EOA welcomes members doing well, while doing good

The EOA is celebrating employee ownership as a force for good as two more members achieve BCorp status.

This month EOA members Riverford and Rowlinson Knitwear announced their certification as ethical B Corporations. Their employee ownership was cited as a major factor in how they have demonstrated the ethical credentials required to become a Certified B Corporation, which the community of B Corps defines as:

“Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

The pair are the latest in a series of EOA members (including Bridges Fund Management, Bates Wells, Baxendale, Paradigm Norton Financial Planning, Seetec, Resources Futures and Sawdays) to join the ranks of the B Corps and demonstrates a rising trend in EO businesses considering their environmental, social and governance (ESG) position in addition to their ownership model.

Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson said:

“Riverford has always sought to balance the needs of planet, staff, suppliers and customers, with commercial success being a means to an end, not an end in itself. We have done right by our own definitions, and developed our own measures. I, for one, am intrinsically resistant to assessments of virtue. But these are niceties we can no longer afford; we need an objective, global approach to avoid the ultimate market failure of thoughtless overconsumption leading to self-destruction.”

Rowlinson Knitwear Chair, Donald Moore, said:

“Becoming a Certified B Corp is a truly defining moment in our history. It’s testament to our longstanding focus on responsible practices, and will motivate us to achieve even more positive and enduring change. We hope that our commitment to doing business more responsibly will inspire others and help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”

The EOA recently backed a call by employee ownership champion Graham Nuttall calling for more purposeful employee ownership in his Gandhi Foundation Lecture as he examined the need for employee owned businesses to consider their ESG obligations.

EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley said:

“Employee ownership is already evidenced as having a positive impact on individuals, businesses and the regional economy. What we are increasingly hearing and seeing is that employee owned businesses, through their superior governance and ability to unite their employees behind a common purpose, are well placed to tackle ESG issues making sure their business creates and shares value while minimising practices that extract value from the environment and society.”