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Building purpose and impact: B CorpTM certification journey in the South West

Building purpose and impact: B CorpTM certification journey in the South West


Stephens Scown marks one year as a B CorpTM

In a milestone celebration of its first anniversary as a B CorpTM certified entity, Stephens Scown, a prominent South West law firm, stands at the forefront of a growing community dedicated to balancing people, planet, and profit. As part of the B CorpTM Month festivities in March, the firm reflects on its journey and outlines ambitious goals for the upcoming year to reinforce its commitment to purpose and impact.

The essence of being a B CorpTM lies in the acknowledgment that the pursuit of balance is a continuous journey rather than a static destination. Stephens Scown has embraced this ethos, establishing a comprehensive set of goals for 2023/2024. These objectives span five crucial assessment areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers, with the firm already achieving some key milestones and others in its sight.

Verity Slater, the Board partner instrumental in securing Stephens Scown's B CorpTM accreditation, emphasises the significance of this achievement. Slater, recently nominated as a Legal 500 ESG Private Practice Champion, notes that the accreditation process was challenging but instrumental in instilling the importance of aligning practices with B CorpTM principles throughout the firm.

Great Governance: As an employee-owned firm, Stephens Scown places a strong emphasis on governance. To further enhance this aspect, the firm aims to incorporate social and environmental goals in formal performance evaluations, introduce an annual conflict of interest questionnaire for Board members, and enhance transparency by publishing the Board of Directors on its website.

People-powered: The firm, already excelling in its people-related goals, continues to improve its green pension scheme and conducts annual employee satisfaction surveys. The positive results, with a 96% 'happy at work' score and 99% satisfaction in the firm's management, highlight the success of their efforts. The firm is once again participating in the Sunday Times employee satisfaction survey, vying for a spot on the prestigious list of the UK's Best Places to Work in June 2024.

In the Community: Community engagement forms a significant part of Stephens Scown's impact goals. With a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI), the firm plans to enhance data through the EDI survey, set diversity improvement goals, increase employee volunteering, screen suppliers for social and environmental impact, and undertake at least eight pro bono projects.

Environment Goals: With a 2025 Net Sero target, Stephens Scown is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. Goals include making the new Taunton office environmentally friendly, measuring its Scope 3 carbon footprint more accurately, preparing a plan for further carbon reduction, reducing its carbon footprint by at least 2.5%, and reviewing its cloud storage provider's carbon reduction plan.

Client Focus: Maintaining a commitment to client experience, the firm integrates B CorpTM values into its service delivery. A team of B CorpTM Champions supports clients on sustainability journeys, emphasising innovation and enthusiasm across the firm. Verity Slater expresses confidence in the firm's position, with B CorpTM Champions driving sustainability and propelling the firm forward on its B CorpTM journey. As Stephens Scown continues to pioneer purpose-driven initiatives, its impact resonates far beyond legal realms, inspiring a community of businesses to contribute positively to society.

Lexis+ AI