by Jordan Tomkins, Senior Operations Manager, PYTCHBy some peoples’ definition, PYTCH have now ‘completed’ our B Corp journey, and have reached certification. It’s taken us three years and many meetings, reviews and revisions to get to this point. It’s not been an easy journey and I’ve had to revise and develop my own views on sustainability along the way. Whilst we're not done and have a lot more learning to do, I felt it was a good time to take stock and reflect on what we've learned as an organisation:
1) Most people aren't doing enough.
I thought we were pretty good at the whole sustainability thing when we started. Sure, there were a few gaps and I was anticipating making a few tweaks here and there to reach best practice, but the results from our first impact assessment made for disheartening reading. We came up VERY short. The B Impact Assessment is one of the most comprehensive assessment tools out there, and it flagged up areas where we hadn’t even considered we could do better. However, far from making us want to give up with the whole thing, this served us really well as a framework for improvement and action, and we could track our progress point-by-point as we continually re-assessed.
2) Sustainability is not just about Carbon and the Environment.
This is something that, surprisingly, is not obvious to many people. The point of sustainability is to operate in such a way that can continue indefinitely. This doesn’t just mean stewardship of the planet, but also encompasses your impacts in your communities, supply chains, and perhaps most importantly on your workforce. This is something that the B Impact Assessment delves deep into, and really made us think about whether our jobs were sustainable long-term for our staff, and whether we were having unintended negative impacts on society. ‘Charity starts at home’ as the oft-misused quote goes, and in this case it certainly seemed that ‘sustainability starts at home’. We made major improvements in our community engagement and staff wellbeing initiatives, and the results have spoken for themselves. It has made a marked change in our culture for the better.
3) It’s not a quick process. That’s the point.
When we began, we figured it might take us 6 months or so to do the assessment, find some gaps, and get certified. 3 years and many rounds of improvement later, we realise that had we got certified that quickly, we would’ve missed out on valuable time spent learning, iterating, and building a culture of sustainability within the organisation. Trust the process and don’t rush - you might miss something if you do.
4) The community is amazing.
Throughout the process of the B Corp certification, we met so many fantastic individuals and businesses, all working towards a more sustainable vision of the future. From partnerships with sustainability consultants to coffee companies, we have connected on so many levels with people who we never would’ve even known existed. This is the real benefit of B Corp - making connections and building a community.
5) It doesn’t end with certification.
Now we are here, we realise that we have to do more. Sustainability is an ever-changing goal with ever-shifting goalposts, and if we don’t keep up, we’ll just find ourselves having to play catch up again later. Now we are certified, it’s our duty to keep growing and learning new practices. We’re going to be the first production company to break 90 points on the Impact Assessment, and we’re pursuing other goals that will help us reach new heights. Remember that B Corp is just one step in the sustainability journey, and sustainability is a culture, not a badge!
I'm looking forward to the next steps, and I'm also hoping we can help others on their B Corp journey. If you're pursuing B Corp or you've already got there and would like to meet up, why not come to one of our regular B Corp brunches, or reach out to us via email.