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Being a B Corp: What does it mean?

We're super proud to be a B Corp certified business — but what does it mean to be a B Corp within the interiors industry?


Keep reading to learn more about the B Corp framework, our journey so far, plus our goals for continual improvement.

B Corp FAQ

How does it work?

  • What is B Corp Status?

    Unsure of the B Corp meaning?

    Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

    Read more on B Corp's official website.

  • How does a company achieve B Corp Status?

    To achieve and maintain certification, all B Corps: 

    1. Complete the B Impact Assessment and achieve a verified total score of 80+ points.

    2. Meet the B Corp legal requirement – amending Articles of Association to embed a commitment to consider the impact of decisions on all stakeholders.

    3. Sign the B Corp Agreement and the Declaration of Interdependence.


    They also publicly list their impact score on the B Lab Directory and recertify every 3 years.

  • Why do B Corp companies exist?

    Our most challenging problems cannot be solved by governments and nonprofits alone. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps commit to positively impact all stakeholders – workers, communities, customers, and our planet. 

  • How many B Corp status companies are there? 

    There are over 5,000 B Corps all over the world, across 158 countries and with over 500,000 workers.


    In November 2022, B Corp celebrated 1,000 certified companies in the UK 🎉

  • Why certify as a B Corp company?

    Businesses that become B Corps have seen great results: committed and motivated employees, increased customer loyalty, higher levels of innovation, and market leadership.

    Certifying as a B Corp can bring the following benefits:

    1. Improving impact through participation in working groups, sharing best practice and ongoing use of the BIA and SDG Action Manager.

    2. Collaborating with other B Corps, joining B Locals around the UK and working together to find solutions to specific challenges.

    3. Networking and attending exclusive community events.

    4. Alignment with B Lab and the B Corp Community on global issues.

    5. Engaging employees in the company’s purpose and mission and attracting and retaining talent.

    6. Articulating the company’s mission externally – to investors, clients, customers and suppliers.

  • So how do B Corp companies perform?

    Recent research shows that B Corps out-perform their UK peers across several business metrics. Compared to data from surveys of UK SMEs, results revealed that B Corp SMEs have, on average:

    1. Faster growth in turnover and employee headcount and higher expectations about future growth.

    2. Greater levels of employee retention, engagement and diversity.
     

    3. More robust governance processes.
     

    4. Greater focus on civic and community engagement.
     

    5. Higher levels of innovation.
     

    6. The same likelihood of success at securing external finance.

  • How do you get certification as a B Corp company?

    To get B Corp certification a company needs to achieve a score of 80+ from the B Impact Assessment. Most companies will not achieve this first time and will benefit from the suggestions of how to improve their score.

  • What tools can help a business improve their B Impact Assessment Score?

    Businesses can add further employees to their assessment entry and export this to best organise, prioritise and work on this further. They receive a report for improvement and a goal setting function. Lastly, there is a comprehensive knowledge base with best practice guidance by B Lab.

  • Who can certify as a B Corp company?

    You can certify as a B Corp if you operate for profit in a competitive market and have been operating for at least 12 months.

  • Is B Corp Status Greenwashing?

    The B Corp framework is not designed to promote greenwashing.

    Some studies have shown that B Corporations are likely better than the status quo. They all share a common concern for the environment but stand out from their counterparts with a B Corp Status. The majority of companies pursue this status and their values are deeply rooted in ethics and the environment.

  • How does a company maintain B Corp Status?

    Companies need to recertify every three years to ensure that they are still meeting the criteria. As per the process before, people need to meet the criteria with 80+ points. Each B Corp company is required to post an annual impact report to share goals and achievements.

  • What is a B Corp legal requirement?

    Businesses must complete the B Corp legal requirement by amending their governing documents. This means adopting specific wording in their articles of association to reflect the commitment to making a positive impact on the planet and society, and to consider the impact of decisions on stakeholders – shareholders, employees and suppliers. These articles also need to be filed with Companies House and everything needs to align with this mission statement.

  • Who assesses the credentials of a company for achieving B Corp status?

    The process is assessed and verified by B Lab, a company specialising in this area. Ensuring that eligible companies meet a B Corp level standard.

B Corp & Plank Hardware

What are our B Corp goals?

  • What BIA score did Plank Hardware achieve?

    Plank Hardware received a score of 87.5, with 80 being the benchmark for receiving certification.

    Review our profile within the B Corp directory for more details.

  • Development Area #1: Product 🪛

    1. Reduce the carbon impact of our average hardware product by 10%, by the end of 2023. Currently, carbon emissions created by our average product are equal to 2.1kg CO2e.

    2. Continual evaluation of materials and production processes adopted for each new product design. Where possible, opt for the most responsible route relative to end use and our manufacturing capabilities.

    3. Educate our customers on the carbon impact of each of our product materials, so they can make informed purchasing decisions.

  • Development Area #2: Production ⚙️

    1. Diversify our network of supply partners, to include the on-boarding of one UK supplier in 2023.

    2. Continual auditing of our supply partners, holding them to account for operating responsibility according to our Code of Conduct and shared business values.

    3. Work with our supply partners to ensure rigorous product quality checks are adhered to, reducing the risk of commercial waste during production and damage during transit.

  • Development Area #3: Packaging 📦

    1. Eliminate all plastic from our online order packaging, by the end of 2023.

  • Development Area #4: People 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦

    1. Evolve our HR processes and practices as our business scales, ensuring that every employee is treated fairly, feels valued and is aligned with our planetary principles.

    2. Sustain our employee satisfaction score of 90%, based on an anonymous quarterly  assessment.

    3. Commit to fundraising for charitable causes we care about, inline with our business growth. Since November 2021, we’ve raised over £29K for Crisis and Furnishing Futures.

    4. Inspire our community of customers to make responsible home improvement decisions, through demonstrations of transformational repurposing and upcycling projects.

Commitments to Our Planet 🌎

To read more about our journey of being a more mindful business, take a read of the below.

Share Your Thoughts 💭

Have suggestions on what more we could be doing? We'd love to hear your thoughts.