ACS as a B Corp: A better business

Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) became a B Corporation (B Corp) in December 2022. We are the fourth law firm in the UK to become a B Corp and the first law firm in the Midlands area. We were certified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, as having met rigorous social and environmental standards representing its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit.

So what is a B Corp and why is it better for us to be part of this community?

Being a B Corp is all about being a Better Business and recognising that we cannot be a success to the detriment of those around us e.g., our staff, our clients, our stakeholders, the wider society and the environment. As individuals and organisations recognise this they will seek out businesses they can trust to work with.

The B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’s operations and covers five key impact areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers. The certification process is rigorous, with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices including those relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company will legally embed their commitment to a purpose beyond profit in their company articles.

ACS is now part of a community of 6,058 businesses globally that have been certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK, representing a broad cross-section of industries and sizes, comprises over 1,000 companies and includes well-known brands such as The Guardian, innocent, Patagonia, Charity Bank, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.

Why did we become a B Corp?

We are a purpose-driven law firm and to us achieving external accreditation was another step along this same path.

  • Better for our clients – You will be working with a company held to high social and environmental standards with similar values to your own. In our view, B Corp is the ‘for-profit’ version of being required to show an overall ‘public benefit’ that all registered charities must show.
  • Better for our staff – To gain accreditation we have to show that we are a fully inclusive business, we share profits with staff, we look after your health and well-being, we ensure we provide opportunities for training and career development and we pay all staff at least a living wage. We have demonstrated this through our internal policies and our financial records.
  • Better for business – We help the economy by providing new jobs, working with local suppliers, working with charities, demonstrating our commitment to social mobility, and working with policymakers.

The B Corp journey continues

B Corp requires businesses to undergo continuous improvement as part of the B Corp process. We’ve met stringent thresholds but are now being driven to further improve our score and our impact in the five assessed areas. B Corp is a tool demonstrating that we are a socially and environmentally progressive business but it’s also a toolkit to help businesses become even better which is our aim.

Becoming a B Corp is an amazing achievement for us but we know we cannot rest on our laurels. We will recertify with B Corp every three years to ensure continual improvement and to show that we continue to meet the rigorous standards of the certification. We’re ready for the challenge!

If you would like to talk to us about our B Corp certification, please contact either Peter Hubbard or Felicity Butler.

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