In May this year, we received the news that we’d been working towards for a long time: that Uncommon is now officially B Corp certified. This means that we’ve joined the 6,000 companies worldwide who believe that business can be a force for good; who are committed to doing everything they can to prioritise people, communities, and the planet through our work.
Below, we’ll dig into why this is so important to us, what about Uncommon makes us worthy of the accreditation, and what the news means for everyone around us—from our clients to our team.
First things first: what exactly is B Corp certification?
Certified B Corporations (aka B Corps) are companies verified by B Lab to meet “high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability”. The idea is that governments and nonprofits can’t solve the world’s most challenging problems alone—businesses can (and need to) play their part, too. By applying this mentality to every aspect of their operations, B Corps commit to creating a better world.
Why Uncommon decided to become a B Corp
Our ambitions are big: we want to create truly sustainable environments for our members, team, and partners to thrive in. That incorporates every part of our operations, from reducing our physical spaces’ impact on the environment to collaborating with ethical suppliers and prioritising diversity, opportunities, and the well-being of our people.
So, even though becoming B Corp certified is a rigorous and time-consuming process (most companies don’t pass, especially not the first time around), it also directly aligns with our overall mission at Uncommon—making it something we knew we had to prioritise.
Joining the B Corp community means we’re pushing ourselves to meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact in everything we do. It clarifies what we aim to achieve in the long run and ensures we’re held accountable along the way. And it means we can lead by example, encouraging others to reflect on how they operate themselves—so the momentum keeps building.
Uncommon’s journey to B Corp status
To become a B Corp-certified workspace provider, we first had to complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA): a detailed evaluation of our impact on workers, suppliers, the community, and the environment.
For Uncommon, this involved sharing insights into:
- How our company is managed and structured, and how much we prioritise social and environmental responsibility in our mission and decision-making.
- How we look after our team, including their financial security, health and safety, wellness, career development, and engagement and satisfaction.
- How we impact and engage with the communities we’re a part of, hiring and sourcing locally, with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Our environmental management practices and how they impact air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity.
- How we build relationships with customers through the quality of what we offer, ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and opportunities to give feedback.
When a company’s BIA score is 80+ points, the relevant documents have been submitted, B Lab has reviewed the assessment, and they’re satisfied with what they’ve seen…a company can finally call itself a B Corp.
A continuous process
Of course, getting the certification is just the beginning. There’s a new assessment every three years, and it’s all about continuous improvement between now and the next. We’ve made a fantastic start with a score of 98.2, but now it’s time to build on the work we’ve done so far. The higher we set our standards here at Uncommon, the more influential we can be in the wider industry.
Uncommon’s ESG strategy
We’ve already got a clear idea of how we want to do this. In mid-2022, we launched our ESG strategy, which lays out our 5-year plan across five main areas of focus: climate, sustainability, suppliers, our people, and our members. While we’ve already made significant progress, we still want to do more.
Improving our climate impact
Our goal is to be an entirely carbon-negative business, removing more emissions than we have released from when we were founded to today and for all future years. As part of this, we’ve already reduced our Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 25.36%, and 100% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. We’ve also achieved PAS 2060 carbon neutrality for 2016-2021, and our net zero strategy is on track for 2027.
Working in more sustainable buildings
The nature of our business means that our buildings are at the core of what we do. That’s why we’re striving to achieve an EPC rating of B or above for all our buildings by 2027 and to provide members with low-carbon options by offering carbon-neutral desks in all our buildings. We’re also actively developing criteria for sourcing more sustainable and circular products across our business, and our circular economy strategy is set to be launched in Q3 of this year.
Collaborating with ethical suppliers
Our impact extends far beyond our own operations, so we’re committed to including our suppliers as a guiding focus in our strategy. As part of this, we’ve developed a comprehensive supplier code of conduct, which we’re rolling out through workshops, assessments, and more, with a view to ensuring full compliance by 2025.
Promoting diversity, opportunities and the well-being of our people
We’d be nothing without our amazing team—which is why we want to create a culture of inclusivity, diversity, equality, openness, and support. This work includes conducting DE&I training for all team members and giving all employees access to individualised and personally relevant programmes to support their mental, physical, and financial well-being.
Support our members to create a positive impact
We know that sustainability is also important for our members and their companies, so this forms the fifth key pillar of our ESG strategy. Amongst many other things, we’ve been actively engaging our members on climate action and aim to provide all the guidance, knowledge, and tools we can to support them on their ESG journeys.
Check out our sustainability report for a more in-depth view of Uncommon’s ESG strategy and our progress.
Benefits of choosing a B Corp workspace provider
Being B Corp certified is something that will have a positive impact on everyone in our ecosystem, and that includes our members. And by making Uncommon your workspace of choice, you’ll reap the rewards from day one.
The work we’ve done to gain B Corp status isn’t just hypothetical—it’s designed to have a tangible impact on every part of our operations, from being looked after by an on-site team who are happy, healthy, and motivated, to being able to count on our commitment to accountability and transparency, you’ll feel the benefits in every part of the Uncommon experience.
For another, you’ll know that you’re part of something bigger. You’ll be aligning yourself with a company committed to positively impacting society and the environment, as well as joining a like-minded community of individuals and organisations that share your values.
And if you’re looking to become a B Corp yourself, having Uncommon as your landlord or business partner can be hugely valuable. A core part of our ESG strategy is to provide our members with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve their ESG goals—and by working together, our combined efforts will genuinely rocket our impact.
Other UK-based B Corps to partner with
Partnering with B Corps doesn’t have to stop at your choice of workspace—by working with other companies who prioritise people and the planet over profit, we can all support and strengthen the broader B Corps ecosystem. Below, you’ll find five other inspirational companies you may like to consider partnering with:
Global Employment – B Corp certified since May 2023
Oyster is a global employment platform that aims to create an equal world of work by enabling companies to hire, pay, and provide benefits to international talent. They believe distributing work opportunities can positively impact people, communities, local economies, and the environment.
Workplace Inclusion – B Corp certified since April 2023
Cognassist is a neuro-inclusion SaaS platform revolutionising how organisations approach workplace inclusion in the UK. Through certified training programmes, resources, and data-driven insights, they help companies foster a neuro-inclusive culture, promoting diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging.
Carbon Management – B Corp certified since January 2019
Operating in 12 countries across Europe and Australasia, Cogo provides carbon footprint management products that enable individuals and businesses to measure, understand, and reduce their impact on the climate—with a view to creating a fairer and more sustainable world for everyone.
Equity Crowdfunding – B Corp certified since November 2022
Crowdcube is an equity crowdfunding platform that connects investors with businesses seeking funding. Their mission is to make equity investment accessible, allowing individuals to support and benefit from the companies they love while helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life by harnessing support from customers, investors, friends, and fans.
Social Media – B Corp certified since August 2022
Born Social is a global social media agency prioritising social-first thinking for future brands. With a team of over 100 spread across multiple cities, they embrace remote and hybrid work models while demonstrating a solid commitment to people and the planet as much as profit. Their initiatives include an Inclusion, Diversity & Representation team, mental health support, and ‘giving back one day to the world’.