What is the B Corp movement and how can your business benefit?

December 6, 2022

We talked to Timetastic CEO Gary Bury about how becoming a B Corp certified organisation has had an impact right across their business, and how a partnership with Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust supports their commitment…


Q. What is the B Corp movement?

The B Corp movement is about making business a force for good. It’s about building sustainable businesses that work for society, rather than a model that’s purely focused on profits for the shareholders. It’s not charitable, we do make profits, but we’re also focused on our societal and environmental impact.

Q. Why was the B Corp model the right pathway for your business?

We’d been looking around for some time, discussing the general model of a for-profit company. In the main because the ethos of shareholder value above all else never sat comfortably with us, there are other things to consider: our customers, our employees, the environment, the society in which we operate. I guess we were looking for a different model, a different legal structure that’s inherently more ethical.

B Corp has both a better legal structure that requires us to consider those other stakeholders, and a way to benchmark ourselves. And the scoring system is detailed and extensive – within it there’s lots of great ideas and ways to improve.

Q. How challenging was the B Corp certification process?

It’s certainly challenging, and it should be. But each business will be different, it depends on your starting point. We upgraded a lot of policies and procedures, particularly regarding employee contracts, benefits, and communication. We switched banks, joined 1% for the planet, found charity partners. Quite a long list, but worth it.

Q. What have been the benefits of becoming B Corp certified to you as a business?

Becoming a B Corp has an effect right across your business, you become a better place to work, a nicer organization to deal with, more aware of your impact on other stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers. You make better choices in who you work with.

Our last two employees came to us in part because of our B Corp status. People do genuinely want to work for more ethical organisations. I don’t think anyone would expect us to publish every policy, procedure, and activity we do at Timetastic, so having that B Corp badge is an excellent way to show the outside world that we do care. That we do live up to a higher standard.

Q. How has becoming a B Corp impacted your company culture?

I can’t say that it’s specifically changed our culture. In many respects we always felt like a B Corp, that’s what drew us to the standard in the first place.

Q. What advice would you offer other companies that are thinking about becoming a B Corp?

Do it!

The great thing is anyone can register and do an initial impact assessment, you don’t have to commit to the full standard, just use the self-assessment as a way to inform yourself, benchmark your business. It’ll take a few hours, perhaps even a few sittings to run through all the questions. In doing so you’ll answer a lot of thought-provoking questions, even if you never progress beyond that self-assessment, you’ll definitely be left thinking hard, and perhaps making some changes for the better.

Q. How will supporting YDMT help you meet your B Corp objectives?

We’ve been expanding our thinking on climate change, initially we focused on tree planting, but there’s a lot more to this climate crisis than a lack of trees. The good thing about partnering with YDMT is we’re now supporting a broader spectrum of work in order address the climate and biodiversity crises as interconnected issues, and at the same time raising awareness and supporting people and communities.

Find out more about Charity partnerships with YDMT and how they can support your business and the planet.