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Welsh linen company awarded gold standard B Corps certification

Stephen Broadhurst

South Wales linen suppliers Star Linen UK has become one of the first companies in the hospitality sector to achieve the prestigious B Corporation certification – joining the growing movement using business as a force for good.

The gold standard award recognises Star Linen UK’s commitment to sustainable business practices and ethical standards, solidifying its position as an industry leader in environmentally conscious solutions for the hospitality sector.

Verified by B Lab, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement, the achievement demonstrates the company meets high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability alongside a commitment to goals beyond shareholder value.

Based at Ystrad Mynach, near Caerphilly, Star Linen UK was formed in 2016 and is now the chosen supplier of bedding, bathroom, dining and kitchen products to leading hotels, laundries, universities, holiday parks and spas.

It secured the prized award in just over a year in a milestone achievement. Managing Director Stephen Broadhurst said: “We are thrilled to achieve B Corp certification which underscores our dedication to sustainable and transparent business practices, social responsibility and ethical standards.

“It reflects the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability throughout its operations and signifies a new era of commitment to sustainability within the hospitality industry, setting a benchmark for responsible business practices.

“For me, personally, it’s where the sustainability journey really begins and we look forward to partnering with like-minded businesses in the sector to create a more sustainable and ethical future for all.”

B Corp Certification assesses the entirety of a company’s operations and currently covers five main impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.

Star Linen UK integrates sustainable practices into its operations and has been carbon neutral for the last two years having implemented energy-efficient practices, transitioned to environmentally certified products, and minimised waste through robust recycling initiatives.

At the heart of the company culture is a profound commitment to employee well-being. The company ensures fair wages for all employees, provides a comprehensive benefits package including professional development opportunities, and supports holistic well-being through initiatives including free gym membership and counselling services.

Customer satisfaction is also paramount, with a dedicated focus on enhancing the customer experience and exceeding expectations. The company actively seeks feedback through platforms including Feefo to continually improve its services and products, ensuring that customer needs are at the forefront of its operations.

Community engagement is a pillar of Star Linen’s ‘Star Way’ sustainability journey. Through initiatives focused on job creation, sourcing from local suppliers, and various philanthropic endeavours, the company aims to make a positive impact on local economies and community welfare.

The B Corp certification process is rigorous, with companies required to reach a score of 80 points in the B Impact Assessment while providing evidence of responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity, and corporate transparency. A business must also legally embed its commitment to purpose as well as profit in its company articles.

Chris Turner, executive director of B Lab UK, says: “We are delighted to welcome Star Linen UK to the B Corp community. This is a movement of companies that are committed to changing how business operates and believe business really can be a force for good.

“We know that Star Linen UK is going to be a fantastic addition to the community and will continue driving the conversation forward.”

Star Linen UK is now part of a growing community of over 8,500 businesses globally that have been certified as B Corps. The B Corp community in the UK is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world and includes household names like The Guardian, Innocent Drinks, Patagonia, Tony’s Chocolonely, The Big Issue, Finisterre, Elemis, and Sipsmith Gin.