B Corporations (or B Corps) are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. The growth of the movement means there are now over 1,750 B Corps in the UK, with more than 85,000 employees. In the telecoms sector, Wildanet becomes one of just three UK-based internet service providers to achieve B Corp certification and the first UK AltNet building and operating its own independent network to be a Certified B Corp.
Wildanet was founded in 2017 with a mission to extend high-speed broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas, bringing significant socio-economic benefits to communities and businesses, enabling them to be more sustainable, digitally connected and have easier access to essential online services.
In addition to the successful ongoing roll-out of its gigabit capable network in Cornwall and Devon, Wildanet has grown to become recognised regionally and nationally as a trusted and innovative business and community partner, thought leader and passionate advocate for digital inclusion.
Now, as a Certified B Corporation, Wildanet joins a global community of more than 8,000 companies, across 93 countries, committed to using their influence to drive positive change, pursuing not just financial success but also considering the impact of their operations on employees, customers, communities, other businesses and the environment.
Helen Wylde-Archibald, chief executive of Wildanet, said: “We are delighted and very proud to be recognised as a Certified B Corp and to be leading the way for UK AltNets. Wildanet’s founding mission, our ethos and operation is steeped in responsibility and sustainability. It is about working with and supporting communities in Cornwall and the South West, seeking to balance looking after the environment, looking after people, and growing a successful and profitable long-term business.
“Achieving B Corp certification acknowledges this and reflects the hard work and dedication of the entire Wildanet team in ensuring we not only bring transformational broadband and digital connectivity services to the communities we serve but do so as a sustainable business delivering wider benefits for society and our environment.”
The scheme initially brought together 23 Cornish businesses in 2023, inspiring and supporting them to join Wildanet in working towards B Corp certification and with the ambition to create a movement with the potential for further growth, underpinning Cornwall’s position as a beacon for sustainable economic development.
The initiative won widespread praise, funding was secured from Cornwall Council to run a second Cornish cohort of 20 businesses and it is planned to extend the programme to Devon in 2024.
Chris Turner, executive director of B Lab UK, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, said: “Welcoming Wildanet to the B Corp community is hugely exciting. Its commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and will help spread the notion that success in business is as much about people and planet as it is profit.”
Kim Conchie, chief executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “Wildanet is a shining example of a Cornish company getting it right; they perfectly balance profit with people and planet, and it's fantastic to see that this has been officially recognised with B Corp certification.
“At the Chamber, we are immensely proud to have Wildanet’s Helen Wylde-Archibald representing Cornwall on the British Chambers' National Business Council. Who better to work in partnership with Government and politicians to drive the future of our economy, than someone who is actively committed to building a greener, more just future through ethical business practice.”
Simon Thomason, managing director of LEAP, said: "LEAP could not be prouder to have played a part in Wildanet achieving B Corp certification. Their commitment and determination to bring others with them on the journey, resulted in us together creating the first-of-its-kind B Corp programme, B|23. This shared dedication to sustainability and community, has no doubt raised the bar for positive business impact across Cornwall and beyond. Massive congratulations!"
In addition to gaining B Corp certification, Wildanet’s commitment to sustainability and good practice also saw the company honoured in 2023 with a number of major regional and industry awards; including being named Most Sustainable Large Business at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards; winning the Sustainability Award at the Connected Britain Awards for the B-23 initiative; and a Cornwall Chamber of Commerce award for Greenest Business.