Kin + Carta becomes first B Corp accredited LSE business

06 December 2021 3 min. read
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Transformation advisory Kin + Carta has become the first publicly-traded business on the London Stock Exchange to achieve B Corp Certification. The move sees it join a small group of fewer than 20 public B Corps worldwide. 

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The B Corp certification addresses the entirety of a business’ operations and covers five key impact areas of Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. To complete the certification, the company legally embeds the commitment to purpose beyond profit in the articles of association.

So far, over 3,500 businesses around the world have become certified as B Corps, and among those are more than 30 consulting firms. However, with the sector facing increasing criticism on grounds of ethics and sustainability, many experts suggest the rate of uptake among professional services firms is not fast enough.

Kin + Carta becomes first B Corp accredited LSE business

Perhaps indicating a sea-change in the industry, though, digital transformation consultancy Kin + Carta has announced it is the latest firm to become B Corp certified. But unlike the other firms to join the scheme, this is a different milestone. The joining of Kin + carta sees the first publicly-traded business on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) gain the accreditation – amid a select group of just 16 publicly traded B Corps to become fully certified globally.

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, remarked, “The announcement from Kin + Carta as the first business on the London Stock Exchange to achieve global B Corp Certification marks a huge milestone in our journey, particularly because shareholders voted to prioritise stakeholder value over shareholder value. This is the start of a growing trend in UK PLCs, shifting perceptions of what defines value, we very much welcome and support others looking to do the same.” 

Changing industry

Originally a printing business based in St Ives, Kin + Carta has offices across the UK, Europe, the US, South America, and Asia, and a global team of some 1,500 technologists, strategists and creatives. The firm has spent recent times undergoing an ambitious transformation programme to become a digital marketing business. This transformation also extends to its sustainability aims.

“The culture of business is changing, and success today should not be defined by profit alone,” said  J Schwan, CEO, Kin + Carta, following shareholder and client endorsement to pursue the certification. In a resounding endorsement, 99% of shareholders voted to pursue the B Corp path. 

Schwan added, “Kin + Carta’s mission is to build a world that works better for everyone, and today this goal has been validated against the very highest standards. Our bottom line is not just about profit; it’s about people and the planet too. We’re motivated by a desire to place value in action over words, and build a successful business that gives back to the world in which it operates.” 

B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, and represent a growing ambition to recalibrate the existing economic system. Kin + Carta exceeded the B Corp requirements across governance, workers, community, environment and customers as assessed through a rigorous independent verification process – the latest part of what the firm calls its “responsible business journey”. It has spent the last three years improving its operations and proposition to ensure positive impact across all areas. 

John Kerr, Chairman of Kin + Carta, concluded, “All of this has been driven by a number of highly motivated people, but achieved by our Kin globally, all of whom have been dedicated to making it happen… I’m incredibly honoured to be able to announce that Kin + Carta is the first business on the London Stock Exchange to achieve global B Corp Certification and I look forward to what the future holds for the Group.”