Phastar, a global specialist biometrics contract research organization (CRO), has become a certified B Corporation®. It comes after a stringent 12-month review to ensure protocols and procedures reflect the company’s commitment to high environment, social, and governance (EGS) standards.
Certified B Corporations® (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability.
As part of a rigorous process, the assessment body, B Lab Global, reviewed Phastar’s impact across the five key areas: governance, workers, environment, community, and customers. The minimum threshold for certification was 80 points, but Phastar achieved an impressive 91.4.
The ESG initiatives reviewed by B Lab Global included:
- Environment: The actions that Phastar are putting in place to track and reduce their environmental footprint. These include: a review of procedures that require downstream suppliers and facility leaseholders to demonstrate a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices; tracking of, and a commitment to reduce, Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions; introducing comprehensive recycling programs in all of their office locations; supporting sustainable transport to work schemes; donating old laptops to charities; tree planting schemes in Kenya and Scotland.
- Social: They have implemented several measures to bolster their relationships internally and with the wider community. Examples of this include their Pro Bono scheme to provide many charities (some of which include Great Ormand Street Hospital, Prostate Cancer Research and Education for Health) free access to their biometrics experts, fostering charity partnerships, and installing beehives at their Glasgow offices. They have put actions in place to monitor their workforce diversity metrics in addition to implementing inclusive recruitment practices via their job listing and selection processes. They are advocates of purchasing from suppliers with diverse ownership and local suppliers, with policies in place to uphold this commitment.
- Governance: Phastar upholds the highest standards of ethics and integrity in their business to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability both internally and externally. They have updated their code of ethics and anti-corruption practices to reinforce this pledge in addition to setting new ESG KPIs during the review process. They are also working on several policies and procedures to ensure that they reflect the needs of their employees. Some examples of this include widening their flexible working provisions, conducting a review of their family leave policies, pledging their commitment to pay the living wage to all of their FTEs, providing everyone with a cost-of-living bonus, in addition to widening the scope for colleague recognition.
A common thread running through all of Phastar’s ESG initiatives is the commitment to remain employee centric and cultivate a supportive work environment. As part of the company’s employee value proposition, they strive to provide a high standard of health and well-being support, through a range of ongoing initiatives.
These include regular wellbeing “check ins” via a confidential platform to ensure colleagues can access the right support at the right time, the provision of trained Mental Health First Aiders, trained Menopause Champions, and twice-weekly company yoga classes. Phastar also runs in-house health and wellbeing awareness campaigns, which includes facilitated workshop sessions, a monthly podcast series, and other educational resources. Recent topics have included awareness around menopause, men’s health, women’s health, and stress management.
Andrew MacGarvey, Phastar CEO, said: “Becoming a Certified B Corporation® is a testament to our high standards and commitment to social and environmental performance, sustainability, transparency, and accountability. It is confirmation of our declaration to use our business as a ‘force for good’ by creating substantial value for our internal workforce, in addition to the wider community and society at large.
One of our strategic objectives is to lead the CRO industry in corporate social responsibility, and being B Corp certified is a great first step to building on this commitment including signing up to the Net Zero pledge in the coming 12 months, in addition to conducting our first social impact assessment. The certification creates a high threshold for us to uphold at all times with a rigorous new assessment taking place every three years. As a result, we will continuously work on our strategic plans and monitor the results to steer our future business trajectory, identify areas for improvement, and continue to make substantial impact, both internally and externally.”