March 13, 2024
5 min read

Redefining Business Sustainability as a B Corp

This March we celebrate B Corp month, highlighting the significance of B Corps worldwide. Here at Cobry, we have another reason to celebrate - this month also marks one year since we became a B Corp. 

For those of you who haven’t heard about B Corp before, let us explain what it is and why it matters for us at Cobry. In this blog we’ll look into the actions we’ve taken to achieve the status and also share our tips for aspiring B Corps. 

What is B Corp? 

The B Corp movement is about enabling organisations globally to improve their social and environmental impact.

B Corporations are purpose-driven organisations that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

As a B Corp, we aim to harness the power of our business as a force for good: to positively impact all stakeholders – workers, communities, customers, and our planet.

The Drive Towards Sustainability and Achieving B Corp

Cobry was formed with sustainability at its core. Over the last decade we have committed to creating a positive impact for our employees, partners, customers, and community.

Our journey began with aligning our operations with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, which paved the way to achieving ISO 14001 status and, eventually, the B Corp certification.

Achieving B Corp status was a significant milestone for Cobry, requiring a holistic approach to our business practices. We aligned our core values—innovation, responsible employment, and sustainability with our operational strategies.

Understanding Sustainability

In our journey, we've encountered a common misconception about sustainability – that it solely concerns environmental conservation. However, true sustainability encompasses much broader dimensions. The B Corp assessment itself focuses on five core pillars:

  • Governance
  • Workers
  • Community
  • The environment
  • Customers

Each of these pillars plays a vital role in building a sustainable business model that not only nurtures our planet but also ensures ethical governance, promotes social equity, and fosters a culture of responsibility towards our employees, communities, and the people we serve.

Through our B Corp certification process, Cobry has embraced these comprehensive aspects of sustainability, integrating them into our operations and values.

Our Everyday Actions as a B Corp

Becoming a B Corp and gaining a better understanding of sustainbility provoked new ways of thinking across various dimensions within Cobry. We enhanced our team's welfare through initiatives like the four-day workweek and remote working opportunities; and also forged community partnerships and supported local communities through sports and other activities.

We used B Corp’s self assessment tool to identify strengths and areas for improvement. 

We have established and continuously maintain our Environmental Aspects Register. This register is updated to reflect our current operations and potential environmental impacts. It ensures that we remain acutely aware of our environmental risks.

We have partnered with Supercritical to conduct independent environmental assessments that help us identify and evaluate our activities' potential impacts on the environment, allowing us to implement effective management and mitigation strategies.

As a B Corp, every decision and action we take is a conscious choice towards sustainability. This includes working with sustainable suppliers and engaging with other B Corps, both as clients and suppliers, to foster a community that positively impacts the world.

Our sustainability journey continues as we seek ways to improve our business operations and do more good.

B Corp: A Year in Review

As we celebrate B Corp Month, we also reflect on Cobry's journey over the past year. The B Corp certification is not just a badge; it's our continuous commitment to better business practices, focusing on progress, sustainability, and the collective move forward towards positive change.

A year into our journey, the impact on Cobry has been profound. We have further improved our sustainability practices, strengthened our community presence and ensured better team welfare.

Our commitment to tracking our carbon footprint and implementing necessary improvements has also seen tangible results, enhancing our operational sustainability.

Tips for Aspiring B Corps

For organisations looking to achieve B Corp status, here are our tips on how to get started: 

  1. Take advantage of the Self-Assessment tool provided by B Corp: It will help you identify where your strengths and weak spots are. 

    When you take the self assessment tool, aim to score over 80 points as this is the requirement for becoming a B Corp. However, don’t worry if you don’t score 80 points from your first attempt as most business score around 50 points initially.

    Look into your weak spots and improve them, then try again. 

  2. Engage your teams: The assessment covers aspects from the entire business. Therefore, it is crucial to get all the departments together and to discuss where the weak points could be.

    At Cobry, we did this by forming our sustainability committee with members from all different departments. This way everyone contributed to the process and developed a better understanding of B Corp,  but also shared the success when the certification came through.

  3. Ensure thorough documentation: The B Corp status is not just given to anyone. Be sure to have all the supporting evidence when filling out the impact assessment. Being clear and organised with your documentation will help streamline the process and allow you to get your certification quicker.

This Way Forward

Looking ahead, Cobry is committed to amplifying our contribution to sustainability. We're not just focused on maintaining our B Corp status; we aim to elevate our practices and partnerships to create an even more significant positive impact.

Through continued innovation, collaboration, and dedication, we're excited to see what the future holds for Cobry and our role in the global B Corp community.

In embracing the B Corp certification, we invite others to join us on this journey to better business—a journey of progress, sustainability, and collective action towards a more equitable and sustainable world. Let's move forward, together.

🌿 Find out how Cobry helped a client build a Supplier Sustainability Dashboard.

If you are looking to improve your sustainability practices through tech, get in touch 👇 

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