#IWD2023 series: Interview with Hannah Cox, Founder of betternotstop

betternotstop is helping businesses to become both more environmentally sustainable and socially impactful.

This International Women’s Day, we’re giving the floor to some of the cool female founders that we know, to share insights on their missions, perspectives on future trends for their purpose-led industries, and what they’ve got planned for the next year.

To continue this mini series, we’re speaking with Hannah Cox, the Founder of betternotstop. Founded in 2019, betternotstop is today a purpose-driven sustainability impact agency, helping businesses be better in every sense, through sustainable growth, financial growth, environmental and social impact. They help businesses to implement strategies, policies and frameworks (like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, B Corp Certification and Carbon Literacy) to increase their revenue, customer base and employee retention. betternotstop is proudly a pending B Corp, and Hannah is a ‘B Leader’ certified by B Lab UK.

If you’re interested in Corporate Social Responsibility, consulting, entrepreneurship, or just social and environmental impact, this is the interview for you!

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background and your route into creating Better Not Stop?

My background is project and event management, and I also had an art brand and shop in Manchester City Centre. I started betternotstop as I wanted to create a business aligned with my values, and that helped solve some of the big challenges we are all facing. I launched in 2019, and it was a different business; Covid meant we had to pivot which led to what the business does today - helping other businesses around the world create a better one. 

What's your 1-liner mission with betternotstop?

We help business leaders create a better world. 


What were the biggest challenges when beginning the organisation?

Cashflow, which is the most boring answer. I would also say being able to manage your time and learn what to prioritise. As a business owner there is always something to do, so figuring out what to focus on to drive your business forward, being happy to make mistakes, keep moving and not be perfect. 

From your perspective, what needs to happen to get more companies certified as B Corp, or for example implementing more SGDs? 

Business Owners need to recognise that they have a responsibility, as someone that creates something, to be able to answer to future generations. Business Owners need to ask themselves 'Is the world a better place because your business exists?' Asking yourself the tough questions and being honest about the impact your business has to its stakeholders allows you to create a better product or service to the people and the planet that you serve. Focusing on the positive impact your business creates is just as important as making money, if not more! Profit is the fuel your business needs, it’s not a destination, and impactful work needs to be the foundation of whatever you do. 

Can you walk us through a specific example of how an organisation has engaged with Better Not Stop?

Kendal Calling wanted to connect their audience emotionally to the amazing deer park their event takes place on, and encourage them to become better environment stewards. We created a campaign called 'Leave Nothing but Memories' encompassing an internal strategy across all stakeholders’ actions to improve the event's social and environmental impact. 

For that project, it was all about storytelling, embedded in practice using Global Reporting Standards using the SDG Framework. This allowed us to collect the data and change the behaviour of tens of thousands people for the better. 

The festival audience responded positively. Some examples are that 96% of artists signed the Artist Pledge to be more sustainable, reducing riders and donating to charity. Additionally, 98.07% of tents were taken home (from 6000 left onsite in 2019, to just 300 left in 2022). Over 300,000 cups were saved from landfill and everyone got involved in a 'Clean up hour' in the campsite before the main arena opened every day. 


Finally, what net sustainability trends/practices for businesses do you think will emerge in the next 2-5 years?

My big prediction in the Music Industry is that more artists and brands will be speaking up about climate action and climate change, encouraging fans to get involved and take part in positive behaviour. I also think that we will see more people representing nature in the boardroom and more businesses using the doughnut economics framework. We had 350 business leaders at the Better Business Summit this year, and expect to double that in 2024, which I think shows a desire for business leaders to share knowledge and learn new ways to do things. I think sustainability communications will start to focus around more nature and people-centric empathetic messaging; scare tactics only seem to shut down positive communications. Active listening will be key!

We hope that this interview inspired and informed you, whether it comes to thinking about CSR, switching careers, or impactful entrepreneurship! Check out our other International Women’s Day interviews here.