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So, what does the next five years look like for B Lab UK and the B Corp movement?
Innovating to meet the huge growth in demand for B Corp certification is a top priority. This means focusing our energy and expertise on increasing capacity, while always maintaining high standards and integrity in the certification process.
We also want to ensure that our community is reflective of the UK economy. With this in mind, we’re exploring better ways of reaching sectors such as construction, manufacturing and hospitality, as well as more diverse regions of the UK.
Large public companies will play a pivotal role in transforming our economic system. We’ll continue to engage multinational corporations – whether they are certifying completely, moving towards certification, or acquiring a portfolio of B Corp companies – to increase the profile of the B Corp movement and inspire widespread commitment to stakeholder governance.
And when it comes to mobilising the B Corp community, the hard work never ends (sorry, B Corps!). We’ll be expanding our efforts to ensure our community is always sharing, learning and improving.
In the near term, our work advancing Net Zero and 2030 target commitments from our community will actively support and leverage COP26 in November 2021.
We also recognise that we can and must do more when it comes to addressing and promoting JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) principles – primarily within B Lab and B Corp organisations, but also extended to our value chains and broader communities. B Corp CEOs will play a vital part in this.
We’re excited to be working alongside like-minded campaigns and organisations, including Imperative 21, Count Us In, Make My Money Matter, /together, ReGenerate, Build Back Better, Project Everyone and The B Team.
B Lab and B Corps – around the world and here in the UK – have always fundamentally believed that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone.
By harnessing the power of business, B Corps balance profits and growth with positive impact for their employees, communities and the environment. Ultimately, our vision is one of reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, the creation of more high quality jobs with dignity and purpose, stronger communities and a healthier environment.
Our collective purpose is best expressed through the B Lab global “Declaration of Interdependence”.
The B Corp movement is driven by an important mission: to create an inclusive and equitable economic system. We’ve made progress, but there is still so much work to do before every business is a force for good.
While we know that the challenges we face – the climate emergency and social injustice – are growing in urgency, we also know that these issues have aligned public opinion behind the change we seek. In May this year, we commissioned a poll which showed that the vast majority of the UK public believe that business can and should be a force for good.
of the UK public believe business should have a legal responsibility to people and the planet, alongside maximising profit.
of the UK public think business should have a legal responsibility to protect the natural environment.
of the UK public believe capitalism either isn’t working properly or is harmful – but the majority of respondents do not know what an alternative system could look like.
Meanwhile, each and every B Corp is leading the shift to this better way of doing business by demonstrating positive impact, inspiring other businesses to follow suit and proving the model of stakeholder governance.
So, with business as usual failing to address our biggest challenges, an enlightened public demanding change and a proven model for stakeholder governance – this is the time to change the system.
We’re campaigning for an update to Section 172 of The Companies Act: changing the default model of company purpose to ensure that business activities have a positive impact on society and the environment, alongside benefit to shareholders.