Our reflections this B Corp Month: Going beyond expectations

As we approach our 1-year anniversary as a B Corp, Energise’s Co-CEO, Tamsin Alsbury, looks back on our successes and lessons to date, and plans for the future. Delve into a personal account of what being part of the B Hive community means to us as a collective.

Headshot of Energise's Co-CEO and co-Founder, Tamsin Alsbury, author of this blog

I’m proud to be approaching our 1 year anniversary of being a B Corp and, within the next month, 15 years of being an impact driven business!

Energise’s journey has always been driven by our desire and ability to make a positive difference. With this month marking B Corp Month, we welcomed the opportunity to reflect on what our next steps should be and how we can continue to play our part in business being a force for good, both within Energise and in supporting our customers in doing the same.

As a sustainability consultancy, it is especially important that we practice what we preach. We have to be able to show that business can be a force for good and stereotypically (i.e. financially) successful at the same time, to show that investing in people and the planet is a good thing for everyone, always. That’s why we embrace this year’s B Corp theme of ‘Going Beyond.’

What led to our B Corp certification?

To achieve our B Corp status last year, we were rigorously tested against the 5 pillars of the framework – Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, Customers. The results showed that our strongest areas were our focus on our Workers and the Community, which comes as no surprise.

We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that our policies reflect what we stand for. We’ve focused on flexible working, inclusivity and flexibility for parents, supporting personal wellbeing, and allowing time off for volunteering opportunities to create a greater sense of fulfilment. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, and because we know that happy, supported, autonomous and well-rested employees create the most amazing team of change makers.

What does the theme of “Going beyond” mean for Energise in 2023?

Our recognition as Employer of the Year in Cambridgeshire and at the TELCAs last year was great validation that our approach is positive and working. All of that said, I am driven by the continual desire to do more; to go above and beyond being a ‘good’ employer, and instead lead the way in defining ‘awesome’. I find myself inspired by the ideas set out in the Anthropocene Goals, which go beyond the 2030 targets described in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and provide an aspirational vision of what “awesome by 2050” could be like – well worth a read for anyone looking for some inspiration.

Whilst our impact grows (and I’m proud to share that Energise worked on 7.5% of the UK’s carbon emissions in 2022, and doubled the size of our team), there is an ever present awareness for me and the other leaders at Energise that it is not just what we do but how we do it that must be central to everything we do. We must always strive to do more.

My personal ambitions have always been driven by the underlying principle that sustainability is about more than simply enacting measures to curb climate change. To see the real results that we long for in our society, what we need is culture change, and what provides the opportunity for hope for a better existence is the knowledge that each of us has a very real and important role to play in that. We’re not powerless to affect change; we are the change. It is here where our industry (the Sustainability sector) and our peers (our fellow B Corps) can genuinely live the idea of Going Beyond, by challenging ourselves to reach for awesome.

Group photo of Energise team after win of Employer of the Year and Overall Winner at SME Cambridgeshire Awards 2022

 

Making the most of the B Corp framework

What we need to work towards is not simply a set of numbers and targets, but rather a vision of a world where we can feel good; where food is a source of joy, where we recognise and celebrate everyone’s potential, create meaningful workplaces across society, live with our planet (not just on it) and provide the right foundations for the environmental, social and economic future of our children. This is not a fanciful idea, but a necessity.

What I take from this moment of reflection around our B Corp anniversary is that we can, should and will do more.

At Energise, we challenge ourselves to improve our B Corp score year on year, so that we know we’re improving the positive impact our company is having. It’s so important to us, that our executive team’s pay is linked to our performance on delivering that. What I hope is that this event, and the others throughout the year which provide us moments to reflect on how we are doing, allow us to appreciate what we have all achieved already, acknowledge that we still have so much still to do, open up discussions on the challenges we face and the (some radical and some not so) solutions we could be implementing, and act to create a better future. One that I hope will be better than many people today think it will. One that is beyond our current expectations and provides hope, and joy, to current and future generations.

That’s what Going Beyond means to me.



Tamsin Alsbury is the Co-CEO and Co-founder of Energise, and chairs the company’s sustainability committee. 

Find out more about our sustainability impact here: https://www.energise.com/sustainability-impact/

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