In Conversation With Chris Woodfield
Last month we had the pleasure of chatting to Chris, TYF's very own Sustainability Coordinator. Read below what he has to say about all things B Corp.
Q: So what is it like working for a B Corp - can you describe your experience of working with TYF?
Chris: It's really exciting. It's great to be working with a business with a positive mission which aligns with my values. It's refreshing and empowering.
Q: What's your favourite part of working for a B Corp?
Chris: I would say working collaboratively with a group of people to try and solve real world challenges and try and make the world a better place for people and planet, and recognising that we don't have all the answers, but that we can definitely be bold and courageous and explore solutions and try our best. It's exciting to be part of a business that is open and curious and willing to push the boundaries and ask bold questions.
Q: Are there any downsides?
Chris: Being a B Corp is hard, but that's good, because if it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing. I think we are part of a solution, and unfortunately we shouldn't really need B Corps because all businesses should work in this way, so that's really important to note. We are trying to rebalance the scales and all business should be business as a force for good, but we need pioneers to try and shift that transformation. We recognise that we need to be role models for positive change, and it's really exciting to be at the forefront of that change and part of a global movement. That shift is coming - it's already happening, we just need to help push it along in the right direction and B Corp is the perfect platform.
Q: Are all of the impact assessment areas equally important? (The areas are governance, workers, community, environment and customers.)
Chris: I think it's important to view the key areas holistically, as that incorporates a systems thinking approach, which is what we try to do. We also need to recognise that some businesses will be better at some things than others. At TYF, we strive to be the best we can be across all areas, though we recognise that we have a strong ethos on the environment as we ground ourselves in the beauty of the natural world every day.
Q: What is the B Corp recertification process like?
Chris: It's quite thorough and detailed, but I think that's a good thing. It takes place every three years, focuses on continual improvement which is very important, and it clarifies and double checks what you do and how you do it and how you measure your impact. It's really comprehensive - it allows you to stop and take stock of where you are. It is a business-wide activity and B Lab recommend that you do it every year as an opportunity to check you're on the right path and ensure you're keeping to your mission.
Q: What are TYF’s future plans B Corp-wise?
Chris: As a founding UK B Corp, passionate about helping other businesses become B Corps and talking openly about our journey, we’re also helping to offer consultancy to other businesses to help them become B Corps, and also work with the existing B Corp community to try and bring those businesses together to celebrate and see if we can collaborate more, to amplify our collective voices and impact, to shift the narrative from sustainable business to regenerative business.
Q: Do you have a favourite B Corp? If so why?
Chris: There are so many great B Corps, but if I had to pick one I would say Greenheart Consulting. They are based in Plymouth which is where I am from, and the language they use and their approach is what I think we need to adopt.
Q: What makes B Corp special compared to other similar accreditations?
Chris: There are lots of accreditations out there and B Corp doesn't replace others, it brings them all together, it's a place to bring best practice, it's fun. We need to bring fun and play into our work as well.
Q: Do you think TYF has any regrets becoming a B Corp?
Chris: Only that we should have done it sooner!
If you're thinking of becoming a B Corp or perhaps you're already on your journey of getting certified and have questions, get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org we'd love to hear from you!