B Corp honour for Scottish technology specialist

23/01/2024
Left to Right: Sheryl Newman, CEO, and Magda Mowat, business support co-ordinator, of Appetite for Business.

AN AWARD-winning digital technology specialist, Appetite for Business, has joined the growing band of Scottish companies attaining B Corp certification.

The Aberdeen-based company has further underlined its commitment to sustainable and socially responsible business practices following a rigorous assessment of internal processes and procedures.

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B-Corps “value purpose as much as profit” and are committed to meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

Often seen as the gold standard for social and environmental performance, Appetite is one of only a handful of north-east businesses to have achieved the certification to date. It is also the first digital skills and software provider in Scotland to attain B Corp status.

Sheryl Newman, founder and CEO of Appetite for Business, commented: “We’ve always been passionate about our social and environmental impact and wanted to formalise what was already part of our culture. B Corp cements the work we do around sustainability and how we use technology more widely to benefit people from all backgrounds in our community.

“The decision to pursue B Corp was something we had discussed as a team. It was a lengthy process for the team, taking 12 months and numerous different stages that all needed to be passed before a final audit. One of the most time-consuming elements was the requirement to evidence everything we were doing within the business in a formal way, where perhaps some of these things had been taken for granted previously.

“The greatest benefit is to have better company processes which ensure our environmental and social impact is always considered as part of all decision-making.”

There are believed to be around 60 B-Corps in Scotland, 1,500 in the UK and 7,000 across the world. These organisations are required to legally embed their commitment in company articles and must repeat the verification process every three years.

According to research from B Lab, 60% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if the business has clear social or environmental values. Meanwhile, 48% of B Corps reported that prospective staff were attracted specifically because of their certification.

Sheryl added: “Having that stamp means our customers know that when they work with us, we have been assessed against some of the highest environmental and social standards. The certification also acts as a clear sign to all stakeholders that we have built and are running a caring and ethical business with the most sustainable systems.

“For too many companies, achieving B Corp is just a tick-box exercise. But it’s much more than that; it’s a way of working and decision-making which impacts everyone and has huge implications across the business in terms of demonstrating your values.

“Because you need to continually evidence your commitment to retain the certification, this makes it vital that the entire team understands what is being done and why.”

Chris Turner, executive director of B Lab UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Appetite for Business to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. We know that Appetite is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.

“Welcoming Appetite is an exciting moment because they are leading the way within the tech industry. We and the rest of the B Corp community are pleased to support them as they continue to pave the way. Their commitment and demonstration of doing business differently, where people and the planet are just as important as profit, will be an inspiration to others.”

Located in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, Appetite is a people-focused technology consultancy that specialises in Microsoft 365 and associated applications to support organisations achieve significant cost savings and process improvements through better understanding of how employees engage and interact with technology.

Appetite was named in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023 list. The annual Top 100 identifies UK organisations with the highest employee engagement and wellbeing levels, which in turn helps retain and recruit employees.

The award, based upon the organiser’s trust index employee survey and culture audit, was complemented with the receipt of a highly commended in the Best Places to Work for Women category.

This latest success follows Appetite being recognised with a hat-trick of prestigious awards in 2022, including Best Digital Workspace at ScotlandIS’s Digital Tech Awards, Business Success Over 5 Years at the Elevator Awards, and High Growth Business of the Year at the FSB Scotland Celebrating Small Business Awards.

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