “To have a positive impact on the world around us, through looking after our staff, our readers, our society and the planet.”

Why should other businesses should follow suit?

Being recognised in this way sets companies apart! Being able to shout to everyone that we “Meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems” is a great thing.

By becoming a B Corp you are publicly announcing that you don’t just care about profit, this shows to your customers, potential customers and employees that you truly want to use business for good.

Team Happiful

Team Happiful

 

Written by:

Sian Whittington
As a fully CIPD qualified HR Consultant, Sians broad experience includes organisation design and development, talent planning, performance and reward, employee engagement, employee relations, HR compliance and HR information systems.