Certified B Corporations are for-profit businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corp is a certification administered by the non-profit B Lab, which evaluates not just a product or service, but the overall impact of the company.
This differs from other certifications because it takes on a holistic view at business, ensuring that B Corps prioritise the welfare of people and the planet. This certification is very rigorous, so that its logo truly stands for business for good.
The B Corp Certification is divided into 5 impact areas: Governance, Workers, Environment, Community, and Customers. The resulting Impact Assessment is then verified through multiple external checks requiring documentation for the questions answered.
As part of our mission to be a Business for Good, House of Baukjen has pursued the B Corp Certification, which we officially received in March 2021. We are very proud to be part of a community that believes that business can (and should) have a positive impact.
We’re also delighted to have been the highest scoring B Corp in Fashion in the United Kingdom at the time of our certification, which is a true testament of our efforts to be ethical and eco-friendly in an industry which has been troubled in these areas for so long.
Our score is something we are incredibly proud of as a relatively small team working every day to better the future of the world.
The Governance Impact Area evaluates a company's overall mission, engagement around its social and environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect their mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision making through their corporate structure or corporate governing documents.
We’re proud to have a standout score in Governance, being in the top 5% of all B Corps in 2021 in this impact area!
Our great performance in this performance area is linked to House of Baukjen having an Impact Business Model, which is designed to have positive outcomes as we go through the everyday of our business. Among other aspects of our impact model, our formal policies protect workers and the environment at multiple stages of business.
The Workers Impact Area evaluates a company's contributions to its employees' financial security, health and safety, wellness, career development, as well as overall engagement and satisfaction.
We are proud to be a Living Wage employer, though everyone in our business is actually paid above London Living Wage – including all of our Warehouse team, which are located in an underserved area of London. Additionally, our business has a third-party Employee Assistance program available to all employees which is run in a completely confidential manner so that each person can confidently receive help and advice whenever they need it.
The Community Impact Area evaluates a company's engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity, and inclusion; economic impact; civic engagement; charitable giving; and supply chain management.
Our Community score is linked to the work we do to vet suppliers and ensure an ethical supply chain, namely through site visits, auditing and having all of our factories sign our strict Code of Conduct.
As a business, we donate 10% of our profits to charity and also donate goods to charities that distribute them to people in need – you can read more on our Philanthropy work here.
The Environment Impact Area evaluates a company's overall environmental management practices as well as its impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity. This includes the direct impact of a company's operations and, when applicable, its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognizes companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact.
At House of Baukjen we’ve all been putting an incredible amount of effort into lowering the environmental impact of our garments and our operations. We’ve been continuously reducing the average carbon and water footprints of our garments, have significantly shortened our supply chain, and are also working with suppliers to reduce the amount of chemicals used in production. We report on our progress over on our Impact Report page which is updated quarterly.
We’re proud to have been recognised by the United Nations as a Climate Action Award Winner.
The final Impact Area of the B Corp assessment is Customers, which evaluates a company's stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels.
As a business we always put our customers front and centre, with every care being taken to provide high-quality products that are made to last, accurate information and a fantastic service. Our entire team is dedicated to ensuring you have the best experience, whether you are browsing our Shop or our Catalogue; speaking with our Customer Service team or seeing our clothes in person at John Lewis & Partners.
As members of the B Corp community, we embrace their pledge to reduce inequality, lower levels of poverty, create a healthier environment, strengthen communities and create more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
The B Corp certification comes with legally binding commitments, on which we will be assessed every three years in order to maintain our certification.
We are continuously looking to lessen the negative impact of our clothes and grow the positive impact of our business. As of 2022, our focus is on gaining transparency on all levels of our supply chain, sourcing more environmentally friendly materials (including recycled) and on growing our circular initiatives. These three areas of focus will in turn have positive repercussions on communities near and far.
As a growing business, we are also actively looking at how we can scale up without doing damage to our planet. We acknowledge that everything we do has an environmental impact and are committed to being leaders in slow fashion.
We have a Journal entry all about what it’s like to work at a B Corp company and how our team splits responsibilities for each Impact Area, read our Behind the B page here. You can find out more about our impact on our Impact Report page, and more about our commitments to Planet and People.
You can also read about our B Corp score on their website, or find out more about the B Corp certification here.