“Are you a B Corp?” You may have noticed a new question popping up on client briefs, such clients are so dedicated to the movement that they choose who to work with based on shared values. But what is B Corp status, and who is already certified?
In recent years the dynamic of workplaces has shifted somewhat from purely sales and profit driven into something much more positive. Many companies are developing strategies that put customer experience, employee wellbeing and sustainability at the core. With ‘greenwashing’ rife amongst for-profit businesses, a private certification has been developed to accurately measure ‘social and environmental performance’. This is known as a B Corp certification and has become a fast-growing community.
Always ones to be in tune with changing customer trends, it’s no surprise that the flexible office market is leading the pack from a commercial property standpoint. It is a win-win for flexible office providers to become B Corp certified, aside from the warm-glowing feeling of knowing your corporation is doing all the right things, it also provides a unique opportunity to bond with prospective tenants who share the same values. For tenants, it is reassuring to know your office provider is ‘doing their bit’ and adds gravitas, knowing that being mindful goes deeper than face value and is present throughout the supply chain.
It’s no easy feat for a corporation to become B Corp certified, to qualify it must meet exceptionally high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on a range of factors from employee benefits and charitable giving right through to supply chain practices and input materials. Right now, there are just under 6,000 B Corp certified companies across the globe, but it is a fast-growing community. It reached it’s 5,000 milestone back in May 2022 and is steadily increasing its reach worldwide.
Here we explore some of the flexible workspace providers that have taken the leap to B Corp certification:
The OG. These guys were the first UK provider to become certified back in April 21. EOffice are a relatively small player in the London office market but have a substantial worldwide footprint. While nothing screams B Corp when you walk into one of their spaces, it is reassuring that you don’t necessarily have to be the cool, creative type to care about the environment. Think, no frills, functional, cost effective!
July 21 – The OG#2. While they don’t take official first place, X+Why do take the trophy for being the first provider to draw my attention to B Corp Certification. Prior to this, I had never heard of B Corp, so good for them for spreading the word! Unlike some other B Corps, you feel it right through the brand and it markets itself as ‘Flexible workspace for purpose-driven businesses.’ While you don’t have to be B Corp certified to be a tenant, it is encouraged, and they offer assistance and advice to aspiring B Corps on how to achieve it.
The newbie, the most recent provider to join the B Corp club – it was only a matter of time for these guys. It is nice to see that it isn’t just a fad or for a limited few and that providers are continuing to pursue B Corp status. Runway East are fast-growing and continue to open in great locations, offering value for money and facilities that challenge / exceed that of some of their bigger, better-known competitors.
May 22 – A unique offering among B Corp certified office providers. If you are looking for something a little more your own then Agora is the one for you. Relatively new to the market these guys started as they meant to go on. Sustainable fit out and furniture is at the forefront with 75% of furniture made from recycled materials.
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