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Our B Corp Impact – A Year On


This time last year we were thrilled to announce that we’d become B Corp certified.

 

After a thorough application and certification process, we’d reached the magic 80+ score, with an impressive 105.9, and were a fully signed up, authenticated member of the global movement to use business as a force for good.

 

Last year we explained in our blog what B Corp is, why we wanted to become a B Corp, and what our journey looked like..

As a purpose-driven business, we have a natural affinity with B Corp. We wanted to embrace its ethos of continuous improvement (also one of our own values) making our business even better for its staff, customers, community, and the environment. This was a great way to demonstrate our commitment.

One of the things we really appreciated about the B Corp certification was the yearly reporting required. This means we need to publish an Impact Report each year, and in this blog we’re proud to share how we’ve improved over that time.

 

How did we do?

As recommended by B Corp, we completed the B Impact Assessment with figures for our last financial year (ending March 2023), and our unverified score has now increased 3.5 points to 109.4.

There are five separate impact that B Corp defines, so let’s look at each in turn:

 

Workers – increased from 34 to 35.1

The Workers Impact Area evaluates our company’s contribution to its employees’ financial, physical, professional, and social well-being. This is an area where we made a significant impact over the last year.

What we wanted to do: to make Uprise Up an even better employer by improving staff benefits and increasing staff engagement.

What we did:

  • Improved our maternity leave package offering up to 12 weeks on full pay plus a staggered return on full pay.
  • Improved our paternity leave package offering up to 2 weeks full pay.
  • Introduced a Paid Sabbatical Leave benefit which will see staff enjoying a paid month of sabbatical leave every 5 years.
  • Introduced a paid day off for moving house.
  • Increased holiday allowances to 35 days inc. bank hols, increasing to 38 days after 2 years employment.
  • Increased our starting salaries.
  • Introduced a free flu voucher scheme.
  • Put together a programme of weekly company-wide training sessions to complement team and individual training.
  • Improved our staff engagement from 76% in 2022 to 81% last year, which is now above average for the marketing sector*. We also saw a lower staff attrition rate.

What we would like to do next year: to continue looking at ways to facilitate a good work-life balance for our staff and continue to ensure they are fairly financially rewarded.

 

Community – increased from 14.8 to 16.5

This area evaluates our company’s positive impact on the external communities in which we operate.

What we wanted to do: to further improve the diversity, equity and inclusion in our company and continue having a positive economic impact in our community.

What we did:

  • Undertook pro-bono work.
  • Gave to local charities.
  • Increased net jobs over the period.
  • Increased our age diversity.
  • Increased our completed annual diversity, equity and inclusion training.
  • Continued to have 50% women managers.
  • Maintained the same % of our workforce identifying as being from a racial or ethnic minority, and overall women workers.

What we would like to do next year: to increase our volunteering – we are already committed to helping Speakers for Schools, offering our time to support young people with fewer personal connections to get work experience in the sector. We are also volunteering our team as judges on awards panels for charity work – encouraging more businesses to get involved with charitable activities. We’d also like to improve our diversity, particularly by increasing our ratio of those from a racial or ethnic minority and increasing our women workers overall to get a better balance, and to continue to give back to the local community.

 

Environment – increased from 10.3 to 10.8.

The Environment Impact Area evaluates our company’s overall environmental stewardship, including how we identify and manage general environmental impacts, our management of air and climate issues, water sustainability, and impacts on land and life. Whilst our B Corp score here remains static, we made improvements.

What we wanted to do: to reduce our energy usage, and get our food waste composting running more effectively.

What we did:

  • Donated our first batch (34.8kg) of compost to local charity Chesham in Bloom and we are starting to invite other tenants in our shared buildings to use it for their food waste.
  • Worked with our landlord to install more functionality in our central heating programming so it could be used more effectively and reduce wastage.
  • Reduced our total energy usage from 98 gigajoules in 2021 to 80 in 2022 and 70 in 2023.
  • Increased our environmental training.
  • Offset our carbon emissions.

What we would like to do next year: to further reduce our energy usage where possible. We’ll continue to brainstorm regularly for ideas to reduce usage further at home at in the office. We are looking at more sustainable consumables, to continue composting, and roll that out to more companies using the same office premises.

 

Customers – from 28.6 to 28.7

This area evaluates our company’s value to our customers and our customer’s own beneficiaries. We provide marketing services predominantly helping charities and socially positive organisations, many of whom work with ‘underserved populations’**. We contribute to providing better outcomes for their beneficiaries (e.g. through campaigns to increase fundraising, volunteers, information, support, and campaigning). We remain strong in this area.

What we wanted to do:  continue our focus on charities and socially positive organisations. We wanted to use our expertise to the best effect to help as many charities and organisations as possible. We wanted to ensure our customers are happy and focus on client satisfaction.

What we did:

  • Invested heavily in Charity Digital Benchmark. A benchmark tool to identify trends, highlight opportunities and learn from other charities.
  • Conducted a series of client satisfaction calls with an external expert.
  • Conducted client satisfaction surveys.

What we would like to do next year: our main focus in this area will be to further develop the Charity Digital Benchmark so it becomes an invaluable toolkit for as many charities as possible, creating improvements for the whole charity sector, including our own clients. The Charity Digital Benchmark helps charities make better decisions on their digital activity, which naturally drives better results for their causes.

Governance – 18.1

This area looks at our mission, ethics, accountability and transparency and we already scored highly in this area. We hadn’t identified any areas for improvement here and our priorities for next year lie largely in the other areas.

 

Overall

Overall we are proud of our progress over the last year. We’ve added huge improvements for our staff, supported the development of the Charity Digital Benchmark, improved our score for the Community topic, and managed to decrease our environmental impact.

When thinking about what’s next for us it’s worth bearing in mind that B Corp are in the process of changing their impact topics. At the time of writing they are currently in consultation, departing from their current framework where companies have flexibility in how to achieve a verified 80-point score, and instead meet specific requirements across impact topics. There will be new impact topics and different standards by size and sector.

We wait to hear what this will mean for our future Impact Reports and recertification (B Corps have needed to recertify every three years), however with continuous improvement always an objective at Uprise Up we’re confident we will have plenty of progress to report on next year regardless of format, and look forward to doing so.

 

 

*(the benchmark figure for staff engagement in the Marketing sector according to Workleap OfficeVibe is 79%).

** ‘Underserved’ is a term used by B Corp to describe groups that do not traditionally have access to positive social or economic outcomes. This can be low-income, poor, or very poor individuals or a group lacking access due to chronic discrimination which may include discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, colour, disability, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, religion, or social origin.

 

 

 

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