Celebrating collaboration: reflecting on B Corp Month 2024 in the UK

Celebrating collaboration: reflecting on B Corp Month 2024 in the UK

Community collaboration was this year’s B Corp Month highlight, Joanna Adjetey De Palma, Engagement Manager at B Lab UK shares more.

March is a highlight in the global B Corp calendar for celebration and reaffirming our commitment to redefining business. This year, we set out to foster a sense of belonging in the UK B Corp community, whilst also deepening understanding of the actions businesses need to take to tackle the challenges facing our world today. Reflecting on the month, it's evident our community has not only embraced these goals but has demonstrated the UK is moving business forward, highlighting that B Corp Certification isn’t a destination but a continuous journey of progress. 

Fostering belonging in the B Corp community

Belonging is the cornerstone of any vibrant and resilient community. With over 80 events organised by and for the community during B Corp Month, we witnessed a record number of in-person and virtual gatherings. Regional representation plays a crucial part in achieving our mission, so we were particularly pleased that over 75% of the events were held outside of London. The work of our B Locals was a key driver for this: they collectively hosted 33 events ranging from PurposeFest in Bristol, which had 450 attendees and provided a platform for meaningful discussions and connections, to the “B Local, Be Helpful” event in Manchester, where 30 local B Corps were matched with 20 community groups to provide their expertise and help create social change. 

There were over 75 collaborations between hundreds of B Corps, ranging from panel discussions to joint product giveaways and an interview series spotlighting different B Corps’ experiences. Some of our favourite collaborations included beach and river cleans and record-breaking tree-planting initiatives

We hosted a CEO breakfast for the community, which was the largest gathering of B Corp CEOs we have seen in the UK so far. The overall theme was “Decision-making for our future” and an inspiring panel discussion between Sarah Walker-Smith (Shakespear Martineau), Nick Canney (innocent), and Frieda Gormley (House of Hackney) explored how organisations have to use their purpose to guide long-term thinking and decision-making. The main takeaway was the importance of collaboration; Sarah echoed a timeless call to action, underscoring our collective responsibility with the sentiment, 'If not us, then who? If not now, then when?' "Avery & Brown have drawn a brilliant mindmap summarising the panel discussion.

B Corp Month bar showing drinks on a bar

Collaboration over competition

B Corp Month is a testament to the power of collaboration over competition. One collaboration in particular demonstrated this: 15 B Corp drinks brands, normally considered competitors, came together to host the first pop-up B Corp BarOn Purpose, at the Orchard in x+why Marble Arch. On Purpose provided a space for collaboration, connection and thought-provoking conversations to demonstrate how B Corps are collectively driving impact and leading the drinks industry on its journey to purposeful business. Throughout the month, 14 events were hosted by B Corps at the space. 

B Corp Month billboard on building

Accelerating cultural change

During B Corp Month, B Corps raise awareness of what it means to do business better, so it’s also the perfect opportunity to raise awareness among the general public. We were thrilled to see major retailers showcase B Corps in their stores. Waitrose spotlighted B Corps in over 200 stores across the country, as did 28 Booths stores across the North of England. People in Newcastle, Cardiff and Liverpool were also able to spot B Corp Month billboards in their cities, thanks to B Corp OPEN Media

B Corp Month mural showing crowd around yellow mural

Demonstrating progress through art

This year we encouraged B Corps to showcase ‘The Art of Progress’, by demonstrating their impact through art. In line with this, we unveiled a mural in Manchester which included the names of 78 local B Corps and a QR code that provided curious passersby with more information on each business's impact. 

This Way Forward

While B Corp Month may have come to a close, our journey continues. The insights gained and the connections forged during this time will fuel our efforts in the months and years ahead. As we move forward, we do so with a renewed sense of purpose and determination, knowing that together, we can create lasting change. The stories of impact, the conversations sparked, and the commitments made during this month have set a new benchmark for what we can achieve together. 

I extend my heartfelt thanks to every member of our community—our certified B Corps, our team, and everyone who engaged with B Corp Month. Your passion, your stories, and your commitment to doing business differently are what make our community so powerful. Here's to continuing our collective journey towards an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative future.

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