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Building ‘Profit with Purpose’ into Business DNA

MD, Tim Chudley's Blog

‘Profit with Purpose’

I have been interested to read recently about the rise of the global ‘Profit with Purpose’ movement. One of the driving forces of this initiative is an organisation called B Lab which was founded in the USA in 2007 and has recently launched in the UK.

B Lab recognised that normal corporate governance dictates that executives have their hands tied when it came to strategic decisions that benefit stakeholders other than shareholders. A new type of corporate structure was needed because the existing one imposes a fiduciary duty on executives to act in the interest only of shareholders.

B Corporations are for business visionaries who didn’t want to build the best in the world but instead the best for the world. B Lab have developed a series of resources and an accreditation process to support these visionaries.

Accredited B Corporations include Patagonia, my friends at Clearly So, and, perhaps most interestingly, Ben and Jerrys - interesting because the ice cream maker is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle. If a global heavyweight like Unilever are involved perhaps there is hope for the capitalist world because businesses will increasingly consider social and environmental outcomes. It’s worth checking out this message from Unilever CEO Paul Pulman.

This infographic from Clearly So explains succinctly the background and process behind becoming a B Corporation. Part of the vision is to build a community of businesses who will favour other B Corps in their supply chain. This will surely underpin a successful development of the movement.

What about Sundial Group then? 

We have a vision to be the leading family business in the UK meetings and events industry and part of the vision is to lead the sector as an ethical and trusted organisation. We have taken some steps, for instance our commitment to The Living Wage. We are only just engaging with the B Corporation agenda. It’s a tough and demanding structure but we want to be counted amongst the #BTheChange community. Watch this space.

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