30th Jun 2021 by Henry Findlater

MASECO’s Journey of Balancing Purpose and Profit – What does it mean to be B Corp certified?

B corporation

In 2013 MASECO became the UK's first financial services firm to become a certified B Corporation. Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit and considers the impact of their decisions on their workers, clients, suppliers, community and the environment. Here at MASECO, we are proud to be part of the B Corp movement and in this blog, we explore our journey to becoming a certified B Corporation and what it means to align with the B Corp status.


In 2013 we became the UK's first financial services firm to become a certified B Corporation.

Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit and considers the impact of their decisions on their workers, clients, suppliers, community and the environment.


Back in 2010, when MASECO was just over a year old, Barry Martin, an old friend of co-founder Josh Matthews, introduced the concept of the B Corporation to the MASECO team. After a few years of re-shaping the business, MASECO went on to become one of the first to join the movement in the UK and was the first B-Corp in the Financial Services sector in the country.

B Corp put simply is a breed of companies working for more than profit. MASECO is aligned with the B Corp status and aims to continue to drive forwards the movement of being a force for good. Obtaining B Corp status means taking CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to the next level and is redefining what success looks like for a business beyond the traditional notion of pure profitability.

What is a B Corp?

The B in B Corp is open to interpretation and is originally derived from the term “benefit corporation” a type of US Corporate structure. B can also mean “better” – so “better corporation” – which is what companies with B Corp status are aiming to be. The outcomes that the B Corp community are striving for are - reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs.

In practice B Corp companies are not only striving to achieve profit, but for the betterment, enhancement and preservation of the world around them. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. By harnessing the power of business, they use profits and growth to create a positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. This is where gaining B Corp status takes delivering CSR plans and strategies one step further – it is a company’s willingness to be held to account in terms of the positive impact the business is making on their stakeholders and wider communities.

The B Corp movement began in the US and has now spread to over 60 countries around the world. The initiative was launched in the UK in 2015 and includes many household names: JoJo Maman Bebe, Innocent Drinks, change.org and Alpro to name but a few. Since 2018 the volume of companies considering whether to become B Corp certified has grown, particularly in consumer-oriented sectors and this can have a material impact on brand equity and overall appeal.

B Corp certification (assessed by B Lab – the independent, not-for-profit organisation behind the movement) is given to for-profit organisations who achieve at least a minimum score against a set of social and environmental standards. Certified status is awarded to businesses that meet very high standards in social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Points are allocated in response to an online survey and telephone interview. The self-assessed survey focusses on five key areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.

There is no doubt that adopting a B Corp approach is the right thing to do for any business that is serious about social and economic issues, as well as wanting to have a positive impact not only today but on creating a better tomorrow. However, there should be no shame in stating that being a responsible B Corp organisation is also good for business. Today’s younger generation are tomorrow’s customers. Their attitudes towards business highlights a strong preference for organisations that operate in a fair, ethical and responsible manner with a genuine focus on social and economic improvement. Being a pro-profit, pro-society, pro-environment business does not mean these factors having to be at odds with each other. B Corp certification allows businesses to achieve all of these.

However, being a B Corp is more than just a badge – it’s a clear sign to all stakeholders, both internal and external, that your business is in order, and that you are an ethical enterprise. Certifying as a B Corp is a true test of business mettle – showing MASECO as a business that is fully transparent, accountable and profitable. Gaining B Corp status means that you are committed to treating people, communities, and the environment as they should be treated: respectfully, sustainably and ethically.  It is also about showing more than just a keen sense of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) but proving this via credible means that can be trusted.

Here at MASECO we are proud to be part of the B Corp movement.

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