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Planit IE provided landscape architecture for Manchester's Noma district

Planit-IE aims to be ‘force for good’

Sarah Townsend

The landscape and urban design studio has won a global accreditation positioning it within a network of 3,000 businesses that work to balance social and environmental purposes with profit.

Altrincham-based Planit-IE is now a certified ‘B Corporation’, an emerging type of company that seeks to use business as a force for good.

The B Corp Certification system is administered by US-based not-for-profit, B Lab, and awarded to organisations that meet a rigorous assessment procedure.

B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They also commit to an “unparalleled level of transparency and scrutiny”, with the status compelling all businesses to examine the very foundations of their organisations and alter their articles, memorandum of association and other inauguration documents accordingly.

Businesses are also required to submit an annual B Impact report which details their commitment to people and communities.

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Planit IE designed the transformation of Poynton town centre to create a shared space for cars and pedestrians

Ed Lister, managing director and co-founder of Planit-IE, which was set up three decades ago, said: “The B Corp process has taken a year of hard work and team effort, but we were absolutely committed to its purpose and values.

“During this time, we explored and refined aspects of our business, and looked long and hard at what is important to us, our team and all that we have an opportunity to influence and change as designers and influencers.

“It’s imperative now more than ever that we take big steps to ensure the future of our planet and people, and this is our public pledge to contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable economy through our projects.”

The B Corporation global network comprises more than 3,000 companies across 150 industries, including outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, The Body Shop and Innocent drinks.

Planit-IE voted to become employee-owned in 2018. Pete Swift, managing director and co-founder of Planit-IE, added: “The confirmation of our position as an official member of the B Corporation community couldn’t come at a better time, as we see our future leaders coming to the front and continue to see growth across the studios.

“It provides us with the framework and tools to demonstrate our guarantee to both the Planit-IE team and our clients that we are truly dedicated to having a positive influence on the world around us through our work.”

 

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Does this signal the beginning of the end of capitalism; where businesses are controlled by speculating gamblers and managerists who pocked short-term maximum profit while thanks to state intervention (ltd liability laws) gladly avoid accountability for any external costs and bankruptcy debts they incur? Could be a new era for property development and construction.

By James Yates