Celebrating continuous improvement this B Corp Month

1 March 2024

Being B Corp month, March is a good time to reflect on what being a B Corp means to us and share our commitment to continuous improvement.

We are very proud to be a B Corp certified business. It is embedded within our ethos and supports the values to which we hold dear. From governance to workers’ rights, community to the environment, everything we do is designed to ensure we are a force for good. Our people matter to us, which is why we have initiatives such as emergency loan schemes, profit sharing and membership of the Living Wage Foundation.

To reinforce our commitment to good, we have adopted the B Corp mission lock, ensuring that we have a legal responsibility not only to our shareholders but to other stakeholders, like our employees, the local community, and the environment.

The changes we have made as a B Corp

One of the most significant changes we have made since we became a B Corp is a decisive move towards manufacturing our own biopolymer retail lighting products so we can offer our clients more sustainable lighting options.

Typically, in retail lighting, aluminium luminaires are imported from overseas, significantly adding to carbon emissions from manufacture and transport. To challenge this, we have developed a 3D printed, biopolymer lighting range, manufactured in the UK. This significantly reduces the levels of carbon from manufacture, and transport and even reduces landfill waste as each product can be shredded and reformed to make new lights at the end of life.

This change really enhances our commitment to environmental stewardship as we shifted from only importing aluminium lights to manufacturing a sustainable biopolymer light that can be reused and recycled to make new products.

Small steps lead to a big impact: To align with B Corp standards and improve our sustainability and employee engagement efforts since we issued our first impact report in August 2023, we have implemented the following:

  • Formalised Preference for Train Travel: We have prioritised train travel over road travel whenever feasible, aiming to reduce our environmental impact and promote more sustainable transportation methods.
  • Review of Cleaning Materials: We have reviewed the cleaning materials used on our premises and made changes to ensure we use supplies that do not have a negative impact on the environment. Move over dirty cleaning. With a focus on less plastic, less toxic ingredients, and a nature-first approach, Ecover is the new clean.
  • Improved Food Waste Management: We have begun to responsibly dispose of our food waste – so far, we have composted over 20kg of food waste in two months!
  • Enhanced Internal Communications: We have implemented measures to improve internal communications by establishing regular and consistent communication channels, helping to keep our team informed and engaged. We’ve had great feedback about things like our monthly coffee mornings, visual internal comms presentations and the development of an internal resource list directing individuals to key internal and external information.
  • Launched an Internal Feedback System: Through the appointment of Terry Vann as our employee representative, we have set up an internal feedback system to gather input, address concerns, and foster a culture of openness and collaboration.

These initiatives underscore our commitment to sustainability, employee well-being, and continuous improvement as we strive to continuously improve in all areas.

Our future goals as a B Corp

In our commitment to long-term sustainability and continuous improvement, we have set the following targets for the next 6 months:

  • Enhance Non-Career-Specific Life skills: We are actively reevaluating and expanding the provision of non-career-specific life skills for our employees to contribute to their personal development.
  • Revise Key People Policies: Our ongoing initiative involves a review of key people policies with a commitment to updating them where necessary. This ensures that our policies align with current best practices and promote a positive workplace environment.
  • Establish Ethical Marketing and Customer Engagement Policies: To align with ethical standards, we are developing written policies for marketing, advertising, and customer engagement, fostering transparent and responsible communication standards.
  • Local Community Focus: We are redirecting our attention and resources towards supporting local charities and community projects, with a specific focus on Peterborough Environment City Trust, Embrace and a range of local schools and colleges, all contributing to the well-being of the communities in which we operate.
  • Environmental stewardship: We are at the beginning of a partnership with Investors In The Environment to measure our carbon footprint and take steps to become a greener business.

These targets reflect our dedication to long-term sustainability, employee well-being, customer satisfaction, and ethical business practices as part of our ongoing journey as a B Corp.

Read our Impact Report for more information on the steps we are taking as a B Corp here.

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