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Gemserv: having feet held to the fire as a B Corp will ‘undoubtedly’ drive innovation

More closely scrutinising its environmental impact and outcomes as a newly accredited B Corp will fuel innovation in the utilities sector and elsewhere according to professional services firm and Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management partner, Gemserv.

Professional services firm Gemserv has received accreditation as a certified B Corporation (B Corp).

B Corps are companies recognised by B Lab – the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement – as having displayed high levels of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

At present, there are more than 4,500 of them across 78 countries in 155 industries – with the UK’s more than 600 B Corps currently employing almost 40,000 people.

To obtain such status, Gemserv underwent external auditing which required it to demonstrate best practice across environmental sustainability, community impact, employee benefits, customer stewardship and business governance.

“Receiving B Corp status is external verification of our approach,” Gemserv chief executive, Alex Goody, said. “But it’s not job done, we want to continue to grow our environmental, social and governance impact, and B-Corp will hold our feet to the fire with recertification required every three years.

“Our staff, and increasingly, our clients, expect nothing less than the highest standard of environmental, social and governance impact – and I am proud we have achieved this prestigious recognition.”

Gemserv is one of Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management’s six component companies alongside Triple Point Investment Management, AECOM, Amberside Advisors, Asteros Advisors and Lux Nova Partners.

In early March it was announced that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had named the group as delivery partner for its three year, £288 million, Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) – a scheme to support the commercialisation and construction of new low and zero carbon heat networks, and fund the retrofitting and expansion of existing projects.

Continuous improvement

Energy consultancy Mesh Energy, water tech firm Shayp, and clean energy marketplace Squeaky Clean Energy previously told Utility Week Innovate that B Corp accreditation had offered them a platform for innovation and collaboration and opened the door to likeminded firms looking to exchange environmental and social solutions.

“What’s been really useful since becoming B Corp is that you’re able to be part of the B Corp community,” Mesh Energy’s Katharine O’Dwyer said. “The collaboration and innovation there is great, because we meet up and talk about how to reach net zero on a monthly basis.

“We’ve brought back ideas, met new people and there’s been loads of opportunities for us to collaborate.”

Discussing the impact that achieving B Corp status will have on Gemserv and its ongoing innovation with partners in the utilities sector, Trevor Hutchings, director of strategy, comms and public sector at Gemserv, explained that it would help drive “continuous improvement”.

“One area we want to improve is how we measure and report our environmental, social and governance impact,” he told Utility Week Innovate.

“For example, how might we quantify the impact of our important role in the smart metering programme, such as in the carbon savings and other positive outcomes it delivers. Likewise, the impact of our work to safeguard critical national infrastructure through our cyber security expertise.

“More closely examining our impact and outcomes in this way will undoubtedly drive innovation and better ways of supporting our clients in the utilities sector and elsewhere.”

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