Next up as part of our “Better Business” series of articles is Andy Hawkins, Chief Purpose Officer at Business On Purpose.
Throughout March 2021, B Corp Month, we collaborated with some fellow local B Corps. Each week we focused on and featured a specific area within the B Corp Assessment sections to celebrate and champion what it is that makes some of the local B Corporations a “B Corp”, to hopefully inspire many more to join the movement.
Andy Hawkins: I spent 30 years working in tech and digital, helping companies transform the way they work. More than a decade ago I took time out to do community development work in Africa for over 5 years. That time significantly challenged me in many ways and changed the way I look at life.
Now my focus is much more fundamental by helping companies understand their “why”, their “purpose”, their “ikigai” and how that translates into how their business can be a force for good, by improving their social and environmental impact.
As a B Leader, I help clients do this by using the B Corp toolkit which measures, tracks and improves what companies are able to do.
Andy Hawkins: I’ve always been a huge fan of Fairtrade when buying my groceries. B Corp was a revelation in that it was something similar, but for a business. Something that enabled them to pin their colours to the mast and make a declaration about their values, ethics and purpose. That makes a big difference to their staff, suppliers, clients and community.
Following my years working in Africa, I had been searching for an impactful way for my core feelings of purpose to make a difference in my business life in a tangible way.
Andy Hawkins: Going through a robust Certification process which could be externally accredited was of importance to me.
Having discovered B Corp, I decided that it fitted with my business purpose and ethics, that it made so much sense to work through the Impact Assessment in order to certify.
I found the Impact Assessment a little overwhelming, so reached out to a few connections to help me through it. Whilst it took up time and resources, it was an excellent learning exercise and helped shape my processes and policies.
If only I’d known then what I know now!
Since certifying, many contacts and businesses have subsequently asked me to assist them.
Andy Hawkins: All businesses want to take care of their customers. One of the best things about B Corp is that it helps to focus on customers as a specific stakeholder in the business. That puts an additional level of responsibility on a business to care for it’s customers and consider how to add real value to them.
Now my company focus is designed to support customers on their B Corp journey. This helps them improve their own company and in turn help them care for their People and Planet in a far more measurable and impactful way rather than putting all the emphasis on profits.
This article is part of the “Better Business” series during B Corp Month, a collaboration of the Bristol & Bath B Local Group. More info about #BristolBathBCorps here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9002180/ and more info about B Corp here: https://bcorporation.net/.