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Harrogate Water has announced it has been accredited by the worldwide B Corp movement committed to building a more inclusive, greener and sustainable economy.
- B Corporation goes beyond product or business performance indicators, measuring a company’s entire social and environmental footprint and evaluating how business operations impact on colleagues, community, environment and customers in pursuit of sustainable growth.
- It is more than a snapshot of the here and now; qualifying organisations must commit to positive corporate social responsibility impact in the long term, incorporating transparency and accountability into the business from the shop floor to the boardroom.
- Every B Corp organisation undergoes a rigorous business impact assessment, which is scored and published online.
Worldwide, more than 3,000 companies have become B Corp accredited, forming a global movement of profit-with-purpose businesses, working for a healthier environment, social responsibility and the creation of high-quality employment. More than two hundred UK businesses have joined B Corp.
Harrogate Water CEO James Cain OBE said:
We are proud to be the first company in North Yorkshire to have achieved B Corp accreditation and join a growing global family of inspiring businesses committed to effecting positive change.
Care for the environment and social responsibility are in our DNA. Harrogate’s unique springs were first discovered in 1571 and we are proud to carry the baton for today’s generation, producing and bottling the most natural and healthiest beverage on the shelf.
We operate from one of the world’s most environmentally efficient bottling plants, a global centre of excellence and a showcase for the bottled water industry. Our rapid growth in recent years has been achieved because of and not despite our commitment to sustainability and community involvement.
With every step we take to improve our business performance, we seek to improve our social and environmental footprint.
B Corp accreditation validates our achievements but, more importantly, demonstrates our commitment and passion to sustainability and community involvement in the longer term. We look forward to more sustainable growth, benefiting all of our stakeholders, as part of the B Corp movement.
Harrogate Water have responded to a number of questions around this accreditation.
Can you confirm your initial B Corp Impact Score? And how did that compare to your peers?
It is a long and rigorous journey to become B Corp accredited. There are currently only 248 certified B Corp businesses in UK, seven in the Food and Drink category, five of which are soft drinks. We are the sixth soft drinks business, the first in North Yorkshire. The scores from these businesses range from 80-102. The highest scoring have been on their B Corp journey for more than 5 years, which demonstrates how the B Corp certification commits businesses to continuously improve.
Can you confirm when the breakdown of scores will be published?
Are you working to a target B Corp Impact Score to show continuous improvements?
The B Corp journey doesn’t end when you become accredited, it is really just the beginning. B Corp certification is all about committing businesses to a continuous improvement journey. Prior to becoming B Corp, we have always striven to continuously improve our practices and the certification rigorously endorses that. Part of becoming B Corp is to weave the principles much more overtly and transparently into the business. Our target is to continuously improve.
Are you planning to disclose a copy of questionnaire as many other B Corp certified companies have done?
B Corp makes information public. Currently, Impact Assessment overall scores and category scores are published on bcorporation.uk. Larger public companies have extra transparency requirements and make their entire B Impact Assessment public, with particularly sensitive information like revenue redacted. Companies that have material items, such as lawsuits, on their Disclosure Questionnaire may also be required to make that disclosure transparent as well.
Did B Corp ask for any additional disclosures from HSWL?
We underwent a nine-month process of intense scrutiny from B Corp prior to being permitted to commence the rigorous certification process. Our relationship with B Corp began in November 2018, achieving certification in February 2020.