Companies are starting to address the importance of tackling both environmental and social issues we face today. As a result, organisations are starting to take action seriously by doing everything from rigorously measuring their carbon footprints to enhancing charity giving and employee volunteer time.
Because of this urgency to stay accountable and place what matters at the core of our business model, we’d like to take this time to talk about how Neo has incorporated an Impact Business Model at the centre of our business, and look at our charity partnerships we’ve fostered over the last two years.
We support a wide variety of social and environmental campaigns which aim to bring about positive change to our world as it is today. We care deeply about the environment and about social issues affecting today’s society.
One of the ways in which we have solidified this promise is through our positive impact business model. This core aspect of the business is enshrined in our company’s bylaws.
Continue reading to see who we are supporting, the issues our team cares about, and how we plan to improve our partnership programmes and community involvement to benefit our local community and the families we speak to on a daily basis.
What is an Impact Business Model?
You may have seen the phrase “impact business model” used frequently by many businesses.
Simply put, an Impact Business Model (or an “IBM” for short) is the way that a business is designed to foster a positive outcome for its beneficiaries (customers) or stakeholders. They may be based on their product, a particular process or activity, or the structure of the business. In an IBM, the nexus lies within positive impact.
The picture above describes the model succinctly. An IBM is a blended model incorporating both impact and revenue.
Different types of IBMs
There are many different types of Impact Business Models.
Some examples of IBMs include positioning a business to help out beneficiaries who otherwise would not have ample access to the service.
Another example would be that an organisation may choose to use revenue to support a social or environmental service.
A key element of an IBM is that it doesn’t always have to be external, or “customer facing”. IBM can also take place on the inside of an organisation like for the company’s staff members. Perhaps the company lends training and support to a specific workforce or underserved population, while also hiring those individuals.
How Neo has implemented an IBM
Ensuring that our organisation does not veer away from focusing on creating a positive impact on the environment and society at large, we have embedded this value in the core of our mission statement and organisational articles of association.
1. Enshrining sustainability within our bylaws
Articles of association are an official documentation that specifies the regulations for the organisation’s operations, while defining its purpose. For Neo, our articles of association (also referred to in this blog as “company’s bylaws”) states:
“…and through it’s business and operations, to have a material positive impact on the society and the environment, taken on as a whole, by advancing sustainable development (development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) and by providing funeral and other services and products that are inclusive in their availability to a wide audience of individuals and organisation.”
2. Measuring and tracking lasting outcomes
In addition to our organisational bylaws, we have implemented new ways of measuring, tracking, and recording the lasting outcomes our service and organisation provides our end customers. We ensure that we obtain both qualitative and quantitative data to lead us to what the most common themes are within our beneficiary demographics.
For example, one lasting outcome that we have seen throughout the customer journey is that Neo provides lasting psychological safety in offering a service that is both affordable and sustainable. This provides families with relief that their loved one is taken care of. They are able to achieve peace of mind during a stressful and vulnerable time.
3. Strategic sustainability partnerships
We understand the importance of looking inwards when it comes to an impact business model. It is often a venture of learning and making incremental changes to become more sustainable.
Part of our strategy also lies in looking outwards. We’ve taken part in a number of strategic charity partnerships to allow us to learn, grow, and improve as an organisation. We’ve partnered with a number of charities, and we discuss every one on Our Partners page on the Neo website.
Below we have selected 3 examples of our charity partners and why we chose them.
Meet our partner: B Corp
B Corp is a collective or businesses who have pledged to conduct themselves for the greater good. Businesses who vie to become certified B Corporations undergo a rigorous assessment where elements such as corporate governance, community, workforce, environment, and customers.
We are happy to announce that we are a Pending B Corporation on our way to becoming fully certified, we are hoping to complete our B Corp journey in the next few weeks (fingers crossed!).
Meet our partner: 1% for the Planet
We have been a part of 1% for the Planet for the last two years now. 1% for the Planet is a collective of businesses harbouring the mentality that its important to give back at all costs.
This really resonated with the team at Neo, which is why we’ve pledged to also donate 1% of our gross revenue to an assortment of environmentally focused charities and organisations.
Meet our partner: The Living Wage Foundation
Neo is a part of 5000 accredited Living Wage Employers who have elected to go a bit farther than the government minimum wage to ensure workers make enough money to reach the living standard in the UK.
An impactful way forward
Implementing an IBM is not a way towards strengthening the company’s reputation. It helps further the goal of living in a circular economy and enables us all to live more sustainably. IBMs pave a path towards long term change.
If you would like to learn more about our sustainability initiatives, please have a read through our 2020 Impact Report.
We are currently working on our 2021 Impact Report and are so excited to share this with you at the beginning of 2022. Please keep an eye out for this at the beginning of next year to check in on our improvements and goals for the year.