Our third Q&A during B Corp month focuses on being a better steward to the planet and what it means to be a 'better business', with Quality Manager Julie McCarthy.
Hi Julie - please can you introduce yourself and your role at Ecosurety?
I’m Julie and have been with Ecosurety for almost four and a half years now. My motivation to join the company was because I wanted to work somewhere where I could really make a difference, which fitted in well with Ecosurety’s mission of ‘Change for Good’.
Although my role is Quality Manager, my responsibilities cover a much wider area, bringing everything together in our integrated Ecosurety Management System. Our management system defines who we are as an organisation, the direction we want to go and how we will achieve it.
What does being a B Corp mean to you?
My philosophy has always been to build a management system based on our values and how we want to work as a force for good – the icing on the cake are the certifications we achieve through this.
Being certified as a B Corp means that what we have set out in our management system around how we do business is a success. It’s like a ‘gold seal’ of approval for our business and systems. It means we are doing the right thing for our people, our communities and the planet.
What inspiration have you found from other B Corps?
Last year I joined the Bristol & Bath B Local group regularly meeting up (virtually) with other B Corp companies within our area where we are looking into ways that we can have an impact in our local communities. This is a great community, sharing ideas, learnings, and events on how to B Better!
Ecosurety has been B Corp certified since April 2020. What has changed for you in your role since then?
I think the main thing that changed was in how we incorporate the B Corp requirements into our Ecosurety Management System. This included completing a gap analysis and looking at additional factors that needed to be addressed and how we monitor these within our internal audit schedule.
It has certainly widened my view on how we look at our company performance and our impact on the environment and on people around us.
What does it mean to be a better steward of the planet?
We only have one planet, and we need to do all we can to build a better and more sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren. Every small positive thing we can do as an individual, company or group of companies to reduce our impact on the environment helps.
From reducing food waste on an individual or company level; helping in the design of new, more sustainable packaging; helping to fund innovative projects that bring about a more circular economy or getting involved with other B Corp companies in local initiatives to improve the environment we work and live in - it all helps.
This week marked a significant milestone when we publicly committed as a company to be net zero before 2030, an accelerated target embraced by B Corps the world over for good reason – we need to act now and lead by example. We’re excited to embrace the challenge of how we enact this across our value chain, not an insignificant challenge!
What are the key successes Ecosurety has achieved in this area in the last year?
2020 was clearly a historical year. A month before lockdown happened Ecosurety moved into our new city-centre office - from responsible sourcing of bespoke recycled furniture and finishes, through to additional plant life, renewable energy sourcing and encouraging more sustainable commuting, it certainly helped to create an amazing and dynamic vibe across the whole company.
The infrastructure that we had been building enabled an agile working environment which was quickly tested in March of 2020 when there was an overnight transition from office to home working, with minimal impact on our business.
What are the challenges ahead?
During 2020, business travel and commuting to the office dramatically decreased. Establishing new metrics for monitoring environmental performance against this will be challenging as consumption will inevitably be higher.
However, we have also seen that business can go on, and communication can even improve whilst living in a ‘virtual world’, so we need to continue to adapt and improve on what we have been doing.
Lastly, what one thing do you like the most about working for a B Corp?
Working collaboratively towards the goal that we can always B Better and taking action when we see things are not working.
Find out more about B Corp
Want to find out more about the B Corp movement and why it matters? A great place to start is to get up to speed with the story of B Corp UK.
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.