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Optimising IT and Stephens Scown Lead the Way in B Corporation Movement

In a first of its kind event in Exeter, leading South West law firm Stephens Scown LLP and tech experts Optimising IT joined forces to host a B CorporationTM event at the heart of the city. Both businesses were excited to share their commitment towards fostering a sustainable and responsible business community in Exeter.

Stephens Scown became the first B Corp TM Certified law firm in the South West in January 2023. They have been leading the way since 2016 with the launch of the Firm’s Giving Back programme, which empowers employees to do good through four key pillars of volunteering, fundraising, pro bono work and reducing the business’ environmental impact.

Stephens Scown’s Managing Partner, Richard Baker, says: “As the first large law firm in the UK to become employee-owned, we have built a dynamic and innovative business dedicated to delivering for our clients and providing a rewarding and supportive workplace. Gaining our B CorpTM certification underlined our long-term commitment to also being a force for good in wider society and we have been delighted with the way our people have embedded B Corp TM values into the heart of our business.”  

Optimising IT announced their B Corporation TM Certification in March 2023 when they met rigorous social and environmental standards which represent their commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit. Todd Gifford, Managing Director at Optimising IT says, “For us, gaining B CorpTM Certification was a natural step to take as were already operating in a sustainable and people-led way, whilst providing services to other B Corp TM organisations.”

The B Corp TM certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, with applicants required to reach a benchmark score of over 80 while providing evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company will legally embed their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles.

The event, held at Stephens Scown’s Exeter office, hosted a range of businesses from the local area, from established B Corporations TM to those eager to embrace this transformative approach. Attendees heard from Verity Slater, Giving Back partner at Stephens Scown and a driving force of the Firm’s B Corp TM Certification process and Todd Gifford, Managing Director and advocate of the B Corporation TM values of Optimising IT.

Enabling invaluable networking opportunities, the event has provided the chance for businesses to create connections and explore potential collaborations. The shared excitement about the future of B Corporation TM values in the room showed the future for the Exeter business community to help in effecting positive change.

Stephens Scown and Optimising IT’s joint endeavour has undoubtedly set a new standard for corporate responsibility and community engagement in Exeter. Their B Corporation TM event not only highlighted Exeter’s up and coming demand for a new way of business but also ignited a fire of purpose-driven action within the local business area. This event serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and the potential for businesses to be a driving force for positive change for now and the future.