In 2022, Includability joined a coalition of over 1500 businesses known collectively as the Better Business Act (BBA).
The aim of which is to call on the UK government to enact legislation which ensures businesses are legally responsible for benefiting workers, customers, communities and the environment while delivering profit.
What is the BBA?
The BBA is a special interest organisation set up in conjunction with our Official Partners, B Lab UK. The BBA exists because 76% of voters in the UK want businesses to be legally responsible for their impact.
Research shows the majority of UK voters and consumers want business to do better. The public think business has a responsibility to protect the environment and the majority favour brands that do good in the world.
The climate emergency and social inequality are profound and pressing problems, thrown into sharp relief by the COVID crisis, that can only be solved if businesses harness the enormous potential of entrepreneurs, innovation and enterprise.
The failure to align the interests of shareholders with those of wider society and the environment has contributed to a set of enormous challenges that threaten peoples’ health, wealth and the natural world.
The Better Business Act aims to transform the way business is done, so that every single company in the UK, no matter what size, takes ownership of its social and environmental impact.
Does the BBA want freedom for business leaders to act in everyone’s interests?
The BBA say the best way to achieve this is to change the law that governs how businesses act. It can no longer be a choice to align the long-term interests of people, planet and profit. Businesses across the UK have proven this as a model for sustainable growth that drives innovation and entrepreneurship.
They urge all of Britain’s business leaders to call on the government to amend Section 172 of the Companies Act. To achieve this, it will require the coming together of a broad and growing coalition of leaders from across all sectors and all regions of the UK to help deliver a new contract between business and society.
What have the BBA coalition achieved so far?
In April of 2022, the BBA coalition brought the Better Business act to the Houses of Parliament to discuss the details of how the legislation could be enacted.
The group released their Power in Business report which found that mission-led businesses are 2.5x more likely to be mitigating financial challenges for workers than non-mission led organisations.
The group’s proposals were validated this year as purpose-led businesses are growing faster in the UK over the last five years than their counterparts. B Lab UK research found that B Corps outperformed their peers ingrowth, averaging 26% growth compared to 5% for the full UK average for the same period, all whilst creating value for people and planet.
• Purpose-led businesses are more confident in their growth across the next 6 months with 60% of companies feeling fairly or very confident about growth, compared to 44% of their counterparts.
• Purpose-led businesses (24%) are 4x as likely to be providing additional support for underrepresented groups than non (6%).
• Purpose-led businesses (65%) are 2.5x as likely to be mitigating financial challenges for workers than non (25%).
• Mission-led businesses (53%) are over 3x as likely to provide non-monetary benefits for employees than non (15%).
What does the BBA mean for workers?
The BBA aim to help lift workers out of all forms of poverty. They recommend businesses take steps to help their workers avoid further financial hardship, including:
• Paying the real living wage goes a long way to help workers avoid falling into poverty
• Offering guaranteed hours to low-income workers
• Consider structures to pay people fairly when shift work is cancelled at the last minute
• Paying on time and more regularly than the end of each month
• Tracking and redistribute salaries across business
Redistributing can account for those experiencing systemic inequality, including people of colour, disabled people and women, who are more likely to feel the intense impacts of high rates of inflation.
What does the BBA mean for Businesses?
If you are a purpose-led business with an ethos aligned to B Corp or its affiliates, the BBA takes that agenda of promoting transparency and achieving greater standards to influence government policy other businesses to do the same.
If you work for a B Corp, you can post your offer for resources or skills sharing on the B Hive and have the option to speak at the annual Better Business Summit to have your own business voice heard.
They say community-focused networking aims to remove barriers to entrepreneurship for those who may not otherwise be able to consider it an option. A bursary programme is also on offer to ensure that business support, coworking space, and effective networking is accessible for all, regardless of background or income.
They have also committed to making their business support services free and accessible to everyone.
What does the BBA mean for the planet?
The BBA is trying to establish industry-wide net zero goal ahead of 2050 with short and long term science informed carbon abatement targets in line with B Corp’s vision and verification standard:
• Promoting new norms might include transitioning to renewable energy, turning lights off in shops and facilities at night and setting office thermostats a couple of degrees lower
• Advice for members on how to tackle issues like transitioning from traditional materials including plastics to more sustainable alternative
• Specialist support or other advice could help members cutdown their energy consumption
What is Includability’s involvement with Better Business Act?
Includability joined the BBA in September 2022. We follow the BBA’s recommendations when it comes to our people, planet, purpose and profit. We also are aligned to B Corp’s net zero and planet policies as:
• We offer flexible working and pay the real living wage or better to all employees
• Plant trees and purchase carbon offsets through our Official Partners, Ecologi
• Align our business so we directly impact 5 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals every day and leverage our community to make further impacts to other SDGs
• Make further impacts to the SDGs and business-for-good philanthropy causes by joining B1G1 and 1% For the Planet
• Ready ourselves for undertaking B Corp’s B Impact Assessment by cutting our company carbon emissions by becoming certified with our Official Partners Planet Mark
Why will Includability continue to support the BBA?
Includability aims to become B Corp Certified in 2023 and our intentions are already aligned with the ethos and standards the B Corp have set out in their verification process.
The BBA gives us a voice within the B Corp community to grow our community reach and learn from other organisations that have gone through the B Corp certification process. It also allows us to offer our voice to government and the wider business community to show that our model of changing business for the better can include everyone, including institutions like public sectors, education settings and sporting organisations allowing everyone to benefit from a mentally healthy and inclusive workplace culture.