Bristol’s status as city for responsible business strengthened by latest B Corp accreditations

December 8, 2023

One of the South West’s leading carbon reduction advisory firms and a Bristol hair salon have been awarded the B Corp status, taking the number of businesses in the city to gain the coveted accreditation to more than 80.

That figure puts the city in the vanguard of the movement in the UK, which recognises and champions businesses that put as much emphasis on people and planet as profit.

Bristol’s total of B Corps puts it second only to London, reflecting the city’s standing as a leading hub for businesses promoting an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.

The latest firms to join are Greener Energy Futures, which was founded in Bristol in 2019 and has saved customers more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year since then, and Clifton hair salon Bonomini.

Greener Energy Futures supports organisations across the public and private sectors throughout the UK, including Experian UK & EMEA, Avon Fire & Rescue, Hartcliffe City Farm and the Diocese of Bristol.

It has also supported raising £4m in grant-funding and saved nearly £300,000 of annual energy costs.

Greener Energy Futures founder and managing director Simon Pyne, pictured below, right, said becoming a B Corp was as exciting as it was challenging.

“The nature of the work we do means we already have a sound working knowledge of how a business can and should reduce its impact on the environment. However, we must also practice what we preach,” he added.

“It is not just about operating along more sustainable lines. Being a B Corp places as much emphasis in the social impact element too.

“We had been doing well on both counts, but we knew we could be better. And that meant holding ourselves accountable to a higher standard that others would recognise.”

He said the company set out from day one to tackle climate change head-on by helping organisations to identify where they could make carbon reduction changes and, crucially, signpost them to sources of available funding that many businesses did not know existed.

“Moreover, the last few years have shown just how real the threat of climate change really is,” he added.

“The solutions needed both now and in the future will require people with the right skills and knowledge to navigate these challenges.

“And that is why we have worked closely with Bristol’s universities to provide work experience opportunities for the next generation of climate specialists.”

Bonomini said becoming a B Corp had been no easy task.

“Our approach to hairdressing, investing in our people and carving out a different path to the mainstream industry has always been different,” the firm added.

“But what does that actually translate to day-to-day? Collaborating with local suppliers, investing in good energy and partnering with industry leaders to source sustainable colours and products.”

The salon has invested in technology produced by Vish, which makes hair colouring management software, to reduce its waste  – a huge issue for the hair industry – and is ensuring transparency/gender equality and fairness in its pricing.

The salon is also big on self-care, applying these principles to its people. Staff yoga sessions are held every Wednesday after closing while the team also engage in innovative volunteering initiatives, encouraging personal growth and investment in their wider skills.

Other recent Bristol firms to attain B Corp status include menstrual products firm Grace & Green, accountants Albert Goodman and Archus, an jnternational infrastructure specialist with a mission to shape the future of healthcare.

They joined a diverse group of B Corps businesses in the city ranging from Business West, the region’s largest business group which also runs Bristol Chamber of Commerce, to workplace technology provider Amba, tea brand Pukka Herbs and financial planning firm Paradigm Norton.

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