Consumer technology and accessories brand Bitmore has achieved B-Corporation (B-Corp) certification, becoming one of the first travel retail-focused businesses to do so.
Bitmore’s sustainable tech range spans more than 35 SKUs including power banks, speakers, earphones and charging devices. The brand uses recycled TPE, plastic and wheat straw materials in its products.
B-Corp is a third-party standard that requires businesses to meet social and environmental sustainability standards, and be transparent about the score they received in the assessment.
Around 6,000 companies in 80 countries hold the accreditation from more than 100,000 applications. Bitmore said it took 20 months of preparation and assessment to secure the status.
The process required the team to implement new environmentally sustainable procedures and working practices and set up an internal legal framework.
Areas assessed included governance, community, environment, workforce and customers, which were marked against objectives outlined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
‘The right thing to do’
Bitmore described the accreditation as the “pinnacle” of a shift in emphasis from the start of the pandemic to become a more sustainable brand and business.
“It was a bit of a moment or realisation for me that I remember very clearly during the pandemic that started our journey towards sustainability and B-Corp,” said Bitmore CEO, Hoj Parmar.
“The whole world was in simultaneous lockdown in early 2020, and whilst watching the news one evening, there was a segment on how the Himalayas (more than 500 miles away) could now be seen from a town in the Northwest state of Punjab in India, where previously due to low clouds, smog and pollution, they had not been visible in living memory.
“This was a time when globally, in sync, industries were closed, and there was virtually no transport on our roads, skies or seas. This proved that in a very short space of time, things can change, and the planet can heal itself.
“It was at this point I realised as a business, we could also make a difference, and it would be the right thing to do. We started to fast track everything in terms of product development and move towards becoming a more sustainable and eco-friendly brand.”
He added: “We made the decision to go for B-Corp certification in 2021 because of its all-encapsulating business framework when it comes to meeting standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
“It helps us to keep these things at the forefront of our day-to-day business and will ensure that Bitmore will have an ever-evolving sustainable strategy, which will always link back to our product development with a view to pushing our sustainability agenda at all times.”
Not falling behind ‘in any way’
Bitmore will re-certify its status every 36 months.
“B-Corp is continually reviewing and updating the terms of B-Corp membership, so for us it’s an ongoing process of review, and then updating our working practices to ensure we comply,” Parmar added.
“We have created an internal role for this to make sure we do not fall behind in any way.”
He is encouraging other global travel retail businesses to pursue B-Corp certification.
“Businesses can all make a positive difference if we choose to and business should be used as a force for good. We are still a commercial business at the end of the day, and profit is also a key driver for us.
“But you can be a profitable business with an ethical viewpoint and a matching purpose behind your business. The reality is this is how 21st century businesses need to operate to ensure the safety and prosperity of future generations.
“I highly recommended the pursuit of B-Corp status, which will ensure any brand or business is doing its bit towards the sustainable world I think we would all like to see.”
Earlier this year, Bitmore partnered with consulting firm Blueprint and tech distributor BORN Nordic to expand its footprint in GTR across the Nordic region.