Since becoming a B Corp in August of this year, the response has been twofold. On one hand people have been just as enthused as us for such an achievement, and on the other, people have to ask what B Corp really means and what’s involved in the process.
This knowledge divide around B Corp made me think that it might be useful to pen some thoughts around what it means to be B Corp certified, and what we learnt in our effort to become Australia and New Zealand’s first consumer insights B Corp.
In simple terms, B Corp certification is a way that for-profit organisations can show they give equal weight to people, planet and profit. B Corp certified businesses meet a verified standard of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The process is lengthy and involves a commitment from company executives that spans years, but it is worth it. As a company you should be wary about starting the B Corp process unless you’re already living out some of the B Corp values. Truth be told, when a peer advocated the B Corp community to us and we began exploring it, it resonated, and the framework and structure it offered really appealed. So we started our two-year journey, which involved countless hours, buoyed by amazing team engagement and enthusiasm. Even in the few short months that we’ve been a B Corp, it’s had a profound effect on us.
We are very considered and intentional about the sectors and clients for which we work. There are certain sectors Nature has never and will never work in (e.g. tobacco), but being a B Corp has also helped us navigate our ethical stance on categories such as fossil fuels, gambling and alcohol. While we do work in these sectors, our work is intentionally only in their transitional spaces, and we have committed to growth caps with respect to the proportion of our total revenue base they’ll account for.
Basically, it provides a holistic and ethical framework within which to conduct business, creating clarity and a consistent set of agreed and known standards and expectations within the entire team as to what we stand for. It has big implications for being a future-facing company, which I will explain in my next piece.
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