Mapping the B Corp movement in the UK

The quest for B Corp certification is becoming more popular among UK businesses, as leaders become increasingly conscious of their ability – and responsibility to positively impact people, society and the environment

The B Corp movement has grown rapidly in the UK. Founded in the US in 2006, B Lab, the company responsible for accreditation, began certifying UK companies in 2015. In its first year, B Lab UK registered fewer than 100 B Corps, but today the number of certified UK B Corps is more than 1,700 (of which Raconteur is one). And those B Corps come in all shapes and sizes, operate in more than 100 industries and can be found in every region of the UK. 

What ties these businesses together is a desire to put purpose alongside profit. Certification requires an assessment based on social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. There is also a legal requirement, which must be met by all companies, to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit by amending their Articles of Association. 

B Corp accreditation is most popular in the south of England. The London region alone accounts for nearly half of all UK B Corps (48%), while the South West and South East together account for another 28%.

But that’s not to say that B Corp certification is a non-issue in other regions of the country. There are nearly 150 B Corps spread across the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, while the Midlands and the East of England are home to more than 160 B Corps.

With 59 UK B Corps based north of the English border, Scotland accounts for more than half of the 105 UK B Corps outside England. Wales has 34, Northern Ireland has nine and the remaining three are based in the Channel Islands.

Bristol houses the most B Corps of any UK city outside of London. Manchester is next with 34, then Brighton with 21 and Bath with 19. Leeds (14) and Liverpool (11) are two more B Corp hubs in the north. 

Edinburgh (21) and Glasgow (15) together account for about three-fifths of Scotland’s 59 B Corps, while Cardiff (14) is home to about two-fifths of all Welsh B Corps.

In terms of size, UK B Corps are overwhelmingly small- to medium-sized businesses. Some 95% of UK B Corps have fewer than 250 employees and less than 1% have more than 1,000 employees.

The under-representation of larger companies and enterprises is a product of the logistics of B Lab’s assessment process. B Lab warns that the certification process can take much longer for large, complex organisations, which will naturally have less centralised visibility of each of the organisation’s many processes and operations, which must be assessed and verified to get accredited.

B Corps also come from a huge variety of industries. Consumer-focused industries like food and beverage, personal care and apparel are among the single most-popular industries for companies seeking B Corp certification, but most certified B Corps in the UK come from B2B industries, such as advertising and management consulting, science and technology, and investment services.

All data is sourced from in November 2023