As B Corp month comes to an end, Matter's COO and co-founder Emil Stigsgaard Fuglsang reflects on what it means for Matter to be a B Corp
What does the B-Impact assessment mean to you?
The B-Impact assessment puts impact front and centre, ahead of anything else, including financial considerations. This is important to us. At Matter, we believe that business and investors should put creating a positive social and environmental core which is reflected in the sustainability insights we provide. We are particularly proud of having achieved a B-Impact score of 92.1, with 80 being the requirement for qualifying as a B-Corp, and the median score for businesses being 50.9.
We also appreciate the holistic nature of the assessment. For us, the strength of the assessment lies in that it looks at a company’s impact on workers, community, environment, and customers. This allow us to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability in the way we at Matter understand it: A broad umbrella that encompasses a wide array of social and environmental concerns, that cannot be isolated from each other. Importantly, the application process also prompted important discussions about governance structures and accountability. It made us think about what kind of company Matter wants to be. We think these conversations are incredibly important, and the rigorous application process holds you to a high standard.
Why did you decide to become a B Corp?
Becoming a B Corp for us is about ensuring accountability and demonstrating that we practice what we preach. Being a B Corp reminds us why we do what we do. In providing sustainability insights to investors on the world’s biggest companies, we are trying to make capital accountable to people and planet and to understand and capture the externalities created by businesses. This means that we ourselves must be accountable to each other and practice what we preach. As a company constantly trying to develop cutting-edge ways of assessing sustainability, it is important that we ourselves hold us to high standards. Being a B Corp allows us to do this.
What does B Corp’s stakeholder approach mean to Matter?
The B Corp movement seeks to give a voice to stakeholders, not shareholders. We in Matter believe in democratising finance through a multi-stakeholder framework. When investors choose to give a voice to leading sustainability experts the investment process, they recognise that they are accountable to more than just the shareholders. They are accountable to planet and people. We therefore see the B Corp movement as an important step away from shareholder primacy towards a more sustainable way of governing corporations.
What would you say to corporations considering becoming a B Corp?
Get on it! Comparability is key within corporate social responsibility and sustainability and there is a desperate need for rigorous holistic certification of companies. The more widespread the B Corp movement becomes, the easier it will be for consumers to understand and access transparent information on a company’s sustainability profile. In a corporate world in need of greater standardisation and transparency on sustainability and social responsibility, B Lab shows the way forward. More B Corps will also lead to more pressure on policymakers to push for stronger regulation and transparency on sustainability.
It is incredibly important to us here in Matter to have been certified as a B Corp and we encourage all corporations to take the step and hold themselves accountable to people and planet.