We are proudly B Corp Certified

Johnstons of Elgin photo of Hopeman Beach with waves crashing announcing our B Corp status
Discover Johnstons of Elgin SVG

This month, we celebrate one year as a Certified B Corporation. In 2023, following stringent assessment, we joined a community businesses working to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. There are now more almost 8,500 B Corps globally.

Johnstons of Elgin CEO Chris Gaffney, “Achieving our B Corp certification was part of an ongoing improvement process. We’ve been busy adding solar PV to our sewing facility, creating more modern apprentices, further improving measurement and control of water consumption, moving up to progressive level under the ZDHC protocol, and increasing awareness and support for the impact of Menopause in our workplace.

There is always more to do, and we look forward to sharing our next impact report in the summer."

What is a B Corp?

B Corp Certification demonstrates that a business meets high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency, from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. 

Chris Gaffney explained, 'There are many certifications and membership organisations doing a lot of good work, but what makes the B Corp movement special is the ‘Mission Lock’. This goes to the heart of the purpose of the organisation and requires changes to our founding documents, our Articles of Association.

Johnstons of Elgin craftsperson hand stitching the label in a green sweater
Johnstons of Elgin craftsman with hand in a bale of pure cashmere fibre
Johnstons of Elgin Mill in Elgin taken by a drone looking over Garvald House and the grounds of our vertical textile mill
Image on Johnstons of Elgin website of a river flowing through green tree lined land

MEASURING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Unlike other business certifications, B Lab is unique in its ability to measure a company's entire social and environmental impact.

  • As a Certified B Corporation, we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on all our stakeholders, including workers, communities, customers, suppliers, and the environment.
  • Being B Corp means we have passed rigorous assessment to ensure we demonstrate high social and environmental performance. 
  • We must be transparent, allowing information about our performance measured against B Lab's standards to be publicly available on our B Corp profile on B Lab's website. 
Johnstons of Elgin employees in our Hawick and Elgin mills smiling and laughing

MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES OF COMMUNITY FOCUS

Our workforce and our communities have always been central to our business. And it makes us very proud to achieve B Corp status in the same year we celebrate our 225th anniversary. 

Chris explained that our founders were every bit as focused on our stakeholders as we remain today. 

'We are very fortunate at Johnstons of Elgin to work with enlightened owners who have always recognised the wider community good. Indeed, when our founder Alexander Johnston retired in 1845, his son James wrote, 'for upwards of fifty years he carried out the business of woollen manufacture, with credit, if not much profit for himself, and much benefit to the community'. The current generation of our family owners have been hugely supportive of our ambition to become a B Corp, as it is a natural fit with their values and the way we do business.’

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

We are delighted to announce our recent certification, which follows our receipt of the Queen's Award for Enterprise for our work around sustainability. However, have always known that minimising our environmental impact is a continuous process. 

Chris said, ‘The team at Johnstons of Elgin have done great work to get us to the point where we could meet the rest of the stringent criteria required to become a B Corp, and this, in turn, has made us a better company. There remains much work to do, but it is very fulfilling as a Chief Executive and a Board to be so clearly empowered by our family owners to make decisions that will continue us on a journey to becoming a fully sustainable company.'

You can read more about our sustainability journey on our Sustainability Hub.

Find out more about B Corp Certification here.