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Where Tech Meets Purpose: Carving out PALO IT's B Corp Journey

Where Tech Meets Purpose: Carving out PALO IT's B Corp Journey

In the dynamic landscape of modern business, there is a growing movement toward companies aligning their objectives with ESG responsibility. PALO IT Singapore stands at the forefront of this movement as the 1st certified B Corp in the group & in tech industry in Singapore.

B Corp Certification signifies a commitment to high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency across various business aspects, from employee benefits to supply chain practices. Achieving this certification involves demonstrating exceptional social and environmental performance, legally committing to stakeholder accountability, and maintaining transparency by sharing performance information publicly.

So what does it mean to be a B Corp, how has this status shaped PALO IT's journey thus far, and where is it headed next? Sylvain Mahe, Our Chief Sustainability Leadership Officer sat down to answer these questions.

The Journey Towards B Corp Certification

B Corp Certification-1

For PALO IT, the pivotal shift to our ethos came during an Appreciative Inquiry retreat in 2016. This retreat brought together employees from various offices, where everyone contributed their voice in shaping the organisation's future. What stood out and eventually became our motto, “Tech as a Force for Good” was solidified. In the following year, we came across the B Corp certification during an overseas event, recognising its potential to align PALO IT's operations with its core values of using technology for the betterment of society. 

“We recognised that the B Corp certification was the vehicle to steer our path forward, propelling us towards our goals with purpose and conviction.”


Challenges and Overcoming Them 

Undertaking the B Corp certification process was not without its challenges. The sheer volume of assessment questions, ranging from simple to complex, presented a daunting task. However, with cross-functional effort and support from B Lab, PALO IT navigated the steep learning curve, documenting existing practices and implementing new initiatives to meet the certification requirements.

Beyond the initial certification, PALO IT remains committed to ongoing efforts to maintain its B Corp status. Initiatives such as pushing for decarbonisation, increasing the revenue share from impact projects, and community engagement play a vital role in not only fulfilling certification requirements but also in shaping the company's roadmap and future. These efforts, including striving for a group-level impact revenue target of 50% by 2025, underscore our dedication to creating value for the company, community, stakeholders, the planet, and customers alike.

What opportunities do B Corps have?

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Our B Corp certification was not driven by marketing value, but more intrinsically as it aligned with what the company wanted to be known for. PALO IT leverages its B Corp status to communicate its commitment to social and environmental responsibility to clients and partners. This status not only attracts like-minded collaborators but also serves as a badge of credibility in an increasingly conscious market.

Within the B Corp community in Singapore, we have more opportunities to work with fellow B Corps. Now that the B Corp certification is well known with greater visibility, it means something more for both clients and talents. Clients know that the B Corp certification only becomes more difficult to maintain, which illustrates our commitment to be above the standards. For talents, this is an interesting opportunity to be part of meaningful work, that their work would go on to improve the world in their own capacity.

Innovation and Sustainable Development:

Being a B Corp has catalysed PALO IT's approach to innovation and the development of sustainable products and services. It is not just about meeting the certification criteria; it is about continuously striving to exceed them and push the boundaries of what's possible in using technology for good. Our commitment extends beyond mere compliance; we rigorously assess how our solutions move the needle, ensuring integrity across industries and adhering to strict selection criteria. Moreover, maintaining a high quality of work in everything we do adds another layer of B Corp certified quality, while our Impact Tracker serves as a tangible outcome of our ongoing impact journey.

“For us, 80 (the passing score to get B Corp certified) is not enough. The idea is with every recertification audit, we aspire to hit a higher mark.”


Aligning with Long-Term Vision

The journey toward maintaining B Corp certification aligns seamlessly with PALO IT's long-term vision of leveraging technology for positive change. As the group grows, so too does its commitment to social and environmental impact, with certification becoming deeply ingrained in the company's culture and decision-making processes. Our 2025 objectives, including driving 50% of revenue from impact projects and achieving 100% of workforce trained on impact, are not standalone efforts but are integrated into our ongoing initiatives. We continuously evolve and improve, avoiding complacency by implementing more demanding standards with each review.

A significant transformation observed since our certification is the integration of the B Corp mindset into the DNA of PALO IT. Every employee understands the significance of certification, influencing decision-making processes and procurement practices. From being the sole office with B Corp certification, PALO IT has now expanded its reach to four – and soon seven - offices globally, demonstrating our firm commitment to embedding social and environmental responsibility across our organisation's footprint.


Advice for Aspiring B Corps:

For businesses considering B Corp certification, Sylvain offers sage advice: Start early, embrace the challenge, and view it as an opportunity for transformation. The B Lab also offers the Pending B Corp certification for small companies and startups committed to becoming a B Corp.

And remember, it is not just about the certification, it is about weaving a mindset of responsibility and purpose into the fabric of your organisation. PALO IT's journey as a B Corp exemplifies the transformative power of businesses embracing social and environmental responsibility. As they continue to innovate and lead by example, they inspire others to follow suit, proving that tech can indeed be a force for good in the world.

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