Following a rigorous independent assessment process, we’re pleased to announce that we have become a Certified B Corporation ™ (B Corp ™), joining a growing group of businesses across the world who are committed to balancing people, planet and profit.
We have received B Corp™ Certification by the non-profit B Lab, becoming the first law firm in the South West to do so and one of only a handful of B Corp law firms in the UK. B Corp Certification requires a holistic review of a business’ social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency, and is based on a vision of creating a community of for-profit companies committed to redefining success in business.
“At Stephens Scown, we have always cared about doing things the right way for our people, our clients, our planet and our community. As the first large law firm in the UK to become employee-owned, we have built a dynamic and innovative business dedicated to delivering for its clients and providing a rewarding and supportive workplace. Gaining our B CorpTM certification underlines our long-term commitment to also being a force for good in wider society,” says managing partner, Richard Baker.
He continues, “With the backdrop of global challenges to tackle and the ongoing threat to our environment, it is vital that we showcase just how we are making a difference and that we are part of a much bigger movement, proving there is a better way to do business.”
Empowering employees to do good through four key pillars of fundraising, volunteering, pro bono work and reducing the business’ environmental impact, the Firm’s Giving Back programme was first set up in 2018. Verity Slater, Giving Back partner and a driving force in the Firm’s B Corp verification process, says: “I am really pleased to report a strong engagement with our Giving Back Programme this year. The whole Firm’s enthusiasm and awareness of our drive to be a force for good has been noticeable. Undertaking the B Corp verification process has embedded this yet further and I am looking forward to the additional positive changes and initiatives that will come this year.”
Joint head of Stephens Scown’s Corporate team, Laurie Trounce has observed that sustainability (economic, social and environmental) is also becoming a key driver among business leaders, shaping their decision making. She says, “We work with a number of businesses who are evolving their decision-making frameworks and adopting new ways of working, including through employee ownership and B-Corp certification.
“In light of the issues businesses are facing in a post-Covid marketplace, such as recruitment challenges and adapting to a hybrid working structure, businesses which are able to build their purpose into the DNA of their organisation will be able to use it as the glue that unites remote teams, creates brand value, and enables them to meet the inevitable consumer demand for more purposeful businesses in the future.”
Certified B Corporation doesn’t just prove where a company excels now – it commits a business to consider impact for the long-term by building it into the very fabric of the firm. B Corps are reassessed every three years. At each assessment, the criteria becomes more ambitious as B Corps are encouraged to continuously develop their business and increase their positive impact.