Back to Blog

Abatable is now a Certified B Corporation! Interview with Valerio Magliulo

Published: 31 Aug 2023
Last updated: 6 Sep 2023

Abatable is very proud to announce it is now a Certified B Corporation, achieving a score of 95.6 after going through the B impact verification process. A score of 80 or above is required to qualify for certification, and the median score for ordinary businesses that complete the assessment is 50.9.

Becoming B Corp Certified means Abatable now belongs to a community of businesses leading the transformation of the global economic system. Abatable has been verified as meeting B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact and has made a legal commitment to stakeholder governance.

The recognition is a significant milestone in Abatable’s evolution, achieved less than two years after the company was created. CEO and Co-founder Valerio Magliulo explains what the accolade means for Abatable and its future.

How did Abatable become B Corp Certified in such a short time?
VM: We set our eyes on becoming a Certified B Corporation as soon as we started Abatable. In a lot of ways it’s in the DNA of the company, not just in terms of our mission to empower every organisation to build a thriving future for climate, nature and people but also in terms of how we want to do business.

There are many certifications out there but the B Corp movement really speaks to our values and what matters to us: from day one we built the company thinking about maximising value for all our stakeholders. That is reflected in our mission statement and company values – particularly those focused on transparency, collaboration and partnership.

This made things easier when it came to certification as many of our normal ways of operating satisfied the criteria. Having said that, it was a fairly rigorous and thorough process that involved a lot of data collection and us asking ourselves tough questions. We decided not to go down the more light-touch “pre-verification” path that is typical for many organisations at similar stages of maturity, instead opting for full verification to reflect our commitment.

In April we acquired Ecosphere+, a fantastic company and brand that was already B Corp Certified. This was long after we had begun our own verification process, a sign that our organisations were fully aligned on how we wanted to run our businesses.

What processes and initiatives have been implemented internally to achieve the status?
VM: As described above, we were already able to meet a lot of the criteria based on how we set up the business and our operations.

Our decision to proceed with the certification coincided with us growing substantially as a company in terms of our headcount and business, and so it was fortuitous we were able to look to B Corp for best practice guidance when we were concurrently having to implement new policies to cater for a larger organisation.

These included evolving our code of conduct, setting up a more structured monitoring and reporting system for employee and customer satisfaction, and implementing a better assessment and review process within our career development framework.

In hindsight, we did set ourselves up for a double challenge – rapidly growing our business while developing conscious practices and processes – but that is a reflection of the commitment and vision Maria [Eugenia Filmanovic – Abatable Co-founder] and I have for the type of company we want to build.

B Corps put in place policies and processes that take into account all stakeholders

What role do you think the B Corp movement should play in the business world?
VM: It’s very easy when starting a company operating in the climate space to see that our current economic system is not fit for purpose. Simply pursuing profit without accounting for the externalities involved in doing business is already resulting in some very real environmental consequences. To paraphrase Lord Nicholas Stern, climate change represents the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.

And we’re not just talking about emissions, right? We are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis, and there are deep inequalities in society that climate change is set to exacerbate further.

So if we are to fix all these things, companies acting as a force for good and becoming purpose-driven needs to become the new norm. This means operating for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. The B Corp movement should be the standard way of doing business. 

I think the tide is shifting. It is becoming increasingly unviable from a reputational perspective for businesses to not demonstrate they are operating in a conscious manner. Pressure from stakeholders and emerging disclosure regulations and standards mean larger firms have to become more transparent about their impact, and this in turn will filter down to their suppliers, their customers and every single stakeholder.

What were the learnings from going through the B Corp process and how will they inform how Abatable operates in the future?
VM: Even though we were happy with our score and proud of completing the process so quickly, going through the certification highlighted a number of areas where we can improve things, and there is still work to do. Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a continuous journey, not an end state, and so it offers a valuable framework to guide the processes and guidelines we will continue to put in place to achieve our mission in a more sustainable and conscious way.

We believe our work in the voluntary carbon market has a significant positive environmental impact, and the nature of our hybrid working practices means that our environmental footprint is small. However, just because our direct impact is relatively minor it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to reduce it even further and “walk the talk” with our own clients. We will soon begin developing our net-zero strategy and take iterative actions towards it in the coming year.

Diversity is another important area of focus for us. We have already achieved some preliminary goals we set internally, particularly when it comes to gender diversity. We have 40% female representation at the board level, 67% at the executive level and 55% across our entire team. However, we’ve still got some work to do to bring more varied perspectives to our team, race being an area in which we still have to make progress.

In terms of how we operate, I think continually striving for better as a Certified B Corporation will make Abatable not just a more conscious business but also improve the resiliency of the company in a world that is rapidly changing.

Hopefully it will also demonstrate to our various stakeholders that we are a company that takes these things seriously, giving them the confidence to work with us as a trusted and responsible partner.

Get in touch

Contact us