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Gloucestershire Business News

Cotswold soap maker wants firms to be legally bound to clean up their acts

The founder of a Cotswold soap company has met with a government minister to help clean up the impact left by businesses on the planet.

Emma Heathcote-James spoke with Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston at her company's headquarters in Broadway.

They discussed The Better Business Act which seeks to amend Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 before the next general election and ensure businesses are legally responsible for benefiting workers, customers, communities and the environment while delivering profit.

Little Soap Company is a member of the 2,000-strong businesses coalition which is backing the Act and believes every company in the UK, big and small, should play their part in making the world fairer and greener.

Emma said: "From the inception of Little Soap Company, the belief that business should truly balance people, profit and the planet has been at the heart of the brand.

"Creating a business should also carry a huge weight of responsibility - it's our job to ensure we help make the world a better place.

"We are by no means the biggest B Corp certified business in The Better Business Act coalition, but we believe it's hugely important to lead the way and be the change you want to see in the world."

Emma made her first bar of soap at her kitchen table in 2008 and today the company sells products through Sainsburys, Waitrose, Boots, Ocado and Amazon while managing to be carbon negative.

It uses electric company vehicles and remote teams to avoid unnecessary community and has reduced its CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions to 12.05 tonnes, while offsetting 30.61 tonnes through UK woodland reforestation projects.

During the meeting, she also highlighted the need for increased support for female founders in the entrepreneurial landscape and introduced Mr Huddleston to Buy Women Built.

Co-founded by Sahar Hashemi OBE and Barny Macaulay, its aim is to create direct consumer support for women built businesses.

It said the gap between male and female entrepreneurship has widened because of the pandemic and the UK's rates of female entrepreneurship are 30% lower than USA. meaning 81% of 11-18-year olds are unable to name one single female entrepreneur.

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