We’re pleased to share that we have achieved certification as a B Corporation (‘B Corp’), following a rigorous external assessment. 

This certification reflects our dedication to using business as a force for good, placing the well-being of our employees, communities, and the planet on equal footing with financial outcomes. It is underwritten by a legal commitment to consider all stakeholders, not just shareholders, when making important decisions.

Positive impact has always been at the heart of the Patch ‘Work Near Home’ vision. We started the company to enable opportunity at scale, for people and places that deserve access to it, wherever they are. Alongside thousands of other B Corps globally, we believe that business can be a force for good.

What we do is who we are

Certification is an output of our beliefs and ongoing working practice, not an input to our brand aims. The standard is driven by a set of shared concerns for the immediate changes needed across society to tackle the climate and social crises in our world. Business must take greater responsibility than it has done in the past.

Although not formalised until now, these considerations have been central to Patch from day one. They are evident in our founding values of Near (empowering people and places), Balanced (sustainable health and practice) and Built to Last (long term decision making). We have always applied these values in our every day work.

However, on starting the business, I knew that values alone wouldn’t be enough. There are plenty of well-meaning businesses that once lined our high streets but which have succumbed to challenges, often driven by misaligned incentives. We were going to need accountability, and wanted an infrastructure to protect the business in the long term.

B Corp is only a signpost on our journey towards our mission - to create opportunity for people, work and community on every UK high street. Each step will present opportunities to do more, for more people and in more places. I couldn’t be prouder of the collective enthusiasm of the Patch team to face up to the enormous ambition and challenges that lie ahead. We’re not done yet.

Local Essex networking group, the Village Networking, at one of their regular meet-ups, where they bring together aspiring and established women entrepreneurs in Chelmsford and beyond to share ideas and support others on their business journey. Credit: Charlotte Jezard.

What B Corp means at Patch

The B Corp framework is a rigorous, externally accountable assessment of a company’s approach to Governance, Workers, Environment, Community and Customers. The assessments are ongoing and our work is continuous from this point. This is just the beginning.

Patch members will already recognise this work. Whether it's the use of sustainable B Corp suppliers in our bathrooms, empowerment of site teams with ownership of the business, or the simple fact that we choose local neighbourhood settings as places of opportunity.

We have organised around several areas of impact:

  • Sustainable re-use of buildings: Real Estate is responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, in large part from demolition and construction of new developments. Our adaptive reuse of heritage assets and close control of energy usage makes better sustainable use of this embodied carbon.
  • Sustainable suppliers: From sustainably sourced toilet rolls to plastic and toxin free cleaning products, we choose other B corp and sustainable suppliers wherever we can. We include locally sourced suppliers at every location, such as tea, coffee and hand wash, and help them grow across our network.
  • Promoting local economies: We are a network of neighbourhood spaces in residential locations, not in major city centres. We believe that work, events and personal growth can just as easily take place on your local high street, with the brilliant people who make up your local community.
  • Reducing the commute: At the heart of our Work Near Home vision is the concept of less commuting, more community. With members taking fewer journeys, we are helping reduce carbon emissions whilst supporting a better balance for our physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Access to opportunity: Patch is an inclusive space, with an offer for diverse groups of all ages, interests and backgrounds. We offer free memberships to our Scholars, free and discounted use of the space to local charities and artisans, and free access to sharing economy partners, such as the Library of Things.
  • Empowering our people: Patch is built by the people who work here. In support of our ‘Near’ value, we are building strong local ownership of our operations. We invest heavily in personal development, all staff are offered share ownership, and we are a Real Living Wage Employer.
Member, Sami, attends 'Green City' at Patch with his three children, a city-wide event in Chelmsford dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues and educating the public in ways to be more green.

We’re not done yet

Impact doesn’t end here. B Corp provides a best practice sustainability framework which we are proud to adhere to. This is a living certification, which will require constant iteration and improvement as we grow, and as our members and society expect more of us.

We already have several new initiatives on the horizon, including creating an annual impact report and building a reporting process across all sites, current and future, that will support our path to recertification in three years time. 

Our journey to becoming a B Corporation is a testament to the collective efforts of our team, our community, and our stakeholders, to whom we are grateful. It is also a reminder that the work is never done. We will keep you updated on our progress.

You can learn more about B Corp at www.bcorporation.net

Our podcast studio at Patch in Twickenham, a new part of the Patch offer designed to elevate our member and wider community voices here in Twickenham and beyond.