2021 in Review: A Monumental Year for GBC

Happy New Year to you all! Here at The Good Business Charter, we have had a monumental year of growth, as we saw a rapid increase in the number of organisations who gained GBC accreditation, as well as seeing our team expand. We hope you enjoy reflecting back on 2021 with us as we look back on some of the things that happened this year.




Total GBC accredited organisations: 187

We began January by recruiting Ellie to our team – we now had Jenny, our CEO, Shamim, our Accreditation Officer, and Ellie, our Communications Officer. As a team, we were excited to see what the year held in store for GBC and all of our accredited organisations. 

Our main focus this month was the launch of our streamlined GBC application for accreditation for organisations with 50 or less employees, which had been developed alongside the FSB to help make the GBC more accessible to smaller organisations. We worked to streamline the questions we asked, and FSB also spread the word about the GBC through their network to encourage FSB members to take a look at applying to the GBC. You can read more in our press release here.

We also had a fantastic article in the Yorkshire Post on GBC member Sturdy Foods repurposing their business in the pandemic, to combat the enormous loss of turnover due to restrictions. We also saw the Prompt Payment Code be strengthened, so that from July 2021, signatories would have to pay suppliers with 50 or less employees within 30 days, rather than the 60 days currently established. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 297

This month, we celebrated one year since the launch of the Good Business Charter, seeing our founding members like Capita, Deloitte, Brompton and London City Airport celebrate a full year of being accredited with us. We were already seeing more and more small organisations join the GBC after our streamlined application launch, and we also welcomed The University of York, as our first University to join the charter. Our Founder, Julian Richer also spoke at a webinar with the FSB.


Total GBC accredited organisations: 383

This month we saw lots of celebration of the GBC, with GBC member Saffron Building Society gaining fantastic recognition for their accreditation, and Director General of the CBI, Tony Danker discussing responsible business and the GBC with our founder Julian. We also saw research published from Opinium and Anthony Collins Solicitors, showing 91% of UK businesses are committed to becoming ethical – just reinforcing how important it is to have the GBC to act as a template and a standard.

We also published a fantastic guest blog from George Gordon, on why TSB became a GBC accredited organisation. This links in to the TSB’s Do What Matters Plan, and we have found over 2021 and beyond, TSB have been a gold standard for how a GBC accredited organisation can champion responsible business. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 429

In April, we were thrilled to announce that FTSE100 insurance company Aviva had been accredited, as well as nearly 300 new small businesses and public or third sector organisations since January 2021. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 525

We published a brilliant guest blog with GBC member, Seriously Helpful Online Marketing, on responsible business culture within SMEs. This was also when we hit 500 GBC accredited organisations! 


Logos from a selection of our York based GBC accredited organisations

Total GBC accredited organisations: 578

Our biggest piece of news for June 2021, was that we launched York as the first ever GBC City. Core GBC members include City of York Council, the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of York, Aviva, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Housing Trust. Alongside these York-based organisations we also have over 20 smaller businesses and charities in the city.

June also saw the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage Champion Awards, where we were delighted to see GBC members Seniors Helping Seniors and Boo Coaching & Consulting both go home with an award. Seniors Helping Seniors won the Against All Odds Award which rewards those who have shown leadership on the Living Wage in industries with high levels of low pay, and Boo Coaching were the winners of the Living Wage Week Award which was open to those who drove activity during Living Wage Week, by hosting an event, telling their story online or through press or by increasing public awareness of the Living Wage.


Total GBC accredited organisations: 615

We published a guest blog with Greenwich pantry this month, on sustainability within businesses, and what it means to be sustainable within the food sector.

We also collaborated with the TSB on consumer polling research, asking consumers about the importance of responsible business practice. Overwhelmingly, the research found that 97% of people think it is important that a business acts responsibly, with most consumers wanting more consistent information from businesses. More than half of the people polled would value a simple independent certification, highlighting the importance of the GBC. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 652

This month we reflected on the 6 months since our launch with the FSB, and how streamlining the process had enabled many to join the GBC, who may not have considered joining before. We also looked at GBC members within the tourism and hospitality sectors, in line with the FSB social media campaign: #MyHiddenGems. See more in our blog here.


Total GBC accredited organisations: 677

We were delighted to welcome two new members to our team: Alex, our Membership Recruitment Manager and Sam, our Membership Support Manager for our smaller members. 

This month we looked more closely at the set of standards named ESG, and more specifically how the GBC meets these standards, and helps to debunk what ESG means for different organisations in different sectors. In our blog, we talk about how the GBC fits in with ESG.

We also had a guest blog with The Soil Association, one of our accredited charities who have been a fantastic example of championing the GBC and responsible practices. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 703

We were delighted to welcome our second council, The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to become GBC accredited. We also attended the Kingston Expo as a guest of the council, and spoke to many fantastic local businesses there.

As we drew closer to COP26, we began to focus on what we were all doing to uphold our environmental commitment as part of the GBC accreditation. A great example of this was GBC member Conference Care launching their Carbon Consultancy – a new service that calculates the carbon emissions generated by an organisation’s event, which will be a fantastic tool for small businesses who are working towards net zero.

With our team’s expansion, we were able to begin sending out physical welcome packs to all of our members, with PR tools, a welcome letter from our Founder, as well as his book, the ethical capitalist. 


Total GBC accredited organisations: 759

First of all, we welcomed Julie, our Membership Support Manager for Large GBC members to the team!

On top of expanding our team, this month we had two other very exciting things to look forward to: Living Wage Week 2021 and COP26. Both of these highlighted the importance of our Real Living Wage component, and our Environmental responsibility component, on a much larger scale than we as a small organisation could ever promote ourselves. 

We published a blog on Debunking Net Zero – giving practical steps that organisations can take to reduce their carbon footprint, with the help of GBC members Eco Offset, Positive Planet, Conference Care, Sales Untangled, Penney Financial Partners and Capita.


Total GBC accredited organisations: 792

As we reached the end of the year, with nearly 800 accredited organisations, we were so happy to see GBC members continuing to spread the word, and shout about their recognition for responsible business practices. We can’t wait to see what 2022 brings.