At London Speech Workshop we have always been passionate about empowering people to be the best, authentic and kind communicators they can be and to unleash their voice. Every day we see first hand the genuine impact our services provide for our clients in transforming their lives. Every step of their communication journey is a little bit magical, from the supportive relationship with their coach, the memorable metaphors and the insights our tools provide in each session to the confidence they gain from their course. But our values and ambition goes beyond that. As a business we want to be able to give back to our community, global society and the environment as well as ensuring we hold ourselves accountable in making a long-lasting and powerful difference. Though small, we are a business that has a global customer base and we have a huge impact all over the world. It is of the utmost importance to us that this is an impact for the good of society and our planet.
And so, we have begun our journey to become a B Corp certified company and pushed ourselves to take a closer look at how we are operating. Since starting the process we have scrutinized all of our current processes and constantly questioned, what more can we do? Well, we decided becoming B Corp certified was the perfect way to be a force for good and simultaneously hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of excellence we have set for ourselves. In deciding to become B Corp certified we are joining a global movement of businesses who put social and environmental factors at the forefront of what we do.
What does it mean to be B Corp certified?
To be B Corp certified means that we are committing to a legally binding agreement to have a positive, global impact on society and the environment. It means that in every decision we make we will take social and environmental factors into consideration. It’s a rigorous process where we have to answer around 200 questions about how London Speech Workshop operates and everything we do is examined and judged. It is a certification that is run by B-Lab, a non-profit that is dedicated to transforming the global economy to be inclusive, equitable and regenerative and ensuring that all business is a force for good. Such was the alignment of our values it was a very easy decision for us that becoming B Corp certified was the direction we wanted to take.
It’s a long and arduous journey to become certified. We will have to reshape the way London Speech Workshop operates, bring into practice new processes and assess our initiatives for the future. Yet, this is something that we wholeheartedly believe in as a business and as individuals so it is a journey that we embark on knowing that it will be worth every second of work.
As we start 2022 we wanted to outline what we are doing going into the New Year in order to become B Corp certified and join the global movement.
Where we're currently at
In November 2020 we joined Ecologi, a business who have recently become B Corp certified themselves. One of our first steps in this journey was to examine what more we could do to minimise our negative environmental impact and maximise what we could give back. Now, not only are we planting a tree for every transaction, and growing our very own forest around the world, we are carbon offsetting against all of our full time employees.
From every purchase, from our Taster Sessions to our Corporate Packages, we fund the planting of a tree in different locations supporting various environmental projects. So far, just in January, our contribution has led to 125 trees in Kenya, 42 Madagascar and 6 in Uganda. Since joining we have contributed to over 500 trees being planted. In the grand scheme of things this may not seem like a lot right now, but as part of a collective effort over 30 million trees have been planted in the effort to protect our planet. As a company we have also offset over 13 tonnes of carbon and contributed to renewable energy projects in countries such as Thailand.
We have set ourselves the goal of planting 1,000 trees and offsetting 50 tonnes of carbon by 2023. You can track our progress here.
What else we're doing
We have made a commitment to work with sustainable companies who share our ethos. We hold our suppliers and partners to the same standards to which we hold ourselves. All of our manuals are printed on sustainably sourced and FSC Accredited paper and are fully recyclable. Our printer and postage partner work with the Woodland Trust to plant trees and have helped to raise over £800,000 for them.
How we give back
We have several initiatives to help and support those who may not necessarily be able to afford our services ordinarily. On the subject of climate change, one of our initiatives that we are so passionate about is supporting those who work in the area with subsidised communication coaching so that they can create and present a persuasive case for moving towards a new way of doing things. We also have a BAME bursary scheme on coaching for up to 10 weeks for young, talented and driven BAME individuals who have something to say for themselves and their community.
Of course, becoming a B Corp business is not just about planting trees and giving back. It's a long term commitment we have made to better ourselves. Working to have the biggest possible impact for good is a mission that is at the heart of London Speech Workshop and something that everyone who works at the company is extremely passionate about. As we strive to meet our current environmental and social goals, we as individuals in the team are constantly looking for new ways we can contribute to make the business a force for good.