As Stephens Scown celebrates one year of B Corp™ accreditation, it’s a chance to step back and look at how far the firm has come and what’s been achieved since gaining certification.
As a law firm that has always cared about doing things the right way for its people, the planet, and its community, B Corp™ Certification sealed Stephens Scown’s long-term commitment to being a force for good.
Verity Slater, a Partner in the firm’s employment team who has led on sustainability and building purpose and impact within the firm, says: “Building on the existing Stephens Scown culture, where doing good and giving back to our community matters, and five years since launching our ambitious Giving Back initiative, we know there is more still to be done and that our accreditation is merely the first step on our journey.
“These last 12 months have shown what we’re capable of achieving and highlighted the positive impact that B Corp™ has had on our people, and how we’ve shared that passion and enthusiasm with our clients.”
Since being Certified, the firm has strengthened its internal processes, encouraging and inspiring colleagues to embrace the principles of B Corp™ in all they do.
As well as raising awareness internally of what it means to be B Corp™ it has also encouraged conversations with clients on how the firm can support their efforts to become more purposeful, sustainable businesses.
Verity adds: “Sharing our knowledge, expertise, connections, and insight helps spread the word about the benefits and importance of building purpose and impact in a business, and we know from feedback that clients care as deeply as we do about how we care for people and the planet.”
Leading the B Corp™ way
Examples of championing the benefits of becoming a B Corp™ include Verity Slater taking part in the B23 Inspiration Day, joining a panel to share her experience of becoming a B Corp™. Working with Laurie Trounce, Partner in the Corporate team, they supported two delegations of the B23 Programme, inspiring and helping 46 Cornish businesses through their own B Corp™ application process.
Hazel Sanders, also from the firm’s Employment team, led a B Corp™ talk through the Business Network’s Positive Nature Network, designed to connect businesses with the planet in a greener way. It covered how to engage employees on the journey to B Corp™, and the policies that an organisation can put in place to support sustainability.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Short-Martin from Stephens Scown’s Real Estate team was recently elected as one of the B Local co-chairs for Cornwall. The group creates and hosts events for Cornwall B Corps™ and for those wanting to become B Corp™, creating an impact at local level, and helping to raise awareness of the B Corp™ movement.
As Jennifer said in her application for the role, “I am so proud of our B Corp™ certification, and I jumped at the chance to be one of Cornwall’s co-chairs. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate with fellow B Corps™ and promote its values.”
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Verity Slater says: “We have set some ambitious targets to ensure we are on a continuous path to improving and enhancing our purpose and impact, including: embedding social and / or environmental goals into our appraisal processes; improving the green credentials of the firm’s pension scheme; continuing to track and improve employee experience; increasing the number of employees that do volunteering to 25% or above; undertake more Pro Bono projects; and further reducing the firm’s carbon footprint to achieve the goal of becoming Net Zero by 2025.”
She continues: “We are delighted with the progress being made across the firm in relation to our sustainability and positive impact in balancing people, planet, and profit. Our initial impact report, available here and below, shows that we’re making great strides in moving forward a number of initiatives and campaigns to support increased awareness and tangible results for the good of our people, our communities, and the planet.
“Setting out goals for the year ahead has been a great way to continue to drive towards further positive impact and has set us in a strong direction for 2024’s priorities.”