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Why Hospitality Companies Are Becoming B Corporations.

The landscape of European corporations is changing.

The landscape of European corporations is changing. Having sound corporate governance practices is crucial as to how best to navigate in a more unstable market and blossom from the current pandemic. Declining biodiversity in landscapes, climate emergency, rising inequalities, human rights issues in supply chains, talent attraction, and retentions, and fast-rising consumer expectations are just some of the challenges to tackle ahead. Hospitality businesses, as with other sectors, need to adapt to the risks and opportunities of today’s marketplace.

Every day more companies awake to this reality and strive to do business differently. Businesses are making an increased emphasis on other stakeholder values, especially on social and environmental concerns. This tendency in corporate governance has driven the emergence of a new organizational form, the Certified B Corp.

"Certified B Corps provide a rare cross-industry, cross-geography context for studying a range of issues of interest to scholars of sustainable business and social enterprises".

At the ESHClub we support the idea that companies need to demonstrate that they are walking the talk. And an increasing number of companies want to show they are doing just that.

"Established firms have ramped up their corporate social responsibility efforts, small businesses that have long been committed to social and environmental causes want to prove that they are more genuine, authentic advocates of stakeholder benefits."

"The concept, which began 14 years ago in the United States is growing in popularity as business leaders move away from the long-held view that companies exist only to maximize profits for shareholders".

B Corp is both a movement and a certification for-profit company. They are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, governance, transparency, and legal accountability.

Many of the world’s most respected companies in the businesses as a force for good space have already become B Corps and more are following suit as B Corp is fast becoming the standard of excellence. Their reasons for joining are wide-ranging: improved reputation, talent attraction and retention, investor interest, and so on.

Certification requires a minimum verified total score of 80 across B Lab’s B Impact Assessment (BIA); the BIA’s any given company undertakes dynamically evolves to company size, sector, and market, tailoring the experience to a company’s context. The approach will not be the same for a startup or a small business as for larger corporations.

Unlike most sustainability initiatives, B Corp is not just focused on environmental concerns. It is a holistic assessment that reviews the whole business across five areas: governance, workers, environment, community, and customers. Uniquely, it evaluates both a company’s everyday operations and its strategic intent, something B Lab calls “Impact Business Models”. For example, you could be a sustainable hotel and become a B Corp. But you could also be a highly sustainable hotel that intentionally hires and develops staff who would otherwise find it hard to gain employment. B Lab wants to reward companies that go beyond what should be the norm to make an exceptional difference.

If your company has already reporting systems such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), It might be of interest to know that GRI and B Lab have joined forces to help companies get more out of their reporting and assessment tools. The BIA is also mapped to the Sustainable Development Goals via their SDG Action Manager tool.

All of B Lab’s resources are free, open, public resources to help everyone improve, and the BIA is structured less like a test, more like a resource full of positive actions to implement. So, whilst you have to be a business to become a B Corp, you don’t have to be a business or a company pursuing certification to use the BIA or B lab’s other resources.

The European Sustainable Hospitality team effort and intention are to encourage more B corps in the Hospitality industry, thus we invite all hospitality leaders in our community to join the next Webinar on April 21st to talk about the B corp journey and how It can support and transform your business.

The webinar will be led by John Featherby, Founder of Shoremount. Shoremount was a Founding UK B Corp, and John is a B Lab Ambassador.

Shoremount helps companies of all types, including hospitality companies, become more adaptable, regenerative, and purposeful...

“It’s about rethinking the norms and assumptions that underpin the status quo approach to strategy, structure, and governance.”

Date April 21st, 2021

Time 15pm CET

Link for event registration:

(If you can not connect that day, we will send you the recording session!)

Join us!

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