At Tyk, our mission is to connect every system in the world. We think “a connected world is a better world” because connecting systems, devices, data and people drives creativity, innovation and communication. Together with that, we aim to build a sustainable business and reduce as much impact on our planet as possible – from offices, home working, and suppliers to products and services.
We seek excellence in every aspect of our business and are committed to upholding environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies as essential tenets. We do a lot of good things, and we make a lot of good decisions, but we can do more.
The B Corp movement allows us to structure these policies and provide insights on how else we can become a force for good. So, this summer (2022), we entered the B Corp certification path.
“Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
BCorp embodies our shared values of making things better…That’s important to us, so we can’t wait to join the movement!
What is a BCorp?
A BCorp certification is a designation that a business meets high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on various factors. It’s more about ‘how’ a BCorp business does things than what they do.
Becoming a BCorp provides valuable, quantifiable data on how we’re doing. We actually get to measure our social impact – how valuable is that?
We have kickstarted our process, which will take time as it’s one of the most extensive and rigorous certifications. But, we would like to share our journey with you on our learnings, mistakes, tips etc., as we progress through it.
As a first step, we identified that we needed to engage external support to move through the process, not something to undertake on your own. Engaging with someone who is an expert in this could provide the knowledge and direction to enable us to realign the business. We have taken the support of Futureproof to help us along the journey. They’re a sustainability platform helping businesses simplify the impact they can make on people and our planet.
The BIA assessment
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is B Labs’ tool for any company to measure their current state – its impact on governance, workers, community, environment, and customers. Companies need to score 80/200 points to become a B Corp, and you must reach 80 points before submitting your assessment.
The BI Assessment was an eye-opening process. At first, reviewing the 150 detailed questions, I thought, for sure, we would get a passing grade. However, I quickly started to see some of our areas for improvement in policies, procedures and documentation.
Here’s what I discovered:
- We already do a lot of things in the business in the ESG space, which has been all-natural for us and not deliberate
- However, we lack the tracking and reporting mechanisms to do even better. We must improve the structuring, streamlining and documenting of our ESG/CSR efforts
- We encourage community involvement but do not have a formal policy to provide employees with paid time off for days of community service or to match donations to nonprofits of their choice
For BCorp, you need to provide evidence of everything. If the assessment could talk, it would have said, “Nice try, Tyk, but you can do better.”
Turning our gaps into objectives
We have already learned a lot, mainly that the BCorp journey involves a series of minor improvements. We know that we must identify and outline what we are currently doing and where the gaps are – and turn any gaps we have into objectives and initiatives so that we:
- Provide more of a structure to follow around ESG
- Identify how we can improve upon our existing ESG practices
- Spot new impactful things we can be doing in ESG as a business
The top tips for when you complete the BIA Assessment are to stay as honest as you can and approach every question from your as-is, not-to-be. You should be able to prove every point, as tangible evidence will be needed.
We have also launched our initiative with our employees, as everyone in your company must know what the business is doing and is aligned with it. It should be a shared vision by all, and they should be engaged in the process.
As we progress, I will share updates and tips for others interested in pursuing B Corp certification. If there is anything else you would like to know, or have any questions, contact me at [email protected].