Which companies are on the front line of sustainable action and have taken steps to demonstrate that commitment? In this list, we share the top 10 UK B Corps.
B Corps commit to balancing purpose and profit, with a focus on creating positive social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns. By meeting rigorous performance standards, B Corps demonstrate a commitment to being a global force for good.
Non-profit organisation B Lab, creates and oversees the certification. The first companies to receive a B Corp status was in 2007 and since then, the movement has grown significantly. As of September 2022, there are over 6,200 certified B Corps across 158 industries in 85 countries, boasting a total revenue of $150 billion (£123bn). Well-known B Corps include Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Danone.
If you’re wondering why (and how) companies put themselves through the assessment, make sure to check out our article on What is a B Corp.
This list shares the top 10 UK B Corps based on their Business Impact Assessment (BIA) score from B Lab. These companies are leaders in their respective industries, with a proven track record of creating positive social and environmental impacts alongside financial success.
#10 Elvis & Kresse
Founded in 2005, Elvis & Kresse was born out of a desire to rescue decommissioned fire hoses that were destined for landfill. Instead, the company’s founders decided to transform them into beautifully designed bags and homeware items. Today, Elvis & Kresse’s team of highly skilled craftspeople create products using a range of 15 different reclaimed materials.
Elvis & Kresse is also dedicated to giving back. For every purchase from their Fire-hose Collection, the company donates 50% of profits to The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports firefighters and their families. For every purchase from their Fire & Hide Collection, 50% of profits go to Barefoot College International, which empowers rural communities through education and sustainable solutions.
Elvis & Kresse has been a certified B Corp since 2015 and has consistently demonstrated its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. In its latest assessment, the company scored an impressive 147.6.
Elvis & Kresse has also received recognition as a top-performing B Corp, having been named ‘Best for the World’ in both the Workers and Changemakers categories in 2022 and 2018, respectively.
#9 Trinetra Investment Management LLP
Trinetra Investment Management is a specialised asset management firm with particluar focus on investment opportunities arising from emerging markets. The firm’s unique approach involves using ethnographic research to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by people across different markets. This enables Trinetra to identify and capture investment opportunities by targeting companies that provide solutions to improve the situation for consumers. With a commitment to responsible investing, Trinetra seeks to create long-term value while promoting positive social and environmental outcomes.
In its first year of certification, Trinetra Investment Management achieved an impressive score of 149.2, with a particular focus on their customers. This commitment to customer satisfaction earned it recognition as one of the “Best for the World” companies by B Lab, in both the customers and governance categories
Founded in 2006, DEPLOY is a British sustainable fashion brand that strives to set the standard for responsible and ethical fashion. Their mission is to create sustainable style that benefits both “smart women and a smarter future”. With a commitment to zero-waste design, DEPLOY maximises resources while minimising environmental impact. The brand’s dedication to sustainability is further demonstrated by its contribution to 12 of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Certified since May 2022, DEPLOY managed an overall score of 149.5, with particular success in the community category. This category evaluates a company’s engagement on its impact in the communities which it operates, hires from, and sources from. DEPLOY’s commitment to responsible practices has enabled them to excel in this category.
BecomingX is a learning and development company that has stated its mission is to enable individuals to unlock their full potential, irrespective of their starting point in life. The company leverages its expertise in three key areas to achieve its goal:
- Insightful films that demystify the concept of success, making them freely accessible to inspire and equip individuals with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed.
- Education programmes for schools, universities, and corporations, leveraging insights from research and interviews with high performers.
- A charitable foundation to deliver in lower-income countries and underserved communities
Despite a small team, the company achieved an impressive score of 150.6 in the impact assessment and has earned the coveted ‘Best for the World’ award in the community category for two consecutive years.
#6 ACS Clothing Ltd.
ACS Clothing has dedicated itself to the circular economy, aspiring to become the UK and Europe’s premier facilitator of circular practices within the fashion industry. Since 1997, the company has centred on rental fulfilment and clothing renewal, as it aims to “revolutionise the industry” away from the traditional linear take-make-dispose model towards a circular fashion model that prolongs the lifespan of textiles and diverts clothing from landfills.
Last year, ACS Clothing was awarded a B Corp certificate for the first time, achieving a score of 150.9. While not receiving a ‘Best for the World’ award yet, the company scored highly on the workers category, which recognises business models designed to benefit workers.
#5 EQ Investors Group Limited
EQ Investors firmly believe investors can achieve financial goals while creating a positive impact on society and the environment. They have a decade-long track record of managing sustainable portfolios for a diverse range of retail and professional clients. Investment options include active, passive, and bespoke strategies – the firm currently manages over £1.7 billion in assets.
EQ Investors is committed to net zero emissions by 2030, 20 years ahead of the 2050 target set in the Paris Climate Agreement. To achieve this ambitious goal, EQ is working closely with the SME Climate Hub initiative, an official partner of the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign.
EQ Investors obtained certification as a B Corp in 2015 and has since recertified. The company’s latest assessment score was 151.1, positioning it as one of the leading B Corps in the UK. With a focus on customers, it earned the “Best for the World” award in the customers’ category on multiple occasions, including in 2017, 2018, and most recently in 2022.
#4 Milk & Honey PR
Milk & Honey PR is an “energetic and rapidly expanding” PR agency with offices in London, Munich, and New York. With a focus on nurturing the reputations of ambitious growth companies, the agency collaborates with C-suite executives, marketing and HR teams to develop targeted campaigns. They work with industry professionals, influencers, journalists, producers and bloggers to amplify clients’ stories and drive business value. Unlike other agencies, they don’t limit their expertise by industry sector and prioritise reputation-building as a key driver of success.
Building upon their previous score of 87.3, the agency achieved 154.2 on its latest impact assessment, with a particular emphasis on the workers’ category. As a result, they have earned the distinction of being named “Best for the World” in this category for both 2021 and 2022.
#3 Fifty Eight
Fifty Eight collaborates with organisations and individuals across the value chain to deliver work that improves the quality of life while combating exploitation. The company supports organisations through customised training, services, and research, as well as practical solutions to address issues of modern-day slavery affecting companies and workers in their supply chains.
Fifty Eight has developed the “It’s Just Good Work” interactive mobile app, which aids job seekers and workers in their employment journey. The app equips users with critical information and advice on everything from job recruitment and employment to life in a new location and eventual relocation or return home.
First certified in 2020, the company recertified in 2022 and has been listed as ‘Best for the world’ for customers, governance, and workers categories for both 2021 and 2022.
#2 REAL Fundraising
REAL is a fundraising agency that partners with top-tier charitable organisations such as WWF, Cancer Research UK, and Oxfam to support them in achieving their objectives through various fundraising techniques, including telephone, digital, and in-person fundraising. The company believes in the power of ethical business practices to shape a society we all aspire to be part of.
After achieving carbon neutrality in 2018, it received its first B Corp certification with a score of 112.7. The company’s dedication to social and environmental impact has remained steadfast, as evidenced by its recent 2022 recertification, which included a significantly improved score of 159.6 on the impact assessment.
In addition to certification, the company has received multiple B Corp accolades, including being named in the “Best for the World” category for customers in 2018. The company’s outstanding commitment to community and governance was further recognised in 2022 when it received awards in these categories.
#1 Y.O.U Underwear
Y.O.U Underwear offers a range of organic cotton underwear for men, women, and girls. Their philosophy revolves around the idea of “looking good, feeling good, and doing good.” As part of their commitment to social responsibility, the company has a mission to enhance access to education for women and girls through donating underwear.
In collaboration with the Scottish charity Smalls for All, which supports vulnerable women and children in Africa and the UK, Y.O.U Underwear operates on a “buy-one-give-two promise,” allowing customers to contribute to the cause with every purchase.
The brand prides itself on only using Fairtrade, PETA-approved vegan materials and 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton. Additionally, Y.O.U Underwear partners with one of India’s leading ethical and sustainable manufacturers to ensure that their products are both high-quality and environmentally friendly.
Y.O.U Underwear tops this list as the highest rated UK company, receiving an outstanding overall score of 160.5 in their assessment, well surpassing the median score of 50.9 typically achieved by ordinary businesses. As a result, they were recognised as the ‘Best for the World’ in both the Community and Environment categories in 2022.
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