Tees Valley sales and marketing organisation Just Williams has announced its certification as a B Corporation, joining a growing group of companies aiming to reinvent business by pursuing purpose not just profit.

The announcement follows an intensive 18 months in which Just Williams said it recalibrated its business to meet the social and environmental standards specified by B Lab, the not-for-profit organisation behind the global B Corporation (or B Corps) movement.

Company founder Jessica Williams said: “We have addressed every single process, procedure and principle.  I believe B Corp sets out the best possible, most ethical, sustainable and responsible way to run a business.”

To become certified Just Williams had to first carry out an impact assessment of 170 questions covering five key areas: communities, governance, environment, customers, and people. It achieved a final score of 100.1 points, surpassing the national average of 82.3.


Throughout the process it had to provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices and good governance relating to – for example – its local supply chain, community engagement, corporate transparency and people-led practices.

Just Williams exceeded the benchmark requirement and joins 1,300+ companies in the UK who have certified as B Corps.  They include businesses in the North East such as Umi, Robson Laidler and Sail Creative and nationally Patagonia, The Body Shop and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.

There are 6,800+ certified businesses in 90 countries worldwide, demonstrating the rapidly growing movement and its shared commitment to use business as a force for good.

To complete certification companies have to legally embed their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles and are re-assessed every three years to show that they are continuing to evolve through continuous improvement and an increase in the company’s impact in key areas.

Just Williams staff receive a range of enhanced benefits such as additional leave entitlement, a Wellness Day and private healthcare.  They are also offered two volunteering days each year – something normally provided by much larger organisations. The organisation also donates 5% of its profits to its charity partners and actively encourages local community engagement in a wide range of activities.


Jessica, who set up the business in 2015 to “professionalise the sales industry”, said: “I never wanted it to be a company that just ticked boxes.  Much of what we are now doing was already in the ethos of the business.”

“You start a business and after a few years you start to reflect and re-assess – particularly in the light of Covid,” she said.  “There must be a bigger reason to exist than just making a profit.”

Emma McDonald, Head of Delivery, said: “The B Corp certification will set Just Williams apart from competitors and appeal to clients who like the way it does business.  The company is looking to recruit and we believe its new status will make us an employer of choice to attract and retain local talent. Our people are crucial to what we do, and importantly – how we do it”.

Chris Turner, Executive Director of B Lab UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Just Williams  to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good. We know that Just Williams are going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.

“We are pleased to have B Corps of all shapes and sizes as part of our community – from startups to multinationals and across many different industries. Business is a powerful force and B Corps demonstrate that you can do good in any sector. Welcoming Just Williams is an exciting moment because they have an opportunity to lead the way within the sales and marketing industry. We and the rest of the B Corp community are really pleased to support Just Williams in paving the way for a new way of doing things”.

Jessica said: “We are delighted to join the B Corp community and would champion and support others to do the same. It’s fantastic to see the growing number of North East businesses getting more involved in turning their organisations into a force for good, and I am so proud to be able to start the conversation and share the B Corp ethos throughout the Tees Valley and beyond!”.