We are proud to announce that UpSlide is now a Certified B Corporation.
In the wake of COP27, the world has been once again reminded of the urgency surrounding the present climate crisis. While governments have a clear responsibility to fight climate change, at UpSlide, we firmly believe that businesses should also strive to have a positive impact on our planet and its communities. That’s why we’re pleased to join a community of over 5,800 companies committed to building an inclusive and sustainable economic system for businesses across the planet.
We built UpSlide from a desire to help people work better. But along the way, we discovered that we could also make people’s lives better and positively impact not only our employees but our clients, stakeholders, and the communities around us.
Where did our B Corp journey begin?
When Antoine and I first met in 2009, before any talk about business models and plans, we discussed which core values would act as the pillars of our business. We both agreed that whatever we created would have to be useful, and that belief has driven our journey ever since. Not just to our clients – though that is important – but being useful to the world by creating durable prosperity for all.
From this seed grew our three core values, which we still uphold to this day: Excellence, Happiness at work, and Trust. At UpSlide, we are committed to doing good, whether it’s for our business, our clients, or for the planet. This commitment brings a sense of pride and fulfilment in the work we are doing, and I believe this leaves us all happier as a result. Most importantly, we trust our employees to make good decisions every day and in return, both our employees and our clients trust us to hold true to our promises. This, above all, has kept us honest and driven us to keep improving.
In 2018, increasing our positive impact became part of our strategic objectives. At our annual company seminar, we asked UpSliders to help us define our methodology for achieving this. That’s when our ambition to become a B Corp began. The B Corp Certification gave us the perfect way of measuring our positive impact by international standards, comparing our efforts to the likes of WeTransfer, Coutts, and Lombard Odier.
We are pleased to have passed the certification process first time with a score of 96.2, well clear of the minimum requirement of 80 points!
What have we learned on our B Corp journey?
The whole process took a significant amount of time – close to two years – and along the way, we’ve definitely learned a lot:
- Reflect and stay humble. Applying for B Corp status has been an exciting process, and it’s been great to affirm our efforts to have a positive impact. But, it’s also exposed some of our shortcomings and revealed areas for improvement. For example, as part of the B Corp Impact Assessment, there are questions relating to the community we work with. It made us think, “are we OK to work with just any company?” “Shouldn’t we be rewarding companies that share our goals of creating positive change?” It’s humbling to know that there is always still more that we can do.
- Formalize our processes. This can sometimes be a challenge, but creating formal processes and policies has helped us move forward as our numbers continue to grow, especially when it comes to things that seem commonplace to us. It seems obvious that we should be promoting parity and avoiding discrimination and bribery, though it is essential to put these in writing and make them clear policies for everyone.
- Listen to our team. Over the whole process, we have also learned how important it is to our employees that UpSlide has a positive impact on everything we do. It’s been interesting to see how the emphases change between offices. For example, in our Positive Impact Day 2022, we discovered that our London team is very committed to reducing emissions commuting to work, whereas our team in Paris is passionate about minimizing our workplace emissions by insulating our offices effectively. It is important to be open to new ideas, clarify and re-evaluate things, and use best-practice reporting. All of this has helped us broaden our horizons and define our roadmap to having a positive impact.
Our commitments as a B Corporation
It’s easy to read over this and think, “OK, this is great, but what are we going to achieve with this certification?” To uphold our B Corp Certification and increase our positive impact, we have already kicked off a number of initiatives. We started with some quick wins, like switching to reusable water bottles and cutting down on plastic. But as our team grew, so did our ambitions. In 2021 we conducted a formal audit of our carbon footprint to have a clearer picture of where we stood. Based on that, we were able to implement further initiatives for improvement:
Changing internal habits
We implemented a new travel policy to cut our global carbon footprint by 20%. As part of this, our European teams pledged to stop travelling by plane to our annual company seminar, which we now hold in France every year. We also spread awareness within UpSlide with regular internal knowledge sessions on our carbon footprint, ecological issues, global warming, and waste recycling.
Building our own UpSlide Paris Agreement
We aim to set a target for emissions per year in concrete numbers. These will be challenged by experts, such as Magellan Group, to keep us accountable going forward. Following this year’s Positive Impact Day, we have committed to reducing our employees’ carbon footprint by 5% year-on-year. Additionally, we are also investing in reduction projects which will be equivalent to our remaining emissions from 2024.
In the next few months, we will start allocating more resources and time toward improving our sustainability. Over the last few years, we have been splitting the responsibility amongst ourselves, but we are now looking to recruit a global coordinator whose job will be to help us improve our positive impact. We are also introducing a volunteering day so that all employees can dedicate one of their paid working days to helping NGOs.
Rewarding like-minded businesses
UpSlide also offers discounts for NGOs, other B Corporations, and companies with clear CSR plans. We hope this will help strengthen our bonds with like-minded corporations and help our collective push toward creating inclusive and sustainable business models that have a positive impact.
To see our full commitments toward having a positive impact, read our CSR report.
How can we be more than B Corp?
This whole process has been transformative for UpSlide, both present and future. We’ve had an excellent team working on the project across the company. A special thanks goes to Marguerite Ratier – co-founder of our sister company, IPH – for driving our journey to B Corp. This project wouldn’t have been possible the same without her!
We’ve also had to take a hard look at ourselves, and as a result, we’ve learned a lot along the way. For me, and for all of UpSlide, the B Corp Certification is not just a label but a motivation to keep improving. To renew our status in three years’ time with a higher score, we’ll need to push ourselves even further to improve our positive impact on our employees, our communities, and our planet.
We’ll be sharing updates as we continue on our journey as a B Corporation, so make sure to bookmark our Content Hub to stay in the loop.
If you would like to help us continue our positive impact journey, check out our Careers page to view our latest openings!