Client Stories


Blacklock’s approach to sustainable transformation

Working towards the long-term, without any quick wins, serves up an extraordinary attainment in B Corp certification. 

Blacklock is committed to making sure “everyone leaves happy”. At this chophouse group for the more conscious eater, ‘everyone’ means their teams, guests, communities, suppliers, shareholders and the planet. Nothing goes to waste, and their reputation for serving good value meat in lesser-known cuts extends to using the whole animal, sourced from grass fed, low intensity farming, in Cornwall. Blacklock’s reputation as an employer was even better. Becoming a B Corp was the next natural step.


  • B Corp
  • ESG Strategy


Key Information

B Corp   +   ESG Strategy

Food & Beverage

150+ Employees


“At Blacklock we put our people first and focus on being a great place to work whilst having a positive impact more widely. So when we first heard about B Corp it felt like the perfect fit for us.”

Sam Dagger
Head of Projects at Blacklock


Taking the time to transform responsibly yet cost-effectively

Blacklock approached Seismic for support as they began their B Corp journey. The responsibility to deliver this lay in the hands of their Head of Projects, in addition to their broader role, whose overview of different departments was a helpful tie-in for the Governance questions on the assessment.

Becoming a B Corp is not an easy process; the bar is set high for good reason.

Being at the very start of their journey, Blacklock needed to understand how they were performing against the B Impact Assessment (BIA) and its requirements. They were looking for an external advisor to give them that first holistic view of the business, support Blacklock through the long-term process (quick wins were not Blacklock’s style) and empower them to manage accountability and momentum across the business.

At the time, Blacklock had 4 chophouses open, another soon to follow, each running a team of up to 60 people. Given that their culture puts the care and development of its Blacklockers at the heart of the business, bringing a busy internal team of restaurant team on the journey was going to be vital if positive change was to be implemented effectively.

Keen to take a holistic approach and improve many elements across the business, Blacklock needed advisors who could help address all those different aspects, across the range of requirements of the assessment.


“After the deepest of dives into all of our practices and every nook and cranny from people to governance, sustainability to our community engagement, we submitted our application.”

Sam Dagger
Head of Projects at Blacklock


A steady pace, putting people first at every step of the B Corp journey

The role Seismic played from the start was to coach Blacklock through the necessary improvements to certify confidently, focusing on long term improvements over short-term wins.

The project started with a B Corp discovery. Seismic took a sample of the B Impact Assessment (BIA)  and scored Blacklock on how well they did across those questions. The results provided a level of confidence for the rest, totaling roughly 55 points which is around the global average for non-B Corps.

The coaching process continued through the completion of the entirety of the BIA. Seismic targets a minimum of 85 points for every client to provide a buffer from the 80-point threshold.

The Seismic team oversaw the resolution of BIA answers and tasks, with regular sense-checking on progress to help guide where best to spend Blacklock’s time, energy and resource and make the biggest and most achievable difference.

As Blacklock were committed to long-term change, Seismic’s advice was to focus first on those improvements that required longer-term implementation,

Blacklock remained enthusiastic about doing the groundwork, and Seismic’s coaching enabled the project to keep moving over the course of a year.


“Seismic guided us through our application and were a pleasure to work with. They really are the oracle on all things B Corp and their enthusiasm was contagious. [The team] were super personable, patient and kept us on track. With their help, we achieved our goals and more”

Sam Dagger
Head of Projects at Blacklock


100% accuracy and an excellent framework to continue beyond B Corp certification

Given the nature of their business, B Corp certification for Blacklock was plausible and feasible, but the work they put in over 18 months took them above and beyond. They went as far and did as much as they possibly could, following every recommendation and taking the time to make steady, substantial change. 

By providing very clear, insightful instructions and regular coaching, a strong score was achieved. Blacklock submitted at 92.9, and scored the exact same number of points in certification. It is rare to see no fluctuation in points at all, and reflects the accuracy of the guidance provided by Seismic prior to application.

Blacklock were awarded B Corp certification in August 2023, after 18 months of incremental but fundamental hard work.

While they had always placed a huge emphasis on their people, Blacklock now has a formalised approach to making jobs in hospitality a career, not just a temporary or casual option. They have established a thriving culture and a workforce their Blacklockers are proud to be part of, and since certifying have since begun introducing a B-Keeper programme. Elected by other Blacklockers on site, each restaurant’s B-Keeper attends quarterly meetings with the Leadership Team to share thoughts and feedback. 

In terms of external communications, a code of ethics document called The Blacklock Way came about as a result of the B Corp process. It captures how they talk about themselves as a company, Blacklock’s role in sustainability and how being a B Corp plays its part. This has been shared publicly with customers and suppliers to bring stakeholders on their journey. Blacklock and the team continue to influence their supply chain, encouraging them to meet Blacklock standards at a high level for sustainability and quality.

“One of the most remarkable elements of the work Blacklock put in, was that their high score was reached without any IBMs. Blacklock chose to do the hard and substantial work, making long-term fundamental changes to their business. This approach to transformation is truly representative of a purpose-led organisation.”


Mike Wilson, Sustainability Consultant, Seismic



London restaurants, and counting


grass fed, low intensity farming supplier


rigorous BIA questions answered


point score, without IBMs

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Sustainability Strategy

Sustainability Strategy

Reporting & Disclosure

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B Corp

Net Zero

Carbon & Net Zero

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Capacity Building

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