Greenheart Consulting Founder Celebrates Opportunity for B Corps to Create Lasting Positive Impact (and Profit)
Thomas Bourne is founder of Greenheart Business Consulting, a Certified B Corporation based in Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom. Greenheart applies its belief in the triple bottom line and circular economy while selecting and working with clients and suppliers. He recently answered some questions about Greenheart and its B Corp philosophy.
Tell us about the history of your company.
I set up Greenheart in 2015 after a career in commercial law followed by several years running small businesses. I realised that there was scope to apply those skills and experiences, run through the lens of some profoundly held personal values, to support businesses who wanted to grow their triple bottom line returns. Greenheart became a Certified B Corp in August 2017.
What excites you most about the B Corp movement?
B Corp values really resonate with today’s investors, consumers, employees and business people. What really excites me is that the B Corp approach changes the dialogue from “We need to do less bad” to “We have an opportunity to do more good, and make money while we’re doing it.” This is a much more universally engaging proposition and will lead to far greater long-term impact than simply beating ourselves up about how bad things have become.
Greenheart Business Consulting is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.
What was your journey to becoming certified as a B Corp? Was there an epiphany moment or have you always led a purpose-driven business?
I was on board with B Corp from the moment I heard about it. I remember reading an article about ethical business in the trade press (whilst running an organic food brand) and thinking “I have to be part of this.” I looked up the website, read the front page, and realised the alignment with my personal and business values was spot on. I’ve never looked back, and it has really shaped the direction the business has taken.
What has changed in your organisation as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment?
At a business model level, it has hugely informed the clients we work with and the work we do. Operationally, it has give us real clarity around the areas we need to prioritise.
Can you tell us about the impact that your company is having in the world?
Greenheart exists as a supporter and facilitator of impactful business — we spend a lot of time helping businesses on that journey and, in turn, making a positive change to the lives of their stakeholders. It also allows me to give a significant amount of time to the Soil Association, the UK’s leading charity for healthy and sustainable food and farming systems.
What benefits have you seen since certification?
The power of the B Corp community is immense. By its nature, there is more energy, openness and willingness to engage with each other to promote positive solutions to the greatest challenges of our time. So I have learnt a huge amount since joining the community and continue to do so.
How can we most effectively scale the movement?
The impact market is growing very rapidly at the moment. We need to ensure that the BIA remains the best and most usable impact measurement and reporting approach that takes its rightful position as the market leader, with every business aspiring to become a certified B Corp.
Are there any challenges for the B Corp movement? How can we best overcome these?
We must ensure that, with the rapid growth of the impact reporting market, we have enough resources in place to support a growing number of certifying businesses and that we continue to position B Corp as the best solution as other methodologies emerge.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
The amazing founders, investors and CEOs I’m meeting through the B Corp movement who are mobilising their brands and capital to create positive impact in the world.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
Connecting With Purpose-Minded Customers: How B Corp Values Resonate was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Source: B the Change