The phrase 'there is no Planet B' is one that's been shared countless times. The organisation which coined the term, B Lab, aims to change the economic system of the world by creating new standards, policies and tools which change the culture of corporations, so that people and the planet come before profits - and it's building a certified network of global B Corps that share its vision and contribute to its goal.
Helping to make an impact locally, as well as globally, SoGlos shines the spotlight on the Gloucestershire B Corps that are doing their bit for the planet and the people that live on it.
Gloucester-based Optimising IT achieved B Corp status in February 2023, making it one of only a handful of local companies to be given the prestigious accolade.
Its unique Climate Conscious IT service means that as a business, it offsets twice as much carbon as it emits and offers options to its clients to reduce their carbon footprint now and in the future. Promising to do 'IT for good', as well as offsetting carbon through things like tree planting and carbon credits, it also supports local charities and community projects, such as Gloucestershire Young Carers, too.
Stroud Brewery has been B Corp certified since 2018 and has had a commitment to brewing premium, organic beer with integrity since it was established in 2006. Its beers are made using Soil Association-certified organic ingredients which never degenerate the environment, ecosystem or soil, and are sold in casks, kegs, bottles and cans, with its cask beers being the most sustainable option. All of its can and keg beers are vegan, too.
On top of that, its brewery and taproom is housed within an ecologically sympathetic building that's also a hub for the local community, hosting a variety of events from yoga classes and knitting clubs to live music nights, which bring people together and support the local economy.
Certified in September 2022, Gloucester-headquartered ProCook has been creating and supplying the highest quality kitchenware for 27 years and has a strong commitment to reducing its environmental impact and creating positive social change.
As well as working towards net zero carbon through mindful energy and water consumption, reducing emissions and eliminating single-use plastic throughout its entire business, it is also committed to creating an environment where its employees thrive – with its new head office set to provide workers with outdoor exercise space, a running track, outdoor eating spaces, an indoor gym and a full canteen. It's no surprise, then, that it was recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces in 2022.
Hobbs House Bakery
The fifth generation Hobbs House Bakery is a Gloucestershire institution - and it's been B Corp certified since 2019. Every loaf of its incredible bread is handmade in Chipping Sodbury with a 67-year-old sourdough starter and flour from Shipton Mill in Frampton on Severn, with the business operating as ethically and sustainably as possible to reduce its 'flour footprint.'
It has a mission to nourish its customers with handmade bread for all, donating products to local charities like Fare Share, as well as donating one loaf to children in Tanzania for every gluten-free loaf sold. It also aims to eliminate food waste by doing things like repurposing leftover croissant dough into cinnamon buns; and it's reducing waste by replacing plastic packaging with compostable wax bread bags, installing refillable milk stations and only using compostable coffee cups and paper bags in its shops.
Cirencester-based Steppes Travel achieved B Corp certification in August 2022. The luxury holiday company believes travel can be a force for good, with a mission to inspire holidaymakers to be ambassadors for the environments, animals and communities they have the privilege to visit.
Its Positive Impact Travel model means Steppes offsets the carbon emissions from travellers' flights; works with hotels to asses their impact on the environment, local community and economy; and insists its on-the-ground partners reduce single-use plastics. It supports charitable causes around the world and works with communities to improve sustainability - and in 2019, it launched its Steppes Fund for Change, which contributes to the planting of a 3,600-hectare forest in one of the most polluted areas of England, as well as funding research into nuclear fusion.
Stroud-based JAYA Beauty has been a certified B Corp since 2021, with all of its prebiotic skincare products being Leaping Bunny and The Vegan Society certified, too.
Its products are formulated using plant-based, ocean-friendly ingredients and mood-boosting fragrances to help care for young, sensitive and hormonal skin; and come packaged in recycled and recyclable plastic, biodegradable mushroom-based packaging and OEKO-TEX certified fabrics, with minimal water waste during manufacturing, too. JAYA - which stands for Just As You Are - also works to support and empower young women to care for their whole self, not just the skin on the surface.
Based in Stroud and B Corp certified since 2018, Invivo is a healthcare company that aims to 'restore human ecology' through its work in bioscience, diagnostics and therapeutics. It creates a range of supplements blending modern clinical research with traditional botanical medicines and naturopathic principles; testing kits to help people understand their microbiome; as well as producing educational materials for healthcare providers.
Unlike much modern medicine, which has a huge impact on the environment, global resources and biodiversity, Invivo is carbon neutral and is on track to become net zero by 2025. All of its sites use 100 per cent renewable energy; its products are packaged in plastic-free materials; its therapeutic ingredients are organic and sourced locally wherever possible; and it works with Ethical Investors to provide its company pensions, too.
Wildwood Ecology was the first ecological consultancy in the UK to certify as a B Corp back in 2019. With a belief that the natural environment is of equal, if not greater value than the built environment, it provides ethical environmental services that help limit climate change and reverse the decline in biodiversity, offering ecological site assessments, protected species surveys, innovative ecological design ideas and much more.
Members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, its Cotswolds office is based in Stroud, with one of its most notable local projects involving planting trees and installing bat boxes at the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester.
Ward Williams Associates
With over 46 years' experience and seven offices across the country, including one in Gloucester, Ward Williams Associates provides a variety of expert services to the construction industry, including design and project management, to help 'shape a sustainable future for the built environment'.
B Corp certified since 2020, its key goals are inspiring, advising and informing the people it influences and impacts; supporting and advocating for resilient, adaptable places with a sustainable future; and delivering projects which urgently address the environmental decline of our planet. It's notable achievements include being three times more gender diverse than the industry average; saving 45 tonnes of CO2 through its use of electric vehicles; and delivering 9,350 meals to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
B Corp certified in November 2022 with the highest scores across the board in the environmental consultancy sector, Tyler Grange is a group of arborists, ecologists and landscape planners based in Rendcomb near Cirencester. Providing support to both rural and urban projects to ensure the environment's needs are made as important as the commercial or business needs, its core values of belonging, caring, enjoyment, honesty and opportunity guide everything it does.
Helping businesses survey and preserve their arboricultural assets, while simultaneously ensuring projects run smoothly, it has shown impressive growth over the last 10 years, though the company has stayed true to its original vision of providing exceptional service, building a great place to work, making a positive impact on communities and staying on top of environmental challenges.