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Episode 27: Becoming a B Corp Certified Company

Celeste Leverton, Associate Director, Sustainability Manager at Coutts, a 331-year-old private bank in the UK, joins us for this episode on Change@Work. Listen as she and host, Chris Thornton, discuss what the B Corp certification process entails, the benefits of becoming certified, and how to get employees and leaders on board with becoming a more sustainable organization.

Transcript

This transcript was automatically generated with artificial intelligence. It’s in the queue to go through a review with human eyes!

00;00;00;00 – 00;00;34;12

The Change at Work is a podcast about the ever evolving world of work and the human behaviors that drive it. I’m Chris Thornton, senior principal here at DaggerwingGroup. Together with partners, clients and leading experts from a variety of industries. We’ll share what’s happening in the world of work, how leaders can prepare for the future, and how to engage employees along the way.

00;00;34;14 – 00;01;00;04

Joining us today is Celeste Leverton, an associate director sustainability manager at Cootes, the 330 year old private bank Celeste, a co-led B Corp certification process, and now actively speaks to clients, prospects and suppliers about implementing and improving their own sustainable strategies. So let’s say was also named a rising star at the UK National Sustainability Awards. This is all very, very impressive.

00;01;00;04 – 00;01;20;03

Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for having me, Chris. What does it mean to get a rising Star award That feels like a big deal? It was a big deal. So you have to do an application. Yeah, I think it was quite cool to win because every other award was the companies and this was the only personal one.

00;01;20;03 – 00;01;40;04

So they put all of our mug shots onto the screen and we were the last award. So we had a whole awards evening, had dinner drinks, and I think I didn’t get my award until like 11 p.m. at night the entire time. Just waiting. And it’s a lot more personal, right when it’s for you. But yeah, it was amazing to get that recognition.

00;01;40;04 – 00;01;58;26

So a lot of people think this is a Kate award. It is national, so it’s all right. Yeah. No, it’s super cool to win. So let’s get to know you just a little bit better. I’ll ask you a few questions to get to know you as a person. What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better? Coffee.

00;01;58;28 – 00;02;26;10

Best with coffee. I actually came to coffee quite late in life. I don’t know how I went through school and university without it. I resisted and night to. I don’t know, honest. It changes my day. I can’t function without it. So that instantly makes me a whole happier person for sure. All right. When you think about the best holiday slash vacation you ever took, what was and why?

00;02;26;17 – 00;02;48;11

So when I finished university, I realized that that was my last summer before work because I had a role at Cate’s. So I thought, Right, what am I going to do with like three months off? So I, I went to Fiji, which was amazing, like 33 hours to get there and I ended up volunteering in a village out there.

00;02;48;14 – 00;03;07;05

It was incredibly remote, it was in the mountains and it was just so rewarding. And because it was so remote, it was so kind of far removed from life as I knew it back in the UK. So I port in a school, but it was in the neighboring village and we had to swim to school or go in a boat across the river.

00;03;07;10 – 00;03;28;19

But it was just so funny because they hadn’t had proper access to full life. So we were reading books with the boys and trying to explain. Snow By How do you explain snow to a four GM and concepts like a snow globe? And you had to be really creative to be able to educate them. But strange because they were starting to discover technology as well.

00;03;28;19 – 00;03;50;23

So some of them had Facebook, which I just found so bizarre. Yeah, and I have to work on Facebook now. But yeah, it was just the most humbling and incredible experience. And I think one of the best moments was I helped a boy to be able to read this book about a dog that finds a snow globe and he was able to read it from beginning to end by the time I left.

00;03;50;23 – 00;04;21;12

And we find the meanings of the words and I don’t know how useful that is for good life, but it was just an amazing achievement. We hold relationships still with them now, so that was amazing. And then after volunteering, I spent some time just chilling out in Fiji. Okay, good. I was. Yeah, I stupidly thought I was going to get tanned, but I was in the mountains and it was so cold and for cultural reasons I had to be head to toe anyway, so I basically was still very pale.

00;04;21;12 – 00;04;39;13

So I thought, Right, this is time to just chill, you know, bronze up, relax. And I was terrified at the sea. At sea, terrified. So I thought, Well, this is ridiculous. I need to conquer this fear. So I went diving and it was just the most amazing experience. You only had to walk in from the beach, so it was pretty relaxed.

00;04;39;13 – 00;04;59;02

But they gave us coral and so we went coral planting and wow, it was so cool and being able to give back. But then also see everything in Technicolor. But it was safe because it was so close to the beach. It just was a good yes step in to conquering my fear. And then once I did it, I kind of got the diving bug.

00;04;59;07 – 00;05;21;16

And since I’ve got my dive license and have been diving with all that. But I think that was a really good turning point for me. It’s like conquering the fear, but also I had to do it because I want to supply this coral empty good. So yeah, triggering the brain to think in a different way. So. So yeah, it’s pretty insane holiday both from I guess the leisure side but also the giving back side.

00;05;21;17 – 00;05;48;16

It’s a great holiday. I love that. Thank you very much. That again. But yeah it was amazing. Well let’s get into the work week. You’ve already done a great job of giving us a good idea of what drives you and what you’re passionate about, and it certainly carries over into your work life. Let’s talk about sustainability and ESG, which for us here at Daggerwing and for our clients has quickly become an essential business priority.

00;05;48;22 – 00;06;12;11

It’s not Are we going to do it? It is. We are doing it, and how will we continue to do it and figuring those things out. And so we know that developing strategy itself is hard because of, listen, if any listeners to this podcast, remember the conversation with Sandy Ski’s, our incredible ESG thought leader here in Omnicom, where he said the profound thing of ESG is hard.

00;06;12;14 – 00;06;39;17

It is so hard. So even just developing your strategy and then starting to think about 2023 goals and how we’re going to get there and be like way beyond 2023 right? So let’s start broaden our conversation today and then we’ll talk about some of the challenges that you’ve seen based on your experience driving sustainability accounts. So what are some of the major pitfalls businesses need to watch out for?

00;06;39;19 – 00;07;09;10

So completely empathize with the ESG is hard point. I think you you’re singing from the same hymn sheet is me. I think the first is knowledge levels. So Case has been on a big ESG journey in the sustainability journey over the past, I say seven years or so, but when I first got my role in the sustainability team, I really wanted to get a sense on the ground of what is the knowledge level and do colleagues fully understand what we mean by sustainability and ESG?

00;07;09;12 – 00;07;34;16

And so I started really look at is what are the knowledge levels? And then building those foundations of knowledge firstly, and then secondly, do they then understand the link between ESG sustainability and your business because that let you separate link. It is one thing understanding the importance of sustainability, but then another to connect it to the power of finance and the exponential impact flows of money can have.

00;07;34;18 – 00;07;58;27

And so I think bringing it to life through data, case studies, but also storytelling is really powerful. And one of the best campaigns that I always talk about is the make My Money campaign. So if you’ve seen and I prevalent at 26, they ran a study basically saying that where you invest your pension can be up to 20 times more impactful than stopping flying or going vegan.

00;07;59;00 – 00;08;21;25

I think that’s a really powerful way of framing how impactful money can be. And for those that think they don’t invest, you do because you have a pension. And so I found that really eye opening bit of data, but a really good place to start and really show the impact and the links between sustainability and finance and how impactful it really can be.

00;08;21;25 – 00;08;42;21

So I think tying it to activity is also crucial and I think a lot of firms skip that step and go straight into trying to embed into value. But I think you really do spend time articulating like, why do you care about it and how does it link to the activity that you doing? And then I think answering the so what is also really important.

00;08;42;21 – 00;09;05;19

So why should I care? I’ve got so many other priorities. I’m being called left and right. Why should this be all my priorities? Dad, I think articulating the so what? But then also making it easy to slot into basic giving them examples of how they can slightly change their behavior. And then you move the dial. So I think it’s not something you can do overnight.

00;09;05;19 – 00;09;29;04

There’s sort of different phases to us, but I think that’s what we learned from embedding. And like you, it took us two years to embed B Corp. It’s not an overnight piece of work. It is continuous. But I think that’s that’s what worked well for us. So why not go back to the example that you gave of make my money matter?

00;09;29;06 – 00;09;47;26

Do you ever have when when you hear something new or it’s set in something in a particular way, there’s like a little explosion in your head or it’s like, Oh, I can think about something differently now. That’s what has happened when you when you gave that example of cool going vegan, by all means. Sure, sure. Yeah. Recycling, absolutely.

00;09;48;03 – 00;10;07;19

But you’re going to have a bigger impact with what you do with your retirement money or your pension. That was one of those explosions for me. And then I just want to walk through. Then you can’t just go. It all matters, right? Everybody knows that it matters because not everybody does know that it matters. And they or they may not agree on why, but then tying it back into the business.

00;10;07;19 – 00;10;31;12

Right. Here’s why it matters for us. Yeah. And then now what is possible and I went on that mini journey with you going, okay, my retirement dollars, what are they doing and what could I do better? What impact could I have now that I know that now that I have that information, what could I go do? And it starts to open up brand new possibilities that I never, ever considered.

00;10;31;14 – 00;11;00;10

Yeah. And I think what’s really important about that is it’s also empowering you to act on that. Yes, that’s the last step, right? We’ve now given you the knowledge, we’ve given you the tools of how you need to do it. You that needs to be empowered to then own that improvement yourself. And when I think about how people go through change, what we often see, you do a communications campaign which is lovely and wonderful, right?

00;11;00;12 – 00;11;23;05

And you start to think about how do we need to change? But people keep reverting back to old behaviors because they really haven’t envisioned what is possible and why it matters. Yeah, And so we just get some of the same old behaviors. How did you take that into account that, hey, we want to open up possibilities for people and we want them to move forward as opposed to stay stagnant in their actions?

00;11;23;07 – 00;11;48;26

So I think one of the best ways that we tried to combat that is by keeping it always open. So whenever we had a big staff meeting, always interweaving sustainability into our messaging. So it came from the lot. But I think the secret really was getting an external speakers because they would talk about that journey through sustainability and we’d always pick a brand that all colleagues knew that was outside of the finance space.

00;11;48;26 – 00;12;18;25

So we had the CEO of Tony’s talk slowly come speak to us. His title, Amazing, It’s chief chuckles only he the former CEO of Innocent drinks and both of those that a because everyone knows innocent drinks and Tony’s so it’s a great product that every specialized subject might be snacking on it whilst listening to the cool right but he’s a great example of how he’s unapologetically himself and he lives and breathes his purpose.

00;12;18;29 – 00;12;38;29

And having someone like that come speak to our staff. He wasn’t necessarily saying anything different from what we’d been saying, but I think by having a different voice with a brand that they knew and can identify with really just solidifies our message. I say 100 times, but I think it’s powerful and I think it’s the point you just had.

00;12;38;29 – 00;13;08;01

You can have that light bulb moment and everyone has a light bulb moment in a different way. And sometimes it’s just we’re saying the same thing, but using different language and different metaphor, storytelling. So getting him on to talk to us was was amazing. And to your point, to try and break those patterns of behavior, we’re just always on the calls, always talking about the benefits, but actually shifting responsibility onto the employee and saying, Look, here are the ways that you can move the dial in your role and empowering them to do so.

00;13;08;04 – 00;13;36;24

It’s not just a one time comms, it’s the ongoing comms strategy. Absolutely. Absolutely. When you think about terminology and we’ve talked about phrasing things differently or saying the same things in different ways or similar things in different ways, this feels like sometimes a new vocabulary when we’re talking about ESG, it was at true for for you and your people, your teams, or what did you do to help them?

00;13;36;26 – 00;14;04;29

Just try never using abbreviations or jargon. Yeah, ESG, right. For sure. People that know what it is, they switch off instantly, Right? And actually they’re the ones you need to engage because those that know what ESG is already bought in. So I think, yeah, I try and boxed using terms like that. And it’s it’s a really difficult balance because you don’t want to be patronizing, but you also want to make sure it’s incredibly clear.

00;14;05;01 – 00;14;34;02

So even now we’ve been a B Corp for over a year, all still see super high level. Just say this is be cool. This is when we subdivide, this is what it means. Just so everyone’s on the same level playing field because you never know. With turnover of staff, you might have new Joiner. I think it’s just important to get the basics right just so everyone can stay engaged because I’ve been in meetings and everyone uses acronyms and suddenly you feel like your point speaking a different language and you just feel left out.

00;14;34;02 – 00;14;53;04

Exactly. Just not engaged. The other point as well I find hilarious is I always question people on that jargon or their acronyms. But so what does that mean? A Nine times out of ten, no one can tell me what it’s over. A reason I’m money. Yeah, I try and use quite simple language. I like that. So so let’s talk about B Corp.

00;14;53;09 – 00;15;18;12

You just talked about that and we’ve mentioned a few times you co led that process for cuts through the certification process. Can you explain what does it mean? How do you explain it? Why does it matter? And then we can think about those who those organizations that aren’t B Corp certified like what’s in it, what’s in it for you in the process and why?

00;15;18;13 – 00;15;37;03

Why does it matter? Okay, go go off on B Corp. Yeah, Pick me up. I forget anything you say, you guys. I thought in the beginning a B Corp is a business that balances both purpose and profit equally, and it’s for profit businesses. So it’s still making money. They’re not charities and there are two things you need to do to certify.

00;15;37;05 – 00;16;06;24

So the first is you need to change your company charter. So for us it was our articles of association to balance, purpose and profit equally. So before we start VICE, our charter said that we work to derive profit for shareholders. Now it reads that we work in the interests of all stakeholders in society, so balancing the needs of generating profit for shareholders, but also balancing the needs of our clients, our colleagues, the communities that we operate and the surrounding environment.

00;16;06;24 – 00;16;30;29

So far, broad agreement and it’s legally enshrined. So to do so, we have to get our board to sign that all. So first make the legal change. The second is there’s an impact assessment. There are some 250 questions and it’s out of 200 points the past months, 80, so less than 50%. But the way that it works really is no one gets 200.

00;16;30;29 – 00;16;58;16

That’s sort of the nirvana of sustainability. They look at five different impact areas. So firstly, governance. So who is making your decisions? Are they representative? Do they consider sustainability within that decision making category? Second is workers. So do you treat your employees fairly? Do you pay them appropriate? Lea What about training Health and safety clients is the third category.

00;16;58;16 – 00;17;20;17

So do you treat your clients badly? What do you do when they complain but also what products do you have available to them and how sustainable all those solutions for community. So do you give back to surrounding communities to fundraise? Do you volunteer? Do I also comes into this as well. So what does your organization look like? How many women Do you have a leadership team?

00;17;20;24 – 00;17;46;14

What about a representative populations of society? Are they also represented within your workforce? And then also supply chain is mentioned within this as well. So how sustainable suppliers and lastly, environment. So of course they go into your carbon footprint as an organization, but they also look at your water management policies or waste management policy. So pretty comprehensive health check of your business.

00;17;46;14 – 00;18;09;05

And the reason we wanted to become a B Corp really was firstly that impact assessment I’ve just walked through is just a really useful guide. I think of it as a sort of tracking mechanism because you get a school and we’re a bank and we love numbers. It’s a great way to track the grass through time and sometimes sustainability can be quite subjective and difficult to track.

00;18;09;05 – 00;18;35;27

And so for us it knitted together all of the activity in one place and under one metric, and then it makes target setting real easy for us because when we sat by it, we got a 3.8, so we passed, which is great, but we’ve got a lot more to do, but we’ve decided that we want to get 90 when we recertify and really important point about B Corp is you have to recertify every three years.

00;18;36;00 – 00;18;57;18

So once you get it, that’s not the end of the road. If anything, that’s the beginning, because you have to commit to improve every time you certify and the assessment evolves as well. So in a fact, the goalposts move twice. You have to keep up momentum. And so we really liked having that challenge but also being able to track.

00;18;57;20 – 00;19;39;03

So for any business really, I just encourage you to do the B Corp impact assessment as a hygiene test on your business because it looks no business operations, but also supply chain. And I had an interesting fact from one of my friends that seismic and I believe 10% of businesses that use the impact assessment become because the other 90 just use it as a free consulting tool because it is so comprehensive, it then tells you where you are and what it outputs the school and then you can compare at school versus your competitors, but also across different industries as well, because once you start by your school goes public.

00;19;39;03 – 00;20;07;03

So interesting, a really good benchmarking exercise, caveat being obvious, your benchmarking against best in class. But I think it’s really useful to see where are you front running and where are you a laggard? And that’s who really helps with positioning chosen leadership team because it personalizes it because you can de fact to be able to say, yes, this is dependent framework and this is how we’re scoring and this is what we need to do to improve.

00;20;07;05 – 00;20;26;25

So we’ve just been encouraging clients who’ve come to us and said the B Corp, tell me more about it. Just shed some look. Whether it’s for you as a business now doesn’t actually matter. Just do the impact assessment, see how you score and then decide on your next steps and just use that as almost like an empty check.

00;20;26;27 – 00;20;47;22

There’s so much in there. Thank you for that. I’ve never had to explain that simply to me, so thank you. That helped a lot at the beginning. You you mentioned getting leaders and in the board in particular, you know, to make this a legal change, which is always very provocative to me, like, okay, we’re going to change it, put it in writing and hold ourselves accountable.

00;20;47;22 – 00;21;09;25

Right. Like, this isn’t this is an an aspiration. This is something where we’re saying, no, this is who we are, nothing. You can’t get better, but this is who we are. When you think about getting leaders on board, we know that change has to start at the top. Not that it can’t start in other places, I should say, but we have to have leaders on board or it’s likely not to happen.

00;21;09;27 – 00;21;29;02

How did leaders come on board? Were you part of that and was there anything that you would have us take away of things that we should consider as we’re getting leaders on board? So we were actually introduced to be cool by a client. So I think what’s really interesting when you say step back, you go on a journey internally and then you go on a journey externally.

00;21;29;08 – 00;21;56;17

And when we first embarked on B Corp, we’d been very active in the sustainability space for about seven years. Internally, we’d build up our responsive investing proposition. We were doing some pretty impressive things, albeit there’s always more that you can do, and I think it’s important to be humble, but we’ve always had a, I guess a little bit of a reservation about communicating sustainability credentials externally without something credible to back it up.

00;21;56;21 – 00;22;17;09

You know, lots of businesses say, hey, we’re serious about sustainability and they can’t point to something to verify it. So we’ve been on a really big journey, as I said, internally, and so we’ve been embedding sustainability into the psyche of leaders for a long time. So they knew how important it was. And the clients who introduced us to be.

00;22;17;09 – 00;22;37;06

Corp Yeah, he’d been a client for over 20 years, so he had insights to the inner workings, perhaps more than some of our other clients. And he said, Look, I really think you have what it takes. And we thought, surely not. You know, we’re a bank B Corp typically. As for direct to consumer product based business, it was 330 years old.

00;22;37;06 – 00;22;53;09

We were also at the time when we sat by the fourth largest in the UK. So scale wise, also we thought perhaps we are too large and you have lots of question marks. You think, is this even possible? And also I guess take a step back. There was no one that looked like us in the movement at the time.

00;22;53;09 – 00;23;27;16

You know, it was only 270 UK B Corp’s now there’s a thousand. It was a new concept to the UK. It was created in the US, but also we didn’t let like Patagonia open Jerry’s, right? Why a bank? Why? Yeah, and especially one of our heritage. So we said let’s just do the B Corp impact assessment and say right, that’s what I’ve been telling clients to do and suppliers since such by you just give it a go and just see how or so we answered it by conservatively and we realized that we were over that age pass mark.

00;23;27;19 – 00;23;54;07

And so that’s when we knew we’ve got a shot at this. And so how you bring on senior leaders, perhaps to embrace because we want to go not the journey. I think we were lucky to have a client who was able to bring it to life and storytelling. They don’t process themselves. So you have that buy in, but also know we’re a private bank and clients are incredibly important to us and they drive our decisions.

00;23;54;07 – 00;24;24;21

And when you have clients being so vocal saying, Yeah, we want you to be serious about sustainability and we want you to be talking about it externally, I think that’s incredibly powerful and the way that we positioned it really was. This is an amazing opportunity for us to stand as a leader in the private banking space and be a front runner and actually you can see the direction of the regulator and surely it’s better to be a front runner and be engaged in conversations and lead and shape the direction of travel.

00;24;24;23 – 00;24;49;02

But also, if you take a step back, actually inaction is becoming far more risky than action. And the way that we tried to frame it really was creating a business case appeal to every different type of person. And so we had the risk aspect, but then we also had the environmental aspects and the client aspects. And the secret to success really was in the pre syndication understanding.

00;24;49;02 – 00;25;08;18

What are the possible reservations and what can we do to create an infallible business case. You could have obviously covered it at different angles, but how can we make it so rounded that it’s a no brainer to move? And how can we get them comfortable with accepting the risk of becoming a vehicle? Because yeah, there are risks and I’m happy to delve into that in a minute.

00;25;08;18 – 00;25;30;01

But active listening was important business cases round it, but also I think the power of storytelling really was what helped us get over there at the line. If I can build. I also heard in your story, find that spark, right? There’s something that’s going to spark this, right? And for you, it was it was one of your clients saying, Hey, I think you should look at it.

00;25;30;01 – 00;25;49;05

And truly that question of why us? I bet a lot of companies are going to say, why us? And it I love your words of inaction is becoming very risky. Right. It’s becoming more risky than than doing something so really, really good things. When we talk about risk, do you want to cover any risks of doing B Corp?

00;25;49;08 – 00;26;12;16

So I love B Corp and I’m incredibly S, but I guess there are there are certain risks. So as a business, it’s far worse to be a B Corp and lose it than not be a B capital O. Okay, Got to be confident you’re going to keep up that momentum. And as I mentioned before, the goalposts move twice effectively because you have to improve and the standards evolve.

00;26;12;17 – 00;26;34;16

So you need to be confident in your ability to retain that status firstly, but I guess also the power of B Corp is the brand. And so they have an incredible brand at the moment, but as the brand scales, you just have to be confident that you believe in the methodology and the break up, that it’s scaling appropriately to the same amount of rigor.

00;26;34;16 – 00;27;07;16

So because it’s received some bad press recently and some quite unfounded, but I think you’ve just got to be comfortable that there’s going to be accusations to the rigor of the process, and you have to be comfortable that you believe in it and that you are it prepared to stand behind it. And a good example is the Times article that recently came out that said that B Corp is a a paraphrasing, but they were saying that basically B Corp can facilitate greenwashing though parts net though factually incorrect, one saying that it does stand up when it does.

00;27;07;16 – 00;27;32;02

And the second was that you have to improve every time and you do. But it was in the Times and it was heavily read and we were one of the signatories of a response letter stating the power of B Corp and it’s not going to be a perfect standard, but it’s evolving and it’s trying to bring about a framework and a way to improve as a collective and shouldn’t be painted in such a way.

00;27;32;02 – 00;27;51;07

And I think you have to have that confidence in the brand and be prepared to stand up for us as well. So I say that’s probably the second piece that’s so helpful. So helpful. You’ve given us so much today. Final question and I think you’ve answered it, but I’m still going to ask you because maybe you want to elaborate on it.

00;27;51;09 – 00;28;19;00

Where do people start? Right? You work at a company, You have passion around this. You see momentum or you see a spark. Where do people start knowing that every company is going to be coming from a different place? What are some things they can keep in mind? So I think the first is start talking about sustainability. You can just do that internally to start educating your staff and then go through the phases.

00;28;19;00 – 00;28;39;21

So I mentioned before you know, we started talking about sustainability. This was way before B Corp, right? And we wanted to upskill our people and we wanted to explain the links between our business and sustainability and why it was important. So I think firstly, just get the lay of the land, understand the knowledge levels and then try and bring it to life.

00;28;39;22 – 00;29;08;06

You know, we’ve spoken lots today about how confusing it can be, and one element that we haven’t delved into is it can also be really scary for people as well. Right? And yeah, yeah, it can be so disconcerting. And you had times of people saying, I got climate anxiety and it’s incredibly stressful and also some apathy towards that as well because it feels too far gone or too big a problem to break down, that people must shy away from talking about it.

00;29;08;09 – 00;29;34;28

And so I think trying to reassure colleagues firstly that you care about sustainability, that you’re talking about it, but also giving them real bite size ways that they can move the dial themselves and empower them to make small changes that are impactful, I would say would be the fast and feel that curiosity as well. Bring in external speakers that ignite that light bulb moment in their heads.

00;29;34;28 – 00;29;55;20

And then I think from a business perspective, I would just say sit the impact assessment, eat it, have to become a B corp, as I said. Yeah, a fraction of those that take it. Do I think it’s just a really clever hygiene exercise and risk mitigation exercise as well? Because yeah, we were 330 years old and we still learned things from the assessment.

00;29;55;20 – 00;30;19;07

I just think there’s it’s a no brainer to take it and then benchmark yourself against capacities and then play that back and say, actually, we’re really not that great some of these things and we need to improve. And I think probably staying humble I think is important and being unapologetically transparent. We released an impact report as part of our status.

00;30;19;12 – 00;30;39;26

Because of our scale, you have to release a report every year, say, what have you done with your data so far and what you want to do to improve? And I’m really proud of our report. It’s warts and all. Like it’s not pretty, some of the figures, but I’m really proud that we went public with it and we said, Look, there are things that we want to improve and this is what we need to do.

00;30;39;26 – 00;31;05;07

And I think there’s power in that because are consumers are clever and they know all businesses aren’t perfect and no one’s ever going to get it fully right. And sustainability is quite unforgiving because it’s always evolving and it’s always changing. And something that’s seen as good practice now perhaps won’t be as good practice in the future. And so I think by being transparent and being unapologetically so is really important.

00;31;05;07 – 00;31;28;04

And it also feels great partnerships and we haven’t actually touched on this, but the best benefit of being a B Corp is the community and being able to work with not just peers in your industry but across the industry and learn from one another. And there’s a real wanting to improve the practices with everyone and it’s really anti-competitive, which I love.

00;31;28;06 – 00;31;52;04

Everyone just bring about change and real systemic change, and especially in the finance space, I find that just so refreshing. You know, we’re part of B Finance, which is a financial services working group. So because they’re satisfied, we’re trying to encourage other finance firms to be because I’ll passages will say, do the big change your articles and come join us.

00;31;52;07 – 00;32;16;06

We can compete on school, but sustainability doesn’t need to be a competition and no one wins when it’s a competition. So open yourself up to partnerships as well. And through being open, I think you’ll find they’ll be able to move and change much quicker. It can be quite a lonely place otherwise. Celestyal Everton, Associate Director, Sustainability Manager at Cootes.

00;32;16;06 – 00;32;28;08

Thank you so much. This was fantastic. I love this conversation. Thank you for having me.

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Chris Thornton is a Senior Principal and member of the global leadership team at Daggerwing Group. In his role, Chris serves as a source of strategic counsel for Senior Executives with client firms, advising them on how to help clients achieve Executive alignment, transform their cultures and equip and enable people managers to lead and embed change. An expert in the people side of change with both client-side and consulting experience, Chris has worked with leading companies including Nestlé, Pfizer, and GE Aviation to do change right and make it stick. He is also an active speaker on business transformation, a driver of innovation in Daggerwing’s breadth of change consulting services, and the host of Daggerwing Group’s podcast, Change@Work. Chris and his wife were featured in the New York Times for their love of pie.
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