Where we fit
There is a lot happening at the present time in the area of responsible business. Some businesses may be wondering where the Good Business Charter fits. We pride ourselves on being one of the few do-tanks amid an array of think-tanks. We believe both are needed. Whilst think-tanks seek to influence government and others who can bring about changes in the law, we are inspiring businesses to lead the way NOW by committing to our ten components and showing the general public what responsible business behaviour looks like.
Where does the Good Business Charter fit into the UK responsible business space?
|Organisation||Where||What they offer||Summary||Cost|
|Good Business Charter||UK||
We offer a simple accreditation over 10 components covering employees, the environment, suppliers, customers and taxation. We are UK wide but could easily be replicated internationally.
Members must commit to all 10 components to achieve accreditation.
|Designed to be easy to apply to (in under an hour if you have your answers ready) with the first year of membership free and renewal costs very low. It is a straightforward yet comprehensive summary of what the GBC considers to be responsible business. Also open to charities.||Free to sign up. After one year annual fees are £25 flat fee for 0-50 e’ees and £1 per FTE for those with over 50 employees capped at £2,500 private sector and £500 public and third sectors.|
|B Corps||International||Comprehensive analysis of how your business is operating. However, you only need to score 80/200 score over 5 areas. This means that only 40% compliance with the organisation’s aims is acceptable in this scheme. It is unclear if there are any compulsory components.||Lengthy application and verification process (their website states certification can take several weeks to a few months) and expensive.||Annual fees of £10,000 for a company with £25m turnover; £25,000 for a company with £100m turnover.|
|Blueprint for Better Business||UK||Helps businesses to be a force for good. Their 5 principles of a purpose driven business are long-term sustainable performance, honest and fair with customers and suppliers, a good citizen, a responsible and responsive employer, and a guardian for future generations.||Not an accreditation scheme but a guidance document. GBC recommends businesses connect with Blueprint for Better Business to improve their business practices.||N/A|
|Business in the Community||UK||Draws together a network of purposeful leaders to share best practice specifically in these 3 areas:
(i) a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow;
(ii) communities where people want to work and live; and
(iii) innovating to sustain and repair our planet.
|Not an accreditation scheme. GBC recommends businesses connect with BITC to share best practice and feed into the important conversations on responsible business.||N/A|
|Ethical Trading Initiative||International||Membership to the ETI for ethical sourcing standards||Single issue, recommended by the GBC, more in-depth work on ethical sourcing than required by the GBC.||
£900 sign up fee.
£3,262 for companies with turnover under £25m. £7,748 if turnover £100m.
|Greater Manchester Combined Authority||Greater Manchester||Good Employment Charter demonstrating excellent practice in employment.||Employee focused, the GBC takes a wider view and covers the entire UK.||No charge.|
|Heart of the City||London but widening through online resources||Through the sponsorship of around 100 large companies, they support small businesses (up to 250 employees) in starting the journey of responsible business. They work with 60 companies each year assisting on a practical level.||Not an accreditation scheme. They recognise that GBC fills a gap in the market, especially for SMEs who are want to be recognised for the responsible business practices they have adopted.||N/A|
|Mayor of London and London Assembly||London||Good Work Standard covering employee issues only and relying on an average score to qualify.||Employee focused, the GBC takes a wider view and covers the entire UK.||No charge.|
The Good Business Charter and B Corporation Certification
The Good Business Charter is a simple accreditation scheme that all UK organisations (corporate, public sector and charities) can apply for to recognise their responsible business behaviour. To receive accreditation an organisation must be able to meet all 10 components covering care for employees, customers, suppliers, the environment and fair payment of taxes.
Certified B Corporations are businesses across the world that achieve a minimum verified score of 40% on a rigorous assessment of their impact on their workers, customers, community and environment. All B Corporations amend their legal governing documents to require their board of directors to balance profit and purpose.
We see a progression between the Good Business Charter and B Corporation certification and recognise that certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
However, such verification requires a considerable investment of a business’s resources which not all businesses are able or prepared to commit. The GBC is available to all types of organisations, including sole traders, and has deliberately stripped away barriers to make accreditation meaningful yet simple and affordable.
We applaud the extensive work of B Lab (the company that administers B Corp Certification) and are happy to encourage our corporate members to consider it as part of their journey of excelling as a responsible business.
To companies that have already achieved B Corp certification we would still recommend they look at GBC accreditation. For a purpose driven company, GBC accreditation presents a clear way to show the general public that organisations comply with our 10 specific components and lead the way nationally alongside public and third sector organisations. We believe the brand is being sought after by consumers, investors and potential employees, increasing the value of it for B Corp companies also.
ESG and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
ESG (environmental, social, governance) is common lingo in this space as is reference to the UN SDGs – see this blog entry for an explanation of how the GBC connects you into the E, the S and the G as well as the 17 SDGs.
The Purpose-Driven Business Ecosystem
We work closely with Re-generate who have put together a really useful Purpose-Driven Business Ecosystem which maps out some of the key players across the whole area of purpose-driven business.
We also want to highlight the work of The Purposeful Company which uses rigorous research and evidence, combined with multi-disciplinary practitioner experience, to assist with the design and adoption of practical policy proposals that help effect change. They work collaboratively with Task Force members, policymakers and other bodies, providing challenge to ensure innovations that are practical. They recognise our role in the ecosystem.
Good Business Charter
Take the first step now and sign up with us today. If you receive accreditation to the GBC, membership will be FREE for the first year.
Calling all employees, customers and suppliers.
If you have reason to believe that a GBC accredited organisation is not meeting its obligations, please let us know.
There are many benefits to accreditation, the most important being signposting consumers, potential employees, investors (donors if charities) and subcontractors to your organisation.
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