With hundreds of companies making the pledge to be more sustainable each year, you may have seen the B Corp stamp appearing in your supermarket, or even your local coffee shop. While it may look unassuming, that little 'B' represents a lot of hard work.

Triodos Bank has been a certified B Corp since the movement launched in Europe back in 2015, but what does it mean to be part of this community? Read on to learn more.

What is a B Corp?  

The "B" stands for benefit for all. It means that companies certified as B Corp voluntarily meet certain standards to create added value for society. They must meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards and comply with accountability obligations. This applies to the entire company across all product lines and divisions.

A B Corp can come from practically any sector and industry. Each company’s B Impact Report can be viewed online, so that consumers can see where the companies they buy from sit on the scale.

See Triodos Bank's impact score.

Together, as a community of like-minded businesses, B Corps want to drive the shift to a new kind of economy, that is better for workers, better for communities and better for the environment.

When did this movement start?  

B Lab is a non-profit organisation that was founded in the United States in 2006 and is now active worldwide. While B Lab is lesser known, the B Corp Certification has gained worldwide acclaim. B Lab has also partnered with the United Nations to help the private sector translate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into practical business processes.

As a company founded on the principles of sustainability, Triodos Bank has been part of the B Corp movement for almost a decade and is joined by approximately 8,270 certified B Corporations from 162 sectors in 96 countries worldwide.

In the UK, there are now more than 1,900 B Corps in this growing community. We are proud that some of our lending customers are also B Corp certified, such as: 

Cafédirect is an award-winning, UK-social enterprise and 100% Fairtrade coffee company. Half of its profits are invested back into farmer communities. 

Stroud Brewery produces premium organic beers brewed using Cotswold grown barley. Established in 2006, it is a thriving enterprise that aims to support the community, the environment and other local businesses. 

Resource Futures is a sustainable resource management company. Its work focuses on high quality collection, expert analysis and interpretation of data to guide customers in the efficient use of material resources and on the delivery of innovative behaviour change programmes. 

Riverford Organic Farmers is a well-established organic farm and veg-box company operating from Devon.

Thrive Renewables is a renewable energy investment company on a mission is to drive the UK’s transition to a sustainable energy future. Thrive has invested in wind and hydro, solar PV, geothermal, ground source heat and the early commercial scale tidal generation capacity.

Forest is an affordable and environmentally responsible e-bike operator in London and thereby contributing to more liveable cities. The company has ambitious plans to double its fleet, bringing affordable and sustainable mobility to even more Londoners.

How do you get certified? 

To obtain and maintain the certification, companies must undergo a complex and extensive test procedure. The starting point is the B Impact Assessment. B Lab uses over 200 questions to determine the company's environmental and social impact and commitment along its entire supply chain.

Among other things, this involves dealing with suppliers and customers, working conditions, social commitment, the use of resources and the company's environmental compatibility. In addition, a company only becomes a B Corp if it is committed to social added value and environmental sustainability.

When assessing their social and environmental performance, participants must achieve at least 80 points on a scale of 0 to 200. The average score is 97. Triodos Bank, including Triodos Investment Management, was re-certified as a B Corp in December 2022, achieving a score of 131.3. B Lab praised our corporate governance, the way we measure the positive impact of our financing and how we support local communities. 

What does it mean for us to be a B Corp?

We create lasting value for all stakeholders, not just for shareholders. The certification helps to increase awareness about sustainable business.

For a B Corporation, sustainability is fully integrated into the business, something that’s also a key part of our vision at Triodos. An audit by an independent organisation such as B Corp helps us to test our sustainable mission in the field of corporate social responsibility.

The certification helps to increase the reputation and credibility of sustainable banking and to continuously improve our sustainable performance