June 2023 Update:
While we continue to support the Good Business Charter, and enjoyed being a part of this community for a year in 2022, unfortunately we didn’t have the time to properly contribute to the community so we are no longer members.
Original post below:
The Good Business Charter is a simple accreditation that organisations in the UK can sign up to in recognition of responsible business practices.
Isn’t it only for big businesses?
Until recently, only larger organisations could sign up for this accreditation. However, a streamlined version of the accreditation was launched in January 2021, making it accessible to organisations with 50 employees or less – like us!
Why sign up?
The Good Business Charter (GBC) measures behaviour over 10 components (9 for charities or public sector organisations as they do not have the same tax commitments), against which companies must meet commitments in order to gain accreditation. There is no scoring system – organisations signing up must meet all the criteria, in order to be GBC accredited.
The 10 components of GBC accreditation are:
- A real living wage
- Fair hours and contracts
- Employee well-being
- Employee representation
- Diversity and inclusion
- Environmental responsibility
- Pay fair tax
- Commitment to customers
- Ethical sourcing
- Prompt payment to suppliers
Many of the above criteria we already have extensive data on as part of our commitment to our B Corp certification, for which we work hard year on year to improve our score, so that we can be sure that we are always doing our best to prioritise people and planet.
However, there are elements of the GBC not specifically covered by the B Corp Impact assessment, such as paying fair tax and prompt payment to suppliers – although we would assume a B Corp company would do all of these things!
Isn’t it too much paperwork?
Many smaller businesses especially, may be put off applying for other responsible business accreditations because of the onerous amount of paperwork needed but the GBC is not one of these.
The process for accreditation is a straightforward online self-certification – kept to 10 simple questions relating to the 10 components – so as to inspire as many businesses as possible to sign up.
Its simplicity shouldn’t attract those who want to ‘greenwash’ their company credentials though, as you must be able to demonstrate your commitment to the 10 components.