What’s B Corp Certification?
It’s a certification of companies meeting social and environmental requirements, governance as well as transparency. It’s an abbreviation of "Benefit Corporation", denoting a company known to have a positive effect on the world, while remaining profitable.
Companies must undergo a rigorous selection process built on reliable, exhaustive, transparent and independent standards in terms of social and environmental performance. B Corp measures a company’s performance in five areas: governance, employees, customers, community and environment. Certification lasts 3 years at which point the company must undergo recertification.
Why Think About and Commit to our Outside Impact?
At Cedreo, we are convinced that we, as a company, can only be successful if we look after our planet. A healthy ecosystem leads to healthy growth in the company and taking care of our ecosystem is one of our values.
More prosaically and for the doubters, studies from Bank of America show that companies that outperform economically and financially have a strong and ambitious CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy and commitment. Taking a more sustainable path is therefore natural. The implementation of responsible and sustainable action gives a lot of meaning to the members of the Cedreo team for whom this is a deeply held conviction.
Why B Corp?
Other labels or approaches exist, so why did we choose B Corp? For several reasons :
The audit tool is available free online. It allowed us to make our own diagnosis and define an action plan allowing us to reach our first objective which would be certification.
We were thus able to structure our action plan and dedicate significant time to impact actions (6 days per year per team member) to advance issues where we had to make rapid progress.
Cedreo is expanding into Europe and North America, we wanted to find a label that is not only recognized in France.
The B Corp label raises the bar for high standards in terms of social and environmental responsibility, it is clearly one of the most demanding labels in the world and as being daring is part of our values we felt it was only right to go for it.
And Concretely?Among the significant actions carried out on each of the pillars making up the CSR action field, we would like to highlight:
Our carbon footprint and an ongoing reduction plan to align with the challenges of the Paris Climate Accord, a 10% reduction in our emissions over the first year and compensation for the rest (on a basis of 83 $ / tonne which allows us to invest in sustainable compensation solutions).
To measure our waste production and put an action plan in place to reduce it in the office. For example, we have started composting and stopped purchasing single-use plastics.
Change of electricity supplier to Enercoop, a renewable energy supplier.
Measuring customer satisfaction with the NPS.
Regular sharing of economic performance with the team.
Integration of customers into our product design and prioritization phases.
Measurement and limitation of dependence on large customers.
Increased parental leave for second parent.
Creation of a collective library.
Barometer measures well-being at work.
Integration path for new employees.
6th week of paid vacation.
Office cleaning during office hours.
Non-violent communication training.
Work from home.
Involvement of the team in the business strategy.
Strategic CSR goals and involvement of the whole team.
Training of new collaborators in CSR.
Integration of social or environmental objectives in individual interviews with managers.
Allowing time for employees to work on CSR projects.
Internship with high school students.
1% of turnover primarily in carbon offsetting and for local initiatives
Collective actions e.g. Pink October (breast cancer research).
Skills sponsorship with local partners.
First aid training.
Payment of apprenticeship tax to social impact establishments.
Listing of local suppliers to encourage team members to buy locally.
The fact of having made this certification one of Cedreo’s four strategic objectives for 2020 was clearly a key factor in obtaining this certification. By making it a strategic objective we mobilized the whole team and applied the same work methods that we generally apply, striving for continuous improvement and efficiency.
This allowed us to structure our approach to properly balance our actions across the different types of actions governance, environment, social, community and economic.
This was also possible because we allow each team member 6 days per year to work on one of these actions. We have found that this is both a very good solution to give work more meaning to everyone but also prevents a work overload for CSR managers.
We have devoted more than 100 man (and woman) days to this project in 2020 both to structure and progress. This was possible because we were not starting from scratch. In addition, we are launching Entreprises Positives, a free and open source platform for sharing good CSR practices for companies.
Our challenge now is to make these actions sustainable and to make the team completely autonomous in dedicated governance.
We also want to include more stakeholders in our reflections and actions (customers, suppliers, local community, etc.) and for this, create a dedicated committee of employees who will be the basis of our CSR mission committee.
To do this, we will start by challenging and validating our mission, which will be the basis of this new governance body.