Everything you need to know about the Good Business Charter

What is the Good Business Charter?

The Good Business Charter (GBC) is a simple accreditation scheme which provides a holistic solution to measuring responsible business behaviour and in particular being able to showcase your social impact as an organisation in a credible and meaningful way.

It covers 10 components, and an organisation must meet all 10 of these components to receive accreditation. This ensures clarity in what organisations have committed to, which is particularly important to give the general public confidence that a GBC accredited organisation is indeed a responsible organisation that cares for its employees, suppliers, customers and the planet, whilst paying its fair share of tax. Organisations of all sizes in the UK can apply for recognition of responsible business practices. In just 4 years, 1,300 organisations across the UK are accredited and they range from FTSE100 companies, partnerships, local authorities, universities, SMEs, charities and sole traders.

The GBC was the idea of Julian Richer, founder of hi-fi retail chain Richer Sounds, who worked with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to create the Charter and launch it in 2020. A streamlined version for businesses with 50 employees or less was developed with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in 2021.

The benefits of accreditation

The Good Business Charter is about making a clear commitment to all 10 of the components (9 for public and third sector) and being part of a movement to make this behaviour the accepted norm for how organisations in the UK operate.

It is currently a bar many organisations cannot reach (for example, by not paying the Real Living Wage) which therefore sets GBC accredited organisations apart, something we will vigorously champion. The framework helps organisations to communicate their values, attract top talent, foster loyal customers and establishes a clear signpost to customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders that you put people first.

What is the accreditation process?

The accreditation process is straightforward and accessible, done through an online self-certification. Checks are undertaken and once accredited, there is an expectation to promote the accreditation internally and externally, which ensures accountability. Businesses are held to account not just by the Good Business Charter itself, but by their stakeholders with the GBC actively encouraging anyone with concerns about an individual business to raise them with the charity.

The GBC is run by a charity called the Good Business Foundation and accreditation fees are subsidised to ensure the GBC remains accessible to all.

Find out more

See how organisations large and small are embedding responsible business and ESG using the GBC as a framework here.

Directors of small organisations (less than 51 employees) and sole traders – will find more information here or contact Sam Beardall by emailing [email protected]

Directors of large organisations – will find more information here or contact Hunter Hampton-Matthews by emailing [email protected]

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