Every March, B Lab and the global B Corp Community join together to celebrate what it means to be a B Corp. This B Corp Month, B Corps are showing the world how we go beyond expectations. Because beyond a mark, B Corp is a movement of businesses making a mark on the world.
Connected became a B Corp in July 2020. It was one of the very first things we achieved as an organisation. At the time our founder and CEO Darren Agombar put it simply: “obtaining B Corp certification for Connected is one of the proudest achievements of my professional career”.
We saw the B Corp community as a model for building a sustainable business, ensuring that we met the highest standards of operational integrity and that our business would continue to be a force for good. The rigorous certification process was not something we took on lightly, but it provided us with a strong framework from which we could deliver our vision.
Now nearly three years on, we’re undertaking the recertification process and recommitting to continuous improvement, transparency and a holistic approach to impact.
With our recertification date just around the corner, and in the spirit of B Corp Month, we wanted to lift the lid with a few questions for some of the Connected team:
Why did Connected choose to become a B Corp?
Darren Agombar, CEO: “Being a Certified B Corp is integral to our journey to deliver catalytic scale to impact investing. We are dedicated to building a business that considers all stakeholders, balances profit with purpose, and delivers transformational change to the finance industry. We believe it is no longer acceptable to ignore how investment returns are generated nor the societal impact that process might have. The B Corp certification process and community have provided us with resources, frameworks, and opportunities to continue to grow our business with integrity. B Corp Certification is our public (and legal) commitment to using Connected as a force for good.”
But why is it important that our business is a force for good?
Rachel Neill, Chief Impact Officer: “Finance is a key force to create the long term systems change that the world needs. Private funds need to continue to redefine business as usual and support a just transition to a low carbon, nature positive globe. Operating as a force for good enables Connected to create broader societal benefits which help to build a world that we can all inhabit. Balancing profit with purpose also has commercial benefits: sustainability can reduce costs and affect profits by up to 60% and companies with an inclusive culture have a 27% higher profitability and 22% greater productivity [World Economic Forum].”
How do we integrate positive impact into our investments?
James Kelly, Head of Investments: “As an impact investment company, we believe that integrating impact into our investment strategy is crucial for creating positive change in the world. There are numerous societal and environmental challenges that need to be addressed, and we see these challenges as investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver high expected returns. Once we identify an opportunity, we work to optimise the investment strategy to achieve the best risk-adjusted returns. We recognise that scalability is essential to both the investment and impact credentials. Therefore, we focus on developing investment strategies that can be scaled to create meaningful and sustainable impact. Once we have the optimal investment strategy, we ensure that it is aligned with our initial impact objectives by defining measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that are tracked alongside the investment metrics. This ensures that our investments are delivering both financial returns and positive impact, creating long-term value for both our investors and society as a whole.”