Working for a B corporation is a highlight for many Uplighters. Every three years, Uplight has to recertify as a B corporation, and we’re excited to announce that Uplight completed our recertification on March 31, 2023! This extensive process ensures that B corps continue to demonstrate high social and environmental performance. For more information about our B corp journey, check out the blog post: Uplight and the B Corp Certification Process.
Nate Stein, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, talks about the results of our recertification and what it means for Uplight.
Uplight improved our score by 35.4% compared to our original certification in 2019. That’s an impressive increase. How did Uplight do this?
There were a few reasons for the increase. First, we changed our track category to be better aligned with the type of business Uplight is. This meant that the questions were more relevant to how we operated. This was demonstrated in our answers on the B Impact Assessment and performance overall.
Secondly, we are a more mature business, and this is reflected in our score. We completed our initial certification only months after the formation of the company. Now, we’ve had three years to make lasting changes to operations. It’s been truly a collaborative effort as employees across the business have worked to help maximize our positive impact on the community and environment while working together to minimize our negative impact.
Where did Uplight shine during the recertification? What areas did we do well in?
Compared to fellow B Corps in our country, sector, and size range Uplight performed well in all five categories (Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers). We made significant strides in both the Workers and Community sections, increasing our score by 60% (12.2 points) and 122% (11 points), respectively.
The Workers section covers topics around the treatment of employees including financial security, health & wellness, career development, and engagement & satisfaction. Two areas that Uplight significantly improved upon from the initial certification in 2019 were financial security and health & wellness.
The Community section covers a broad range of topics including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), economic impact, civic engagement & giving, and supply chain management. The greatest area of improvement in the Community section came via improvements in our DEI initiatives.
What did you learn from the recertification process?
I learned what an incredible team effort is needed to accomplish the (re)certification. This was a herculean lift and it truly wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work, patience, and passion of the subject matter experts across the business. Answering 176 unique questions on topics that span the entirety of the business and then providing extensive supporting documentation to substantiate our answers for close to a third of those questions is not possible without the support of colleagues across the business and it’s important to recognize the value that everyone involved provided.
What areas is Uplight looking to improve for the next recertification in 3 years?
Four areas we are actively looking to improve upon are our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, the diversity and mission alignment of our suppliers, our volunteering program, and our own operational environmental footprint.
How have Uplighters reacted to the news?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. As a company, all of our employees have a lot to be proud of. The work that everyone has done has played a significant part in the successful recertification and the substantial increase in our score. I’ve seen a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, especially from the subject matter experts across the business who were involved in the recertification process. My goal is to continue to get more people throughout the company involved so they can feel even more connected to our mission and purpose.
How are you building momentum to further improve as a B corp and integrate B corp values within our culture?
In my eyes, this is merely just the beginning. While I am thrilled that we’ve made such significant improvements from our initial certification I truly believe that we shouldn’t be content, but rather strive for continuous improvement. I think that this is an incredible foundation to build from and am excited to see what we can incorporate over the next three years as we prepare for our next recertification in 2025.
Between now and then we are working on further educating and engaging our employees around our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. We are also starting a B Corp Guild where employees across the business who are passionate about this work can get involved. Together we will identify key areas of opportunity throughout the business and work together to incorporate these changes to maximize our positive impact while working to mitigate any negative impact we have.