We did it!
In December 2021, Thrive officially became a certified B Corp. From the beginning, we’ve been guided by the belief that business for good is good for business. That it’s possible to achieve greater profits through a greater purpose. This B Corp certification is just another step in our journey, but it’s a pretty massive one, so we wanted to take the time to talk more about why we did it, what it means for the future and how it can help your business too.
B Corps are businesses for good
B Corp is a movement to reject and disprove our old ways of thinking: now over the future, me over we, profits over people and planet. The official meaning behind the B in B Corp is “benefit,” referring to a type of corporate structure that considers its societal and environmental impact as much as its pursuit of profit.
Being part of the B Corp movement means Thrive believes we can change the world one step at a time, from profiting the few to benefiting all.
The ‘certified’ bit in B Corp certified means the now over 640 B Corps in the UK have met the highest standards of 3rd party verification and are transparent in their ongoing journey through sharing their B Impact Assessment publicly. If you’re interested, you can view Thrive’s assessment here.
So that’s the “what.” Now, let’s get into the “why”:
A business for good is good for business
We all know about the old ways of doing business. The Gordon Gecko, Wolf of Wall Street type, subscribing to Milton Friedman’s idea that the sole purpose of a business is to maximise its shareholders’ wealth.
And we also know exactly where that level of greed has got us. All you need to do is look at the correlation between wealth and carbon emission, or between climate impact and poverty. Greed is destroying our planet, destroying people’s lives and destroying our future.
But we’ve had enough.
Consumers and investors alike are becoming more conscious and more critical of business’ sustainability. That’s one of the motivations behind Thrive’s core value, Make An Impact: We believe that, however big or small the effect, being impact-driven as a business and existing for a purpose beyond profit will accelerate our financial growth, not hinder it.
With over half of young consumers today saying they consider a company’s values before purchasing their products and a long history of successful boycotts that have cost unethical companies millions of dollars, it’s become clear: financial sustainability can’t exist without environmental and social sustainability.
This isn’t a marketing ploy
The good news is, more and more businesses are starting to recognize that their future success is directly tied to their sustainability and values.
The bad news is, this has caused a huge wave of greenwashing.
Greenwashing is when a brand portrays itself as more concerned with the environment than its actions demonstrate. This could be with fancy packaging, deceptive marketing ploys or calculated PR stunts. Basically, they’re pretending they care to increase their profits, without actually changing their practices.
We want to be clear: B Corp certification is not a marketing ploy. It’s not a club you can buy your way into or a badge you can slap on your website without actually doing the work. To become B Corp certified, Thrive had to score over 80 on the B Impact Assessment. Some of the real, tangible ways we achieved this was:
- Giving 20% of profits to worthy causes
- Implementing a legislation busting approach to being a family-friendly employer
- Providing employee benefits that compete with the corporates
- Being a virtually zero paper and waste, digital-first business
We’re incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished so far. But we’re not finished. Not even close. There’s so much more Thrive wants to achieve.
Our work isn’t over
Our next step is transparency. We want to share our financial performance so other businesses can see themselves that there’s no trade-off between making money and doing the right thing. In fact, we aim to prove the opposite.
We also need to do better in our journey to Net Zero. Our commitment to the Million Tree Pledge and our investment in projects that qualify for carbon credits is a great starting point. We’re currently working hard on identifying where we can improve our climate shadow as a business and how we can share those learnings to help our clients and other SME businesses do the same.
Finally, we want to help more businesses join us in this journey. Part of our Million Tree Pledge is bringing two more businesses in to join the pledge. We’ve already got our first referred business sign up; could you be the second? Learn more about the pledge here. Together, we can make a difference.