We are incredibly proud to say we have successfully achieved B Corp® certification, becoming the first architect in the AJ100 and one of only a handful of firms in the UK built environment sector to join a growing, purpose-driven community.
Certified B corporations are businesses that meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We believe the B Corp standards are an ideal fit with our existing culture and operations whilst providing a framework for improvement in the coming years.
The six-month assessment process was challenging and rigorous, with every aspect of our business scrutinised and scored – from staff support programmes and the social and environmental impact of our offices to customer and supply chain processes. It hasn’t always been comfortable.
We’ve always prided ourselves on being ethical and responsible as a practice, looking after our staff and designing in a responsible, human-centric way.
Since we became an employee-owned organisation, we’d been seeking a tool that would help us to measure how we are doing socially and environmentally.
The B Corp process forced us to take a deep breath on everything we do.
The incredibly detailed assessment did throw up a few surprises. But the whole point of going through the accreditation process isn’t to pat ourselves on the back, but to highlight the areas where we can be doing better – then make a plan to address those.”
Pierre Wassenaar, Board Director who led the process.
The principles behind the B Corp movement are critical to the future success not just of the practice, but of the whole built environment sector.
The buzzword of the moment is “recovery” and we have an extraordinary opportunity to rebuild our economy and society in a more ethical and sustainable way. The need to balance the demands of people, planet and profit have never been more urgent against the backdrop of a world in the midst of a pandemic and an ever-increasing climate emergency.
Whilst the industry has been taking steps in various areas, from environmental initiatives to diversity, and conversations about social value, we need to bring all these together and embed them into how we all run our businesses and how we work together to tackle the enormous challenges of the coming years.”
David Hunter, Chair
One aspect that excites us most is the collaborative side of being a B Corp; certified businesses are encouraged to look at ways to work together and our team is looking forward to an ideas exchange with the other built environment B Corps. It will also shape all our current and future relationships:
Clients are going to need to demonstrate that their supply chains have attained certifiable levels of social and environmental performance. So this helps them”.
The B Corp movement – which is overseen by the B Lab Global network – was founded in the US in 2006. The UK is the fastest growing B Corp community in the world with more than 450 certified businesses with a combined revenue of more than £4.3 billion. Other
B Corps from the UK built environment sector include Kennedy Woods architects, Igloo Regeneration, FORE Partnership, Planit I.E, WWA, Urban Foundry, Sero Homes and Joseph Homes.
The movement is underpinned by the belief that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and non-profits alone. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment.
Commenting on Stride Treglown’s certification, Kate Sandle, Director of Programmes and
Engagement of B Lab UK, says
We are delighted to welcome Stride Treglown to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe business really can be a force for good.
We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community – from start-ups to multinationals, and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force,and one that – as these companies are showing – can be used for good. Welcoming Stride Treglown is an exciting moment because they have an opportunity to lead the way within architecture and wider built environment sector in the UK.
Their commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and really help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit”.
Watch the webinar below, hosted by Pierre Wassenaar in May 2021, to find out more about what achieving B Corp certification means, why we did it, and our journey so far.