An interview with Tracy Scutt, Managing Director at B Corp certified retail display manufacturer, arken POP International.
Trying to shop beauty more sustainably isn’t always as easy as it should be. There a vast number of different logos cropping up on product packaging that each claim to represent a brand’s commitment to delivering a long-term, positive impact for both people and the planet.
However, there’s one all-encompassing certification that’s considered the hardest to achieve and that’s B Corp. Since the B Corp movement started, its mission has been to create a global community of purpose-led businesses who are driving accountability for their impact on people, the planet, and communities. Several, notable beauty brands have already become B Corporations – The Body Shop, Rituals, Aveda, DAME, and Elemis, to name just a few.
But the positive impact of B Corp in beauty is now reaching far beyond just the products themselves – with brands now turning their attention to how they can also deliver “Best For The World” display solutions within the retail environment.
Tracy Scutt, managing director of arken P-O-P International, expands more about the process of becoming a B Corp and why a commitment to go beyond business as usual matters when creating beauty displays.
What prompted you to go for this certification?
B Corp certification is relatively new to the retail display sector, with only a handful of manufacturers certified globally. For us, B Corp certification felt like a natural progression in our journey to being a responsible retail display manufacturer – something that has been central to our approach throughout our history. As we celebrate 75 years in business, achieving this prestigious designation in this year, particularly, represented the perfect way to underscore arken’s ongoing dedication to responsible business practices. It helps to prove to beauty brands that we work with that arken has better practices than those that don’t. B Corp status not only demonstrates what we currently do but will also help us to set our strategic plan for future improvement, which is key.
What were the biggest challenges?
The journey to B Corp Certification has been a long one, and so it should be. B Corp Certification does not just pay lip service to the ideals of sustainability; it’s not just a stamp that anyone can get. This is the real deal.
The process to become a B Corp was certainly eye-opening. As a leading player in the beauty retail display world, and whose commitment to doing business responsibly is deeply engrained in our approach, you would be forgiven for thinking the process was relatively straightforward. The journey to certification is rigorous, it challenged us to look at ourselves as a business through a critical lens in a way we’d never done before. The B Corp process requires proof of milestones achieved and a presentation of new milestones to pursue, so certification is only the beginning.
What have been the biggest benefits?
So far, B Corp certification has already yielded many new initiatives, important conversations, and challenging choices within the business. A huge benefit of becoming a Certified B Corporation is that it will allow us to connect with others working in, and supporting, the beauty industry that have a shared interest in using business as a force for good.
B Corp is not a passive label that you obtain and after which you are done. For us, the certification is a commitment to continuously improve – to do better every day. Ultimately, it reinforces a mindset that we must try harder in all areas of how we act responsibly as a business, better measure our performance, and leave a positive impact of people and planet.
What would your advice be to others in the beauty sector looking to become a B Corp?
Don’t start out on the journey for the sake of being able to say you are a B Corp or because you think it will win you more customers. Becoming a B Corp is not for everyone. Achieving and maintaining B Corp Certification is a serious commitment – of time, of resources, and to adopting a more sustainable business model. But if you have been thinking about becoming a B Corp, start now, the values behind this certification are intrinsic to good business practices. arken may be one of the first, but we don’t want to be one of the few B Corps in the retail display industry. We will continue to encourage others to follow our lead, for the benefit of all – and the planet. And to CEW members, get in touch we are happy to talk through the process of certification and our learnings in more detail.
What is next for arken?
Whilst the certification is important, it’s what we do from here to improve ourselves, support others and ensure more businesses are thinking sustainably and responsibly that will make the difference. Achieving B Corp status represents just the beginning of what is an incredibly important journey – not the destination. We continue to make significant steps in progressing as a business. That leads with a responsible-first mindset and remaining motivated by the positive impact we can make both now and, in the future.
About arken P-O-P International
Founded in 1948, arken P-O-P International is the UK’s most highly awarded retail display agency, known for designing and manufacturing innovative and eye-catching solutions that drive sales and enhance brand visibility for global Beauty brands. The company has been serving the Beauty industry for over seven decades, earning a reputation for excellence, creativity, and a customer-centric approach.