Wildanet scoops Sustainability Award for pioneering B|23 initiative

Wildanet is celebrating winning a major accolade in a key telecoms industry awards ceremony.

The company won the Sustainability Award at the Connected Britain Awards, held at the Future of UK Connectivity event held at the ExCeL in London.

Judges heard how Wildanet’s ethos and operation is steeped in responsibility and sustainability; seeking to balance looking after the environment, looking after people, and growing a successful long-term business.

The award focussed on the B-23 initiative launched earlier this year by Wildanet in partnership with Cornwall-based B-Corp pioneers Leap and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. The project put a spotlight on sustainability in Cornwall, initially designed to support 23 Cornish companies to transform their business models to achieve B-Corp status but quickly growing to inspire a new movement across the South West promoting ethical and sustainable trading.

Attendees at the Connected Britain event heard Wildanet praised by judges, who said: “Wildanet’s B-23 strategy saw them greatly improve their sustainability credentials, leading the charge in their local communities.”

“Here’s a company that’s tackling the issue of sustainability in numerous forms and bringing local businesses along with them. Very impressive.”

Helen Wylde, CEO of Wildanet, who accepted the award on behalf of the business, said: “The response to B-23 locally was fantastic, leading to a hugely successful programme which has now been extended into a second cohort in Cornwall and plans to develop a similar initiative in Devon.

“It’s great to see B-23 recognised by this award and I’d like to thank our own team and that of Leap and the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, without whose support this innovative and exciting project would not have been possible.”

Wildanet had initially set itself the challenge of becoming a B-Corp in 2023 but after engaging with B-Corp and local B-leaders the company saw an opportunity to take a leadership role, working with other likeminded business, to promote the further development of a sustainable business ecosystem and the beginnings of a new movement in Cornwall.

The idea was simple: why not bring a further 22 companies with us on the B-Corp journey (23 Cornish businesses for 2023). And the B-23 initiative was born.

Launched at the Eden project in front of a 180-strong room of Cornish businesses, the initiative was heavily oversubscribed, with 94 businesses initially registering.

The programme has seen the cohort led through five events, each one focusing on a different impact area of the B-Corp Business Impact Assessment - Governance, Workers, Environment, Community and Customers - with events held in inspirational venues, with inspirational speakers.

The aim is to drive change and bring a new focus on sustainability for the businesses involved – and to support all the companies in being ready to submit their rigorous B-Corp Business Impact Assessments to B Lab UK for consideration.

Based on the McKinsey Model of ESG Value Creation (2019) and Enterprise Value Enhancement research by Deloitte, it is estimated the programme will create an annual valuation of between c.£2.8million and c.£3.9million when collectively applied to the current B23 cohort.

The initiative has won widespread praise. Funding has been secured from Cornwall Council to run a second Cornish cohort in autumn 2023, and plans are being made to roll-out the programme to Devon in 2024.

You may be interested in...

April 2024
Wildanet awarded new £41 million contract to deliver gigabit-capable broadband in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as part of the UK government’s £5billion Project Gigabit roll-out.
Find out more
March 2024
Milestone for UK Government’s Project Gigabit in Cornwall as Faster Broadband Switched On for First 1,000 Homes
Find out more
March 2024
Wildanet launches KIT|24 to re-home unwanted business tech into much needed IT for families
Find out more