Good things take time, or so the saying goes. For what seems like ages we’ve been quietly working away on our B Corporation (B Corp) assessment — and we’ve finally submitted it. Hurrah!
‘What is a B Corp?’ I hear you say. It’s a worldwide certification programme for organisations that choose to use business as a force for good. Being a B Corp is about trust, transparency, and social responsibility. It’s about doing the right thing for all stakeholders — clients, team members, suppliers, and community. And for us, it’s about consistently finding ways to live up to our tagline ‘Using the power of words for good’.
I first heard about B Corp when I bought an innovative shampoo bar. Thank you, Ethique, for the intriguing logo on your packaging that prompted me to find out what a B Corp was (I kept the box)!
Since that moment I’ve thought harder about what we do, the impact we have, and what we can do better. I’ve talked to a lot of other B Corps, including three stand-out law firms in various parts of the world, and have been inspired by both their philosophy and their actions. B Corp means you must walk the walk. And they do.
The process of becoming a B Corp is appropriately challenging and, well, BIG. The rigorous Business Impact Assessment took us over a year to complete. But even before getting the accreditation tick, I can say with certainty that the journey was worth it.
Certifying as a B Corporation goes beyond product- or service-level certification. B Corp Certification is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. The B Impact Assessment evaluates how your company’s operations and business model impact your workers, community, environment, and customers. From your supply chain and input materials to your charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves your business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.
Positive impact is supported by transparency and accountability requirements. B Corp Certification doesn’t just prove where your company excels now — it commits you to consider stakeholder impact for the long term.
How many B Corps are there worldwide? Over 3,500 and counting (although over 100,000 businesses worldwide have taken the B Corp Business Impact Assessment since its launch in 2006). You’ll recognise many of the big B Corp brands, well known for their stance on corporate and social responsibility: Patagonia, The Body Shop, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, Etsy, and more.
Australia and New Zealand now have 227 certified B Corporations. In anticipation (with fingers crossed) of making the grade, we’ll be proud to join the growing number of New Zealand B Corps — such as our friends at Springload, and other iconic Kiwi companies Fix & Fogg, Kathmandu, Allbirds, Sharesies, and Synlait Milk.
Choose to do business with a New Zealand B Corp. And share the good word.