Canongate Books is now a B Corp!

7 May 2024

We’ve become the first UK trade publisher to be a certified B Corp!

We want the work we do at Canongate to have a positive impact in the world. Beyond self-interest and beyond profit, we want to be a force for good: good for the people who work here, for our readers, for our community and for the world at large.

To demonstrate that commitment to doing good (and to the principle that succeeding in business doesn’t mean abandoning your morals), we’re proud to say we’ve become the first trade publisher in the UK to be certified as a B Corp!

What is a B Corporation?

B Corp certification is run by the non-profit B Lab to give companies a way to show that they have a positive social and environmental impact (and to give the public a way to easily identify those companies).

Companies that apply for certification are tested in a rigorous Impact Assessment that measures their impact on workers, communities, customers, suppliers, and the environment. The assessment to be a B Corp covers a lot of ground, and includes everything from employees’ training opportunities to the use of recycled and recyclable materials in products, from charitable giving to corporate governance. And being a B Corp is an ongoing process: every three years you need to reapply and be recertified to maintain the certification.

A plan for the future

So what does it mean now that we have our B Corp certification? It’s a great, positive recognition of the work we do, and we hope it will inspire others in the UK publishing industry to think through the impacts of their work on their colleagues, their communities and on the environment (and maybe even lead them to become B Corp certified!).

More importantly, B Corp certification has given us an opportunity to think and talk together about our values as a company, how they inform our work and how we can improve in the future. It’s given us a framework we can use to test ourselves on the things that matter to us, and check that we’re living up to our standards for ourselves. We’re already thinking about how we can do more: from reducing company travel carbon emissions to re-examining how we source goods and services.

Like a lot of people in publishing, we do this work because we love books: we believe that books are incredibly important, that they can be joyous, inspirational, life-changing. At Canongate we want to find authors that should be heard and amplify their voices, helping them reach as many people as possible.

We also know that the books we publish are one part of all the many ways we have an impact as a company, and we’re committing to thinking beyond just profit to make sure that impact is positive and productive – not just for us but for the world.