Did you know that Cornwall is home to the fastest-growing B Corp community in the UK outside of London?
Whether it’s the natural environment we are trying to protect infusing into the psyche of corporations, or the local Government’s targets to cut emissions by 2030 (as opposed to the UK Government’s 2050) set to make the region the first net-zero in the UK, or the natural capital that places Cornwall as a leader in the production of renewable energy, Cornwall has many key draw points for businesses looking to operate in a more conscious way, or indeed face the climate challenge head-on.
Recently, Brand Activism Agency Don’t Cry Wolf opened up a second office in Truro, Cornwall to accompany their base in London – a move reflective of the shifting and dynamic professional world we find ourselves in.
Below, CEO and Founder John Brown shares more about the decision to expand into the region.
There were many factors that built this overall picture for me. Cornwall was the first region in the UK to have a wind farm so I knew about its renewable energy credentials as well as the leading net-zero targets, I’ve also heard a lot about Goodfest – the ‘Creatives on the beach’ festival in Cornwall exploring how to inspire sustainable change through purposeful ideas and actions – so I could see there is a real appetite to make a difference here.
I’ve seen everyone, from design through to development, to clothing, to tourist attractions – like Eden and the Lost Gardens of Heligan – all focused on creating work, products, and spaces that are seeking to improve the footprint on the planet. It’s this collective knowledge that you see reflected in brands – like Leap and Finisterre – that showcases how you can change an entire economy to become more sustainable.
This hive for creative sustainability combined with Cornwall’s big energy capabilities in wind, solar and geothermal are what drew me to explore Cornwall as a base. For a while now I think people outside of Cornwall have seen the community – both business and otherwise – as insular, and that perception is changing; people are realising that what Cornwall has to offer goes way beyond the Tamar.
What stands out most is the transparency you see from businesses, and local organisations, on their journey to make a change. There is a desire to learn from the positives and negatives of this journey, and the actual learning from experience is something that I have seen lacking elsewhere. Cornwall’s businesses are more open about their process and how they report on it.
How important do you think it is for businesses to take their impact on the planet as seriously as their profits?
It’s becoming extraordinarily obvious that both local and global economies need to change. Businesses have a fundamental role within this shift to change the way in which they operate – we need to be ensuring change at all levels with a goal to create positive impact in what we do.
I believe that becoming a B Corp will go from a movement to a fundamental accolade. People want to interact with brands, businesses and organisations they can trust, and that needs to be backed up. The B Corp process is rigorous, as it should be, and we are thrilled to have been born a B Corp – having had a B Corp pending from the day we opened our door. In Cornwall, we’ve already seen how businesses are prioritising this and the network is growing from strength to strength.
Five years ago we would have recruited from Cornwall – trying to get people to move to London. Now the talent is staying here, which makes sense when you see the lifestyle and community that is thriving. Having an office space – a space for people to share ideas – was important from that perspective. We are hoping to have five permanent staff here by the end of the year.
Want to learn more about how you could maximise the opportunities the growing hub for sustainable innovation has to offer? Cornwall Trade and Investment are able to support any business looking to expand into the region.
Whether you’re looking to locate in Cornwall, or to start exporting beyond its borders, get in touch with our friendly team to talk through your needs.