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At AMA, our longstanding aspiration has been to make a positive difference in the world. Our commitment to our stakeholders was underscored when we earned the "Great Place to Work" recognition in 2019. We take immense pride in XpertEye's role in lowering customers' carbon footprint by reducing the need for travel and minimizing CO2 emissions.
The turning point came in late 2020 when our CEO, Christian Guillemot, established a dedicated CSR team. This moment marked the inception of a profound transformation within our organization, which revolved around integrating responsibility for our impacts at every level of the company. This transformative journey ultimately guided us toward achieving B Corp certification. This certification embodies the ethos with which we approached this endeavor.
What is B Corp Certification?
The B Corp (Benefit Corporation) certification, initiated in the USA in 2006 by the non-profit organization B Lab, has evolved into much more than just a label; it has grown into a global community comprising nearly 7,000 companies across 80 countries. These companies share a common goal – not merely to be the best in the world, but, more importantly, to be better for the world.
To be precise, B Corp Certification means that a company has been verified as meeting B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact, that it has made a legal commitment to stakeholder governance, and that it is demonstrating accountability and transparency by disclosing this record of performance in a public B Corp profile.
The certification process involves a comprehensive evaluation, with a questionnaire consisting of 200 questions categorized into five key areas: governance, employees, customers, environment, and territories.
To qualify for certification, a company must score more than 80 points. Remarkably, out of over 80,000 companies that have attempted certification, the average score remains below 55 points. What sets B Corp apart is its unique inclusion of a "raison d'être" and an appreciation for "companies with a mission," distinguishing it as a leader in corporate social responsibility.
Origin and motivation behind AMA’s approach
AMA’s initial CSR strategy centered around assessing our carbon footprint while concurrently seeking a label to guide our journey. Our decision to pursue B Corp certification was influenced by its international scope and stringent standards, which we believed perfectly aligned with our company's aspirations.
Process, individual involvement, and cross-functional roles
In 2021, as we embarked on this transformative journey, we enlisted the expertise of Julien Jarny, CSR Advisor from the Déclic agency, a company that obtained the B Corp label in 2019. Simultaneously, Julie Longin, a former Ecocert auditor, joined our CSR team, providing invaluable insights to structure our approach and engage the management committee.
First stakeholder consultation to create a materiality matrix (A materiality analysis identifies and prioritizes the most important issues to an organization and its stakeholders.)
This critical step enabled us to identify the key concerns within our CSR strategy. While the unwavering endorsement of the Management Committee played a crucial role, we also discovered invaluable assistance from our procurement and human resources departments.
We recognized the importance of responsible purchasing and, to this end, created a dedicated team, a duo from the purchasing team, and the CSR team embarked on a year-long coaching program with the Rennes Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Collaborating with HR,we addressed a range of topics like:
Training to enhance the quality of life at work
Diversity and inclusion
Onboarding of new employees
Throughout this transformative journey, the B Impact Assessment (BIA) acted as our guiding beacon. This online platform, consisting of 200 questions organized into five core pillars, served as our roadmap for our CSR commitment.
To attain certification, we were required to substantiate each response with supporting documentation. Following our initial submission, an auditor meticulously reviewed our answers, leading to a series of exchanges and adjustments.
In the face of the challenge of elucidating specific responses, a challenge heightened by the distinctive character of our Tech enterprise, we upheld our score above 80. The two-year expedition proved to be both enlightening and a source of unity, with each team contributing fervently. It evolved into a motivating force, a deep well of inspiration, and a testament to our steadfast dedication to advancement and humility.
What's next for AMA?
B Corp certification is valid for three years, providing a necessary period for us to solidify our commitments and strive for further progress. While the audit highlights our strengths, it is the areas of improvement that now guide our reflections on new actions and opportunities for enhancement. A deliberately pro-active, regenerative attitude, adopting a conscious approach to improvement in every area.
With this certification, AMA joins an inspiring community of virtuous companies. Through shared programs and initiatives, we are poised to fully embrace our environmental and social responsibility.
In conclusion, the declaration of interdependence, a fundamental principle embraced by every new B Corp label holder, deeply resonates with AMA's mission to use "business as a force for good." We recognize that we are interconnected and responsible not only for each other but also for future generations.