We have just received our Pending B Corp Certification, and this is just the first leg of an exciting journey to become the UK funeral industry’s first Certified B Corp! We are joining a force with over 3,235 socially and environmentally driven companies around the world. Becoming a B Corp has transformed into a global movement where notable companies such as Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Tony’s Chocolonely have pledged to do business for the greater good––we’ve decided to join them.
What is B Corp?
A B Corp is defined as a for-profit company certified to meet conscientious standards of environmental and social performance, transparency, and accountability. Simply put, a B Corp is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee. Oh, and the “B” in B Corp stands for benefit!
There is a growing trend of people wanting to buy from, invest in, and work for companies they believe in. We’ve found that B Corp is the most credible way to build trust with our customers, stakeholders, and employees.
B Corp Anthem
Why is the B Corp movement important to us?
We’ve seen first hand the rising costs of funerals in the UK, and we saw a great need to challenge the status-quo. We believe it is NEO Cremations’ responsibility to limit the damage we are inflicting on the environment. Is time someone stands up and offers the type of service that is woefully lacking in England: an affordably priced, trusted and professionally delivered, green cremation offer. NEO Cremations aims to transform the reputation of the funeral industry from being slow to change to progressive and environmentally conscious.
As a responsible and sustainable company, our aim is to put people and the planet first. Neo was founded with empathy at its core, but we do not want to pat ourselves on the back just yet. This is part one of a long journey to becoming a certified B Corp, and we are only just at the beginning.
How did we do on the B Corp Impact Assessment?
Part of what we needed to fulfill to achieve our pending status was to complete an in-depth Impact Assessment which delves into 5 key aspects: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment. Based on those areas, we were then given an overall score on a range of important elements such as our company vision, stakeholder diversity, recycling initiatives, and energy usage.
Companies need to achieve 80 points (out of 200) on their Impact Assessment to become a Certified B Corp. To put this into perspective, Patagonia (the original B Corp) scored 151.5 points and TOMS scored 96.3 points. We achieved 84 points for our impact assessment, and while this is an achievement, we know we have more work to do.
In our next blog, Becoming B Corp: Part 2, we will be linking our Impact Assessment.
What is next for NEO Cremations?
Leaving a net positive impact on our environment is imperative. The Neo team has actively taken part in B Corp events, such as the first remote B Social, and they have been researching, writing, and developing ways in which ourselves and the wider funeral industry can improve to be more sustainable.
Our long-term ambition is to have a positive impact on our environment, our community, our employees, and the wider world. This Pending B Corp announcement is part of a larger journey, and we’re excited to get started with these key goals:
- Continue carbon offsetting by 300 % – Our direct cremations service includes a certificate of reforestation, and continuing to reduce our carbon footprint in all areas of the business is paramount.
- Continue championing social causes – We have signed numerous petitions and have recently partnered up with organisations like Stonewall to support the LGBTQ+ community, amongst others, who face discrimination even in death.
- Continue setting ambitious goals – We are balancing our dedication to our customers, our stakeholders, our employees, the environment, and social good (Phew!) We want to continue our efforts by setting yearly goals to keep building an inclusive, sustainable, and generally better funeral industry that works for everyone.
- Continue choosing the right partners – We’ll find more partners who are progressive in their thinking, and whose priorities are to live in a more sustainable and just world.
Going through this whole process has been extremely valuable. It has forced us to reflect on where we are in terms of social and environmental impact, and ask ourselves: How can we do better? And yes, we have a long way to go, but in the wise words of Nike (or even Shia LaBeouf):
We are proud of the work we are doing, and we are eager to keep moving forward. We are ecstatic that Neo will eventually join a global network of like-minded organizations using the power of business to address the world’s greatest challenges. We are ready to be the world’s first B Corp in the funeral industry. Keep an eye out for Part 2!