It's official — we're a B Corp
As Pluto's co-founders, we are incredibly proud to announce that Pluto is now a Certified B Corporation.
We're joining over 3,900 companies that are using business for good. Joining the ranks of some of the more well known certified companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Innocent drinks and even tech companies like WeTransfer.
For us as founders, this symbolises and formalises our commitment to building a company that has a positive impact on the world. A company that considers all of our stakeholders — from customers to suppliers to shareholders — and balances people and the planet alongside profit. We want to have a positive impact on the world that we're in.
Since we started Pluto, it’s always been about more than making money. We set out to have a positive impact on travellers, local communities and the environment. We've also always strived to have a strong ethical and moral backbone to all our decisions and the way we operate. Trying to not fall into the startup trap of doing whatever it takes and using the survive at all costs mentality to justify any actions.
This B Corp certification is the perfect way to guide us as we build our business. It holds us to incredibly high quality and transparency standards and importantly — pushes us to become better every year. And there are thousands of fellow B Corps to learn from, and lots of great resources to support us on our journey.
So, what is a B Corp?
The official definition, in their own words is:
Certified B Corps are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. There are more than 3,900 B Corps in 130 industries and 60 countries around the world.
Or put another way “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee”. Where B Corps are using their business for good and care deeply about the world they operate in.
It's worth busting the myth that B Corps are like charities, non-profit organisations or just small businesses. B Corps must be for-profit, first and foremost. And by being a B Corp you aren't discouraged from building a big, global and profitable business. If anything, it's encouraged, as you can have a bigger positive impact. And bigger profits can enable a more sustainable business. B Corps just agree to become successful whilst also taking care of the people and planet that they touch. They're considerate, progressive and just plain old good.
How do you become a B Corp?
The bar is exceptionally high to become a B Corp. We don't say this to make ourselves sound better, but it's worth recognising the standard at which B Corps must operate.
B Corps complete a rigorous assessment which is conducted by an independent organisation — B Lab — across 5 categories: governance, customers, workers, environment, and community. Companies that score more than 80 points (out of 200) are officially certified and, to ensure we all maintain our commitments, must be re-certified every three years. For context, WeTransfer has a score of 80.4, Patagonia 151.4 and Ben Jerry's 110. Naturally — the bigger the organisation — the harder it is to score well.
Pluto has a score of 93.4. Which is a brilliant starting point — but also leaves lots of room to do things even better. Our full transparency report will be published soon – watch this space. You can see our full transparency report here.
What makes Pluto a B Corp?
To bring our score to life a bit and to explain how Pluto does business differently. Here are a few parts of our business that we're particularly proud of:
- Being transparent — from when we started the company we've always wanted to share details about the business. How we're building the company, internal KPIs, team diversity, the challenges and the successes. We aim to publish a company update every month and a more detailed quarterly report, for shareholders and the general public. You can see our most recent update here.
- Treating our people well — like most companies, we want to create a place that people love to work at. But we want to go much further than most companies. So we aim to provide our employees with generous benefits and policies. Things like: everyone owning part of the company, health insurance, unlimited holidays, generous parental leave, a clear code of conduct with zero tolerance, flexible working hours and locations, and time and money for training and non-work personal development. This area is where we've improved the most over the last 12 months. This is timely and important because our team has also grown over this period and is set to grow even more over the next 12 months.
- Giving back — we continue to support causes important to our business and our values. This starts with our commitment to donate 10% of our gross profit, or 2% of our sales or £250 quarterly (whichever is greater) to The Travel Foundation. In addition, we support a number of charities and organisations that are focused on improving diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, like Color in Tech and Hustle Crew.
- An impactful product — We care deeply about the quality of our product, the impact it has on our customers and in delivering genuine value to those customers and users. Ensuring it isn't having any direct or indirect negative consequences for anyone or anything. Amongst other things, this is managed by strict quality control processes, feedback and complaint loops, generous refund policies and strong data privacy.
- Pursuing diversity, equality and inclusion — This is an area we've identified for improvement and focus over the next year. We need to improve the diversity of our team and to continue following processes and policies that ensure we have a positive DEI impact on our industry. These actions cover things like diversity targets, who produces our content, which users are interviewed in product research, the language and imagery we use internally and externally, and many other things.
It's hard to quantify how big an impact the certification process has had on our business. The B Corp philosophy was already perfectly aligned with our way of operating but the assessment process encouraged us to create policies, processes and quality standards that we may not have otherwise considered or put in place. This helped us to formalise our business philosophy and provides an actionable framework for growing our business.
We're looking forward to improving the business even further from where we are right now. And we couldn't be more excited to be part of a network of incredible companies that want to be successful and make the world a better place.
Thanks for reading.
Alex & Harry