Charity Bank is an independent ethical bank with a social purpose. It provides loans to charities and social enterprises on beneficial terms with the support of personal and organisational savers. Every single one of its shareholders is either a charitable trust, foundation or social purpose organisation. The bank does not operate a staff bonus scheme. The Chairman and board of Charity Bank are unpaid, giving their time voluntarily.
In 140-characters or less what does being a B Corporation mean for your organisation?
For Charity Bank, joining the B Corp movement was a no-brainer, a way to work together to raise the profile of ethical business.
What were the biggest internal barriers to achieving B Corp accreditation?
Internal barriers weren’t a major challenge for us as we were already set up along the lines of a B Corp. Charity Bank exists to make loans to charities and social enterprises and to help people invest their savings ethically. Since we were founded in 2002 our ambition has been to a build a bank with strong values and ethics, which uses money to better society: a bank that only works for good. The charitable objects in our Articles of Association set out our mission, which is closely aligned to the social and environmental ethos which B Corp advocates.
Will it change how you do business and/or who you do business with?
It won’t change how we do business but will help us raise awareness of the practice of banking for good. Accreditation has helped us promote the idea of positive screening in banking (only investing where people and communities benefit) within a wider community but hasn’t changed how we operate.
There are 3,571,105 companies in the UK and 61 B Corps – how do we reach the point where every company in the UK is B Corp-ready?
Awareness-raising, advocacy and certification are just some of the tools required for change. The presence and profile of the B Corp label will certainly help other businesses see that people look for ethically-sourced products, save with ethical banks, opt for companies with a moral compass and avoid those without ethics where they can.
As more companies begin to follow the logic that delivering quality and looking after the interests of the wider community in which they operate leads to business success and longevity, there could be some serious change on the horizon, albeit slow-burning. There is already evidence to this effect. As movements like B Corp grow, we’re optimistic that business as usual can become something much more positive.
Is corporate action commensurate with the environmental and social challenges we face, and responsibilities we have, as a one the world’s leading economies?
If you follow the money in the banking system you find that it ends up in some very unsavoury destinations. This is well documented. Because we all rely on the banking system we can end up tacitly supporting banks that are helping the arms trade, gambling and tobacco industries or investing in sectors where workers are exploited or environments damaged. From this perspective corporate action is severely out of touch with needs of our environment and communities across the globe. It is something ethical banks seek to address. Increasingly there are ways to move your money in support of an approach banking anchored by strong ethics.
Read about three other UK’s founding B Corporations
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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