Building a Robust Environmental and Social Strategy
Driving ESG in your business using the B Corp framework
With Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns becoming more and more critical to business and stakeholders today, there is an increasingly urgent need for companies to take action against the environmental and social crisis we face.
Companies of all sizes and sectors now face growing pressure from consumers, employees, investors and policymakers to act on sustainability. Companies are needing to build business models that work with nature, rather than at its expense, while also meeting our basic human needs. There is both a moral and business case to build a solid ESG strategy.
But where do you start?
Our sustainability partner, Seismic, are an international team of ESG experts on a mission to help businesses prosper by becoming increasingly impactful and influential forces for good. In this article they share their insights to help you understand the complex world of ESG and what to prioritise in your business’ environmental and social strategy.
Why should ESG form a central part of business strategy?
- Consumers demand it: 83% of consumers believe that companies should be actively shaping ESG best practices
- Company resilience is reliant on it: 88% of research shows solid ESG practices result in better operational performance
- It’s the right thing to do: 91% of business leaders believe they have a responsibility to engage in ESG
At Seismic, we believe the best way to be prepared for the increasing pressure from stakeholders and shareholders is to get ahead of the curve and ensure that you’re aware of your business’ impact, with an action plan in place for how you intend to make progress.
It can be daunting knowing where or how to start. In many cases, financial teams need to be knowledgeable on the latest legislative requirements and reporting needs around sustainability, HR teams need support to develop Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategies and Operational teams need a roadmap to reduce carbon emissions. Sustainability isn’t a single individual’s responsibility, it requires collective action and a team across the business. This is why a framework can provide huge value to ensure everyone is aligned on the path forward.
Seismic and Blick Rothenberg believe B Corp is the ideal framework to review your business and identify where to improve. It assesses the holistic impact of a business, so you know where you currently stand, and it can be used to build a robust ESG strategy to improve and progress.
What is B Corp?
The B Corp movement is a rapidly growing community, with over 7,000 businesses globally and over 1,500 of those in the UK. In addition, more than 240,000 businesses are using the framework to create their ESG strategy.
B Corp provides value in a number of ways:
- It’s a management tool: at the foundation of B Corp is the B Impact Assessment (BIA), a free, online tool that provides a framework for your organisation to measure, understand and improve its sustainability performance across five impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.
- It’s a certification: as it is most widely known, B Corp is a certification that demonstrates your company meets the highest standards of social and environmental performance. It enables your organisation to hold yourselves to account. It shows you meet verified high standards, allowing you to share with your stakeholders that you’re doing what you say you are.
- It’s a movement: B Corp changes the way we do business, encouraging us to use it as a force for good. The movement believes that profit and shareholders should be valued alongside the planet.
- It’s a community: the B Corp community is a collaborative, inspiring and engaging space, bringing together business leaders united by a shared view of finding a better way to do business. With B Socials, summits, social media forums and working groups, the community is a unique and welcoming space to get involved in.
What are the business benefits of B Corp?
- Recruitment: 70% of candidates recruited by B Corps mention it in their interview process, helping you to attract and retain the best talent.
- Equity: 70% of B Corps seeking equity finance secured all (or more than) required vs 56% of the wider SME population
- Growth: 15% growth rate for B Corps vs the national average of 1% between 2018 and 2021
Build your ESG strategy using the B Corp framework
If you’d like to understand more about the B Corp framework, and how you can use it to measure and improve your impact, download Seismic’s Are You Ready To B Corp Guide.
We’ll be sharing more content and guidance over the coming months to help you understand and evaluate your ESG position, providing you with the tools and resources to improve your impact. If you’d like to speak with an ESG or B Corp expert, get in touch.
Seismic is an international team of impact experts on a mission to help businesses prosper by becoming increasingly impactful forces for good.
In addition to their broad sustainability experience, Seismic has developed world-leading B Corp expertise, helping companies leverage the B Corp framework to understand, improve, measure and communicate their impact. Since launching in 2021, Seismic has supported hundreds of organisations on their sustainability journeys, with clients including Patagonia, innocent drinks, James & Jame Fulfilment, Tenzing, Lily’s Kitchen and Piper Private Equity.