Ecosurety’s journey to become a B Corp
27th May 2020
Stephanie Housty, marketing manager at Ecosurety, shares the journey that led this Bristol based environmental consultancy to obtain its B Corp certification last month, joining a growing network of 14 B Corps in the Bristol area, 290 in the UK and 3,300 in the world. Ecosurety is the market leading producer responsibility compliance scheme investing in quality recycling. It works on behalf of its customers to source quality evidence and ensures they comply with the UK’s packaging, e-waste and batteries regulations.
Ecosurety is a compliance scheme, helping brands and retailers to comply with their environmental obligations. I hear you yawn: “Compliance? Boring…”. And I would reply “Yes in principle, but not in reality”.
Why? Because our company has a strong purpose, “change for good”, which drives us to seek to make a positive impact in everything that we do, starting with our members and suppliers. We have grown over the past 15 years by turning what is often perceived as a tax into a meaningful investment in recycling. It really resonates with consumer goods producers and supermarkets when they realise that their environmental compliance duties can have a tangible impact – by contributing to education, infrastructure, innovation and collaboration projects and initiatives focused on increasing recycling in the UK. It also resonates with recyclers who value our collaboration to build and support the growth of the recycling infrastructure of this country.
Our “change for good” purpose does not stop there. Accredited with Investors in People Gold since 2016, we believe that our staff perform at their best when they are happy and fulfilled. With a strong focus on maintaining a good work/life balance, a genuine care about personal wellbeing, and opportunities to contribute outside of their day-to-day jobs via volunteering activities, we strive to provide our team with the best conditions and opportunities to keep them engaged and motivated. A common passion for protecting the environment and responsible use of our planet’s resources is also a strong bond linking the Ecosurety team.
Our longstanding values, ethos and purpose were fully aligned with the B Corp values of putting people, planet and profit at the same level, so it was a natural step for us to seek the certification. More than a reward on our past actions, we see B Corp as being a framework to help us continuously improve in our sustainability journey and ensure our actions are truly impactful. Having managed the B Corp certification project, I can assure you that a company cannot become a B Corp by greenwashing or just saying the right things during the certification process. The bar is high to reach the minimum score to enable assessment by B Lab, and you need to provide tangible evidence of your performance on the five impact areas of governance, workers, community, customers, and the environment. You are judged on facts, not on intentions. Fortunately, we had achieved a lot beyond our core business and had processes in place to monitor and record our actions regularly, which has enabled us to get certified after 8 months of rigorous assessment.
Getting the B Corp certification is just the beginning of our journey on the sustainability path. There is so much we want to do to amplify the positive impact around us, starting with our own community. Working with Bristol Green Capital Partnership for the past 5 years and with our head of Policy Robbie Staniforth recently appointed Chair of the Waste and Resources Action Group, we strongly believe acting local is as important as influencing national policy change.
If you are a purposeful business looking at strengthening your long-term sustainability strategy, why not take a leap of faith and start your B impact assessment? Even if you are not ready to go for the certification process yet, this free online tool is a useful guide to measure your business impact and identify areas of improvements.
The more companies in the B Corp movement the better, so that together we can achieve more and faster. So, hurry up and join us!
For more information please visit www.ecosurety.com
To find out more about B Corp, visit bcorporation.net/