UrbanVolt Becomes A B Corp Business

27 Aug 2018 | 10.20 am

UrbanVolt Becomes A B Corp Business

LED lighting firm certified for using business as a force for good

27 Aug 2018 | 10.20 am

Dublin-based lighting company UrbanVolt has become the first Irish company to be accorded B Corp status for its socially and environmentally friendly business practices.

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet its standards of social and environmental performance, governance, accountability and transparency. There are only 2,600 of them in total, spread across 60 countries and over 150 industries.

UrbanVolt joins other B Corp companies such as outdoor clothing company Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and Danone North America, the largest B Corp company in the world.

Established in 2015, UrbanVolt helps businesses to switch to LED lighting in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs.

UrbanVolt pioneered the ‘light as a service’ model, whereby it picks up the capital cost for a business client of installing the LED lights. A proportion of the energy saving is then paid to UrbanVolt as a service charge for the first five years, during which time UrbanVolt also maintains the lights.

As a result of undergoing the B Corp process, UrbanVolt has changed its constitution and is eliminating plastic from its packaging from next month.

Edel Kennedy, head of marketing at UrbanVolt, said the company had been inspired by Patagonia’s example to pursue the B Corp certification.

“Businesses have to make money to survive, that’s a given. But that’s not enough anymore,” she added.

“You have to use the power of business to do good and influence positive change in the world, especially when it comes to the environment.

“You only have to look at the weather extremes which are happening around the globe which shows we all need to take action. That’s why we engaged with the B Corp process and are delighted to become the first company in Ireland to be certified.”

Kennedy said she would recommend B Corp to other Irish companies if they are truly mission-driven.

“This isn’t for the faint-hearted. There is a huge level of due diligence and as a result, a huge level of commitment is required from all your stakeholders. And that’s how it should be. That’s how you learn.

“There are over 400 detailed questions which must be answered, while the process takes up to six months. Your application is also peer-reviewed by existing B Corp members who must approve your application.”

 

Photo (l-r): Edel Kennedy, Fiona Cairns and Maura Ryan, UrbanVolt (Pic: Naoise Culhane)

 

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