Introduction from our MD
Boom! It’s our latest B Corp impact report.
Why should you care?
It can’t be the most important thing on your plate, or plates – you’re probably spinning loads of them as you read this.
Here’s why we think this doc matters.
Charities are organisations working on the front line of social change. They are full to the brim with hard working people obsessed with making the world a better place.
We totally get how hard that is, and how much harder it’s become. The cost of living crisis has understandably led to people cancelling direct debits and tightening purse strings.
That’s pushed the brakes on the ability of charities to make the world a better place. We’ve tried to be the accelerator they can floor. Or at the very least, an agency they can lean on.
We’re not a charity though, we’re a business. A big bad limited company, some would say.
But we believe that being a business and doing good aren’t mutually exclusive.
That’s why we certified as a B Corp. We wanted to hold up a big placard to the world that says in bright neon colours “We’ve hit the social and environmental targets that will transform business worldwide.”
But in the past year, we had to hold our hands up. We admitted there was more work to do to earn the right to pick up that placard than time to do it.
So we hired a member of our team who could lead our B Corp and equality work. That would create real accountability for being a more fair and equitable workplace. Heena took up that challenge, and is doing an amazing job. What a brilliant person she is to have at Platypus.
We believe that when our team is happy, we do better work. So we’re committed to keeping a long, uncomfortable and awkward conversation going about the things that get in the way of that. The outcome should be a supportive environment where our team can do their best work and have a big impact
We’re flag-flying members of the B Corp movement. It’s so much more than just another certification – it’s a movement for good.
Long may it last and far may it go.
Journey to Certification
We’ve wanted to be an ethical business since day one.
We only work with charities. The charity sector aims to be the most ethical sector out there. We want to make sure our values, culture and mission align with those ethics.
But we didn’t always know how best to do that.
Enter B Lab – they have a detailed framework on how to do it, ready to go. It’s a framework that says. “Here’s exactly how you become an ethical business.”
We went through three stages:
- Benchmarking – we completed the assessment, and saw the areas where we fell short.
- Improving – we researched and implemented a bunch of new policies, like our profit share scheme.
- Certifying – we completed the assessment again, and certified!
It was a long journey to get there. The improving stage had lots of research and took a long time. The assessment stage was stop-start. We were glad to do it and we’re still committed to improving more.
The assessment isn’t a one off or once every three years. It’s an ongoing process. Hence bringing on Heena to help us do that.
How B Corp has helped us
Being a B Corp has helped show us what we need to do to be an ethical business.
This is what really matters. Not the logo on the website or the likes on the LinkedIn posts, nice though they undoubtedly are. Being a business that does the right thing is the main aim.
Being part of the B Corp community has been awesome too. Thousands of businesses of all kinds, all united by a desire to have a positive impact on the world, and we’re a part of it. It’s a real buzz, and gives us confidence to do more.
I have to say though, the most rewarding thing has been being part of the change at other businesses. We’ve done this by no more than just mentioning improvements we’ve made at Platypus as part of our B Corp work.
For example, we have 35 days annual leave a year at Platypus, plus England’s bank holidays. You also get an extra five weeks off every five years to take as a sabbatical.
I’ve mentioned this to people at other businesses. The next time I saw them, they told me they’d nudged up their own holiday allowance as a result of speaking to me. The power of words!
Those are just the impacts we’re aware of. We know the ripples in this particular pond spread to edges we can’t even see.
Scores, plans and progress
80 is the bar to clear if you want be a B Corp.
The median for ordinary businesses is 50.9.
We’re really proud of such a high score, and we plan to increase it.
How this report is different to the last one. We structured our first ever impact report a bit differently to this one.
We mapped out our impact (mostly via our charity clients) to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This showed that we were doing a lot to improve health, reduce hunger and tackle poverty, but not as much in other areas.
So we didn’t record exactly what our plans were for this period under each of the impact areas. We will from now on of course!
Our impact areas
Woah, you did it. You must be really interested in Platypus, B Corps or hopefully both. Kudos to you whatever brought you here.
If you speak to a business that isn’t certified yet, encourage them to check out the B Corp website or send them our way – we love being part of the movement and are happy to share our experiences with them.