One of the most influential business organisations and largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Business West, has certified as a B Corp, joining a global
community of organisations reinventing business by balancing profit with people and the planet.
The B Corp certification process is rigorous, requiring evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices.
Business West’s carbon neutral status and net zero carbon target, Living Wage Foundation accreditation, Transparency in Supply
Chains reporting and involvement in the BeOnBoard diversity initiative are all key factors that enabled them to be accredited.
Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, comments: “At the core of our mission is sustainable and inclusive growth of the region, which prioritises quality of life for those who live, work and learn here. B Corp certifi cation provides a roadmap of how we can continue to improve and encourage the 20,000 organisations we work with to join us.”
Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, which certifies B Corps, says: “This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. Business West are going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will
continue driving the conversation forward with its thousands of clients and members.”
Business West joins B Corp trailblazers in the South West…
Business West joins a community of 4,000 B Corps globally from a cross section of industries and sizes, and 57 are based in the South West – including Finisterre, Hobbs House Bakery, Triodos and Stroud Brewery. Greg Pilley, Managing Director of Stroud Brewery, produced an organic pale ale to help Business West celebrate their B Corp status.
What is his advice to potential future B Corp members? “My advice would be jump in there and register. It costs nothing to start working your way through the questions. There is a lot of emphasis on carbon and climate, and alongside that people and biodiversity. People must change their behaviour and move from measuring success purely on profi t and GDP, to also measure the quality of life.” Greg Pilley, Managing Director of Stroud Brewery
B Corp Certification addresses five key impact areas
Environment: Sam Shinner, Estates Manager
“Our mission to net zero started 15 years ago when we set up a working group of staff interested in environment and sustainability. We’ve really accelerated that by going carbon neutral, setting a net zero target of 2030, championing low carbon industries and supporting businesses to go green.”
Employees: Nate Benjamin, CRM System Technician
“Best Companies has named Business West as one of the top 20 best business services companies to work for in the UK. As an accredited Living Wage Employer, we ensure that all our employees are fairly paid, and our Employee Forum works to enable staff to achieve an appropriate work life balance.”
Communities: Victoria Matthews, Initiative Manager
“We work closely with decision makers from councils to LEPs to ensure that businesses and communities can thrive. The business allows staff two volunteer days a year to support local initiatives and communities. Our work with charitable trusts extends into diversity, deprivation and youth charities to ensure our region works for everybody.”
Customers: Jessica Valentine, Head of Service Integration
We support businesses across the region so they can create social, environmental and economic value to help realise our ambition of making this region the best place to live, learn and work.
Governance: Janine Woodcock, Non-Executive Director
“We work closely with ‘BeOnBoard’, whose aim is to improve the diversity of governing bodies and boards, to ensure that the leadership of our organisation refl ects the diversity of the region that we serve.”
Watch Business West’s
B Corp journey interpreted
by speed painter, Dave Sharp