Kid-A: A sustainable business success story
How to build a sustainable business: Discover Kid-A's success story.
The topic of sustainability is important for all business owners. Prioritising sustainability reduces a company's environmental impact and operational costs, while eco-friendly practices and pledges give a brand an improved reputation in its industry by attracting socially conscious and environmentally aware customers.
There are many advantages to being a sustainable business. It ensures your company is in line with environmental regulations, demonstrates forward-thinking, and encourages the development and use of efficient technologies and products. With consumers increasingly valuing sustainability, and one in ten consumers making purchasing decisions based on carbon footprint data availability, being a more sustainable business can give your company a competitive edge, ensuring longevity and resilience in an evolving market landscape.
A good example of a successful sustainable business is Kid-A – a consultancy and managed services business in the telecommunications sector. Kid-A is the first telecommunications consultancy to achieve Certified B Corporation status. To be considered for this status, a company must meet certain standards across a subset of different metrics. An impact assessment report is undertaken, and a company must receive a score of at least 80 to be considered for Certified B Corporation Status.
Kid-A: prioritising sustainability
Based in Winchester, Kid-A boasts more than 50 years of telecommunications experience, offering consultancy and managed services to help clients resolve problems. Kid-A wants to be a leader in its industry, while delivering an incredible social experience and being climate neutral. Since January 2022, Kid-A has enjoyed Certified B Corporation Status. Its leaders continue to carefully consider and react to how every aspect of their business has the potential to do damage to people and to the planet.
At a Lunch + Learn session hosted in collaboration with Vodafone Business and Enterprise Nation, we met Andy Silcock and Adam Toms, co-founders of Kid-A, who talked us through their business journey and how their company became a B Corp.
Kid-A took steps to ensure that it was naturally achieving what was expected and required of it in order to achieve Certified B Corporation Status, so that it reached this milestone quickly. It did this by auditing its entire business for sustainability with the help of consultants and climate experts, while assessing other areas covered by the impact assessment report (when a company is being considered for Certified B Corporation Status).
In doing this audit, Kid-A identified areas for sustainability improvement across its business, including customer and supplier actions. It remained transparent about how it was setting Net Zero targets and promoted a circular economy. For instance, if 2,000 products were sold, it would ensure that it took actions to offset these CO2 emissions with the planting of at least double the number of trees.
As a business, Kid-A promotes the understanding that being Net Zero is something that all companies eventually must accept and adapt to. Kid-A promote sharing knowledge on how to minimise carbon footprint and promote a Net Zero business plan with other companies, in order to spread the word and make it easier for other organisations to follow in its footsteps.
How do you become a certified B-Corp?
If a business has Certified B Corporation status, this means that it's meeting the high standards expected of it and is being transparent on issues, such as employee benefits and remuneration, supply chain practices, environmental practices, input materials and accountability. In order to achieve Certified B Corporation status, a company should:
Achieve a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above by demonstrating high environmental and social performance, and by passing a risk review.
Commit to changing its governance structure so that all stakeholders are accountable for their actions.
Be transparent about its performance and Certified B Corporation status scores.
Create meaningful relationships with communities, shoppers, and suppliers, and attract and retain staff.
Demonstrate investment from those who are aligned with its business goals and missions.
Be open and informative about processes, operations, structure, and areas that could be improved. (Being recertified for B Corporation status depends on standards in these areas continuing to be met on an ongoing basis).
Is it worth a small to medium business (SME) having Certified B Corporation status?
Deciding whether Certified B Corporation status is worth it for your business depends on your company's values, goals, and the expectations of your customers and stakeholders. You'll need to be totally transparent and open about your business model, and should have achievable goals for positive and minimal social and environmental impact.
To have Certified B Corporation status, your business should want to make a positive impact that goes beyond making a profit. You'll need to set your SME apart from its competitors, and demonstrate commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices. Being a Certified B Corporation can attract environmentally conscious consumers, and appeal to prospective employees who value working for socially responsible companies, as well as attract investors who want to invest in greener organisations.
Being part of the B Corp community will also provide your SME with access to a network of businesses that share the same values and prestige. This can foster collaboration, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing, while showcasing your company's commitment to positive social and environmental impacts. Considering people and the planet over profits can bring great benefits in terms of company reputation and industry positioning. Although the process to get Certified B Corporation status can be long and heavily detailed, the benefits can outweigh the work that's required.
How to build a sustainable business and implement sustainable practices
To build a sustainable business as an SME, you need to take economic, environmental, and social considerations into account, and ensure that you see sustainability as a way to improve your business practice while enhancing your company's reputation. Here are some steps you can take to building a more sustainable business.
Conduct a sustainability assessment
Thoroughly assess your business for social and environmental aspects that could be improved across your product life cycle, supply chain, and operations. Find ways to make these areas more sustainable, including reducing waste, saving water, energy efficiency, and sourcing ethically.
Make sustainability a core business strategy
Make sure your business values and mission align with your sustainable goals. Ensure that every business decision considers the planet and people before profit. You may want to consider the types of investments you need to make to instill sustainability as one of your core business goals – like switching to renewable energy sources and greener manufacturing methods, using more eco-friendly packaging, or offering your staff more training on environmental issues, and how they can play their part.
Create a culture of sustainability
Spread the word about your climate-friendly mission and ensure your customers, stakeholders, staff, and customers know about it. Involve all workers and stakeholders in decisions made within your business, and be transparent about your sustainability practices with customers, as this helps to create trust.
Overhaul your product life cycle
Take action on your sustainability goals and consider how recyclable and durable your products are. Explore how to be a part of a circular economy, without waste. Create a sustainable supply chain with suppliers who share in your vision and ethics, and encourage re-use rather than waste.
Track your progress
Create some KPIs (key performance indicators) to track your progress in terms of sustainability goals and social impact. This can help you see which areas can be improved, and where the business is performing well.
Partner with organisations who can verify your commitment to sustainability and green practices. These credentials can boost your reputation and attract partnerships with like-minded people and companies.
For more support on sustainable business practices, and to discover our free business support helpline, speak to one of our Business Advisers by phone, contact form or web chat.
Free one-to-one support
Available Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, our friendly team are here to provide guidance and support on the topics that matter to your business.
Content made available to you on this website is for general information purposes. Independent advice should be obtained for your needs. For full disclaimer, click here.