London is global B Corp capital as UK certifications double in one year
The number of certified B Corporations in the UK has reached 1,000 – almost double the total at the end of 2021.
According to B Lab, the nonprofit that manages B Corp certifications, there are now as many B Corps in the UK as in the whole of mainland Europe. Globally, there are more than 6,000 B Corps in 80 countries.
While there are certified businesses throughout the country, London is home to 500 B Corps – more than any other city worldwide.
- Read: Better Business Act campaigners urge UK parliament to halt relentless pursuit of shareholder profits
Among the household names certified in the UK are Innocent Drinks, Jojo Maman Bébé, Finisterre and Sipsmith.
We must intentionally keep moving the goalposts and challenge ourselves to go further, faster
B Lab data from November 2021 suggest that B Corps are strong performers: compared with traditional small and medium-sized businesses, they were growing faster in terms of turnover (by 27% annually on average, compared with 5% for SMEs) and in terms of employee headcount (by 14% versus 1%). They also attracted more equity finance and demonstrated higher levels of employee retention, engagement and diversity, as well as higher levels of innovation, according to the nonprofit.
Chris Turner (pictured), executive director at B Lab UK, said: “We urgently need business to step up and respond to the challenges of this moment, from acting on the climate emergency to tackling the cost of living. Reaching 1,000 B Corporations in the UK shows that this leadership is possible.”
But, he said, there was still a long way to go: “If we want B Corp to continue to represent the pioneers of better business, we must intentionally keep moving the goalposts and challenge ourselves to go further, faster.”
The B Corp movement has faced increasing scrutiny recently, much of it relating to how B Corps are assessed. B Lab is currently seeking feedback on new, stricter standards that, if agreed, all would-be B Corps would have to meet from 2024.
- Article updated on 15/11/2022 to correct the total number of B Corps worldwide, to more than 6,000 (not 5,000 as previously stated).
Image credit: B Lab UK
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