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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Cogan

This Way Forward: Our Journey as a B Corp Certified Company

As the world celebrates B Corp Month, Otonomee celebrates six months as a B Corp


As an international service company, with 120 employees and a growth trajectory on our horizon, it was an ambitious challenge to gain certification. B Corp certification takes time and effort to achieve, it is a rigorous assessment across all areas of your business footprint and performance. 


We achieved certification in September 2023, with both our corporate entities in Ireland and in Portugal.  


At the recent B Lab Ireland Event in Dublin, Meet the B Corps: Businesses Balancing Profit & Purpose, our Co-Founder and CEO Aidan O’Shea summed up what being a B Corp meant to him:  


“B Corp is an opportunity for ambitious leaders who want their business to make a positive impact. It is good for the people, for the planet, and for business, and we have witnessed first-hand the many benefits being realised by being a B Corp.” 


At Otonomee we're always moving forward. Women looking at green lush mountains with a map.


B Corp Benefits 


B Corp Benefits experienced by Otonomee have been dually internal and external; they include: 


  • For early stage, growing businesses it provides a valuable framework for what good looks likes, across many areas of business; employee experience, customer engagement, community involvement, transparency and compliance. 

  • Huge benefits for employee attraction and opportunities for employee engagement. 

  • Building trust with customers. Validating your approach with an internationally proven, accredited standard. 

  • Meeting requirements for tendering with larger companies who have sustainability on their agenda. 

  • Positive impact on culture as you will attract like-minded individuals who share your values. 

  • As a remote first company, with team members spread throughout Ireland, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira and Bulgaria, we need to create impact differently and we are up for the challenge.  

  • We are part of a global community of like-minded people striving for a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy – we believe B Corp will allow us to achieve more together than we can do alone. 



Where did our B Corp journey start and how it has evolved?  


Becoming a B Corp was a natural choice that aligned with why Otonomee was founded.  


Otonomee is a purpose driven company and it was founded with 3 Pillars at its core – People, Partners and Community. We first came across the B Corp movement in 2021 and we set out on this journey two years ago with a clear goal in mind: to use our business as a Force for Good.  


We believed that our purpose built, fully remote working model (disrupting the traditional BPO ways of working) would allow us to deliver greater impact in the communities in which we live.  


Our remote first, geo-friendly model demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and inclusivity and differentiate us from the service industry that typically operates in a very traditional “Big city, Big Building” model. By giving people the freedom to choose where they work and live, we make the industry more accessible, more diverse and ensure a better employee experience.  


Our distributed team means that we can create impact on the ground as well as at a company level. In today’s environment, every impact counts.   It wasn't just about getting certified. It was about matching our values to our actions and having a positive impact on society and the environment. We also felt that our different operating model facilitated a greater impact across communities. 


B Corp connects us with a global community of like-minded change makers, striving for a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.  


In a fragmented world we believe that the worlds environmental and social challenges can no longer only be solved by governments and non-profits alone – we can create impact and change; As a global force of over 8,500 B Corps we have the power to keep conversations current, to work together with other B Corps…to tap into a community force that will allow us achieve more than what we could hope to achieve on our own. 



Our Ambitions Moving Forward 


Our journey as a B Corp has been an educational experience full of valuable insights and lessons. As we continue to evolve and grow, we remain committed to staying true to our mission and driving positive change in the world.

  

Here are some important steps we're taking to continue moving forward: 


1. Growing our Giving Strategy and (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility) “DEI&A” Efforts 


As a remote first company, with team members spread throughout Ireland, Portugal, the Azore, Madeira and Bulgaria, we need to create impact differently and we are up for the challenge.  


We believe that our remote first model is not just better for our team members but better for the world and the many local communities that our teams live in.   


Our Giving strategy has a focus on Local impacts AND Global impacts.  


We want to make an impact in the communities where our team members live as well as impacting global causes that need our support.   


We believe that Business like Life is better with choice and we know that Meaningful Work happens where People Find Meaning and that our model boosts local communities but also creates community on a global level as we as employees share our stories and ‘Build Personal Connection’ daily.  


We utilise our partnership with B1G1, Open Doors and our B Corp certification to make impacts on a global level whilst using local partnerships and our team members connections and ideas to impact local communities.   


Otonomee has partnered with B1G1 to allow us to support causes at a global level and have the peace of mind that our efforts, time and financial contributions were going directly to the causes that needed them. B1G1 is a ‘Platform for Good’ that that enables us to integrate impact into our business and create inspiring giving stories so that we can positively impact lives every day. B1G1 gives us the ability to be choose and measure our impacts. As a partner in the Global Business initiative, B1G1, we get to contribute to an array of hight impact projects around the world. 


The Open Doors initiative provides opportunities for some of the marginalised members of our society. They create pathways to work through training, education, employment and entrepreneurship. 



2. Strengthening our Sustainability Efforts 


We're expanding our overall Environmental Sustainability initiatives at Otonomee, with a special focus on energy consumption, water consumption and food waste. We will collaborate not only internally, but also with third parties, to collect, analyse and report on data about our current environmental footprint, as well as develop an action plan to actively reduce our negative impact on the environment.  


We are working to further educate ourselves on this topic, and two of our team members have recently participated in a Sustainability in Practice for Business course at University College Cork. 


We intend to share this knowledge and resources with all our team members through awareness initiatives, as well as to implement ongoing active campaigns that result in tangible improvements.  


By giving our employees the knowledge and resources to implement new practices we aim to reduce our environmental footprint and promote a more sustainable world. 

 


3. Engaging Stakeholders 


We are involving stakeholders at all levels of our business to ensure that our B Corp journey is collaborative and inclusive. Everyone on our leadership team, Board of Directors, as well as our employees and partners, contributes significantly to our impact.  Holding key conversations at the highest level on these topics, show exactly the commitment to creating a positive impact that Founders, Directors and wider Stakeholders have.  

 


4. Keep Moving Forward  


We are committed to a culture of continuous learning and improvement, using feedback and data, insights and analytics to fine-tune our strategies and practices. B Corp certification demands continuous improvement and the preparation for re-certification starts now!  



Our Ambitions moving forward. 1 Growing giving strategy and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility 2. Sustainability 3. Stakeholders 4. Keep moving forward.


How do we embed B Corp in Otonomee – we have a group of team members called “B Corp Squad” 


Our B Corp Squad, a dedicated group of employees from across the business who championed our B Corp goals and actions, were at the heart of our B Corp journey. Their contribution ensured that B Corp certification was a collaborative effort, reflecting our company's overall commitment to driving positive change. 


The B Corp Squad are invaluable ambassadors for our efforts throughout the business. To celebrate B Corp Month, we asked some of its members what working for a B Corp certified company means to them. Here is what Angelica De Sousa had to say:  


“Working for a company that follows B Corp values and standards is making the choice to work towards goals that follow said values and go beyond profit. When in doubt, we will strive to find answers together and work towards meaningful solutions. Above all, that means that in a difficult situation, we need to follow the path that will benefit the employees, their communities, and our environment.” 

 

As we reflect on our journey as a B Corp certified company, we're proud of the opportunity to be a part of a global movement that promotes positive change. The theme "This Way Forward" describes our mindset as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead. With our dedicated team, supportive stakeholders, and firm commitment to purpose-driven business, we are confident that the path ahead will be one of growth, impact, and possibility.  


 

At Otonomee, we provide people and technology solutions to help you move into new markets, grow your customer base and deliver stand out customer experience.


Want to read more? Visit Otonomee.com, learn about our outsourced solutions, our approach and how we will support you in championing growth and scale.


Why not Connect with Us  - drop us a line and let’s talk!

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