Leading the Change as Singapore's First B Corp Tech Company
3 mins read
For the past two and a half years, in between exciting projects and ventures, we’ve been on a slightly different path. PALO IT has just become a Certified B Corporation, making us the first tech company and the 9th overall to achieve B Corp status in Singapore.
What is a B Corp?
B Corps are the leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good, voluntarily meeting the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. We’re joining over 2,700 Certified B Corporations from more than 150 industries in 60+ countries.
Why did we want to become a B Corp?
Simple… it’s in our DNA! Becoming a B Corp is an embodiment of our culture and reinforces our core commitment to harness the power of technology for the greater good. We’re on a mission to do work that will eventually help individuals become better human beings and produce tangible outcomes that will benefit the world.
Now that we’re a B Corp, our current (and future) clients, partners, and employees have a guarantee that we truly care about our world and how we affect everything around us.
But don’t just take it from me. I recently sat down with two of our greatest advocates who could give us a little more insight into our incredible B Corp journey — none other than our Co-founder Tanguy Fournier Le Ray and Chief Innovation Officer Cédric Mainguy.
Hi guys, can you share with us the thought process behind this massive endeavour?
Tanguy: The tremendous power of exponential technologies has brought the tech industry to a critical crossroad where tech leaders are going to have to make a decision about the path they take and its great impact on our world. At PALO IT, we are eternal optimists who believe that technology can help us build a better world. As a result, we decided two and a half years ago to change our vision to ‘Tech For Good’, making a conscious choice to become the gatekeepers of the usage of technology to make a positive impact.
Cédric: We asked our Palowans what their “dream” version of PALO IT was, and out of their aspirations came the idea of ethical innovation. We managed to raise the level of consciousness of our organisation, and understand what we cared about and what to do about it.
What were some of the core initiatives that contributed to our B Corp certification?
Tanguy: In Singapore, we have developed two apps: an easy-access platform that supports cancer patients and their caregivers during their illness, and a reward-based fitness platform specially designed for athletes with disabilities in partnership with Special Olympics. On a grander scale, we support Passerelles numérique, an NGO that enables young underprivileged people to build their employability in the digital industry. We have also launched a positive impact Tech Innovation Lab to generate more ‘Tech for Good’ solutions that are readily accessible by everyone.
Concurrently, in Australia, we have established a partnership with Singularity University, a Certified B Corp global learning and innovation organisation using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Moving forward, we aim to participate in their Global Impact Challenge, an annual competition that focuses on ideating solutions that have the potential to help a billion people in 10 years.
Cédric: Our positive impact canvas is an ongoing initiative of the B Corp/Impact Lab that identifies ways to make a positive impact with each of our client projects. Our approach ensures we design and integrate both social and environmental performance into our products, business models, and practices such as training and technology choices. We also place significant social and environmental consideration at the heart of PALO IT leadership in terms of mission and KPI.
In what ways do you think we can collaborate with other members of the B Corp community and other partners in our ecosystem?
Cédric: Together, we can share and leverage on a list of suppliers and providers that champion sustainability, as well as exchange good business practices. We will also continue supporting and participating in joint local initiatives that help address local and global challenges.
Our certification does not mean the end, but the beginning of our journey. So in what ways can we improve?
Tanguy: Although our B Corp certification is a good validation of the efforts we did in the past two years to become more sustainable, we still have a long way to go and the long-term plan is to shift a part of our commercial portfolio to include more social businesses.
Cédric: Out of the five B Corp pillars, we scored lower in the “Customers” segment of our assessment, which entails embedding purpose and impact into our value proposition. Our next step is to uncover more ways to make an impact through our work, thereby adjusting what we do (design/develop technology that truly improves the quality of life), how we do it (implement new frameworks, tools, practices, and expertise), and with whom (diversify our customer base to include social businesses, NGOS, and purpose-driven organisations).
To end off our chat, what do you hope to achieve now with this B Corp Certification?
Tanguy: We believe we can have a greater positive impact if we join forces with other companies. We hope to create an ecosystem of companies in Singapore that share our vision, especially in the tech space.
Cédric: It all comes down to raising the consciousness of people by making them aware of their purpose and responsibility to make the world a better place, as well as encouraging organisations to become more purpose-driven.
Thank you gentlemen! Indeed, PALO IT’s certification journey has certainly helped us reflect on our own operating model and become more conscious of the many ways we are making an impact on our world, all while uncovering empowering truths and revealing ways to become more sustainable.
And along with the rising B Movement in Asia that measures success in terms of contribution to the well-being of people, communities, and the natural world, we will work together to achieve our goals and forge a brighter future for all.