“Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, envision a better economic system where businesses can benefit people, communities, and the planet. They choose long-term investments over quick wins, and measure their success based on the positive impact they create.”
To earn this certification, companies measure their impact across five different areas using the BIA tool: workers, customers, governance, environment and community. This tool is more like an exam with A LOT of questions about each area, to which businesses answer and score depending on what they actually do.
The BIA is open for all and free to use, and we must say it’s a great way to gain knowledge and ideas on how to run a more responsible, thoughtful business. It’s almost like an on-demand coach that shows you strategies and processes toward positive short/mid/long-term outcomes in every field—an exercise that otherwise may get missed in the hustle and bustle of the everyday chores (#smallbusinesslyfe).
While anyone can take the BIA, not everyone gets the B Corp certification. To do so, a company must submit it and stay over the 80-point score mark after going through an audit by B Lab. This process is lengthy, time-consuming and, yes, a little bit painful; they ask for all sorts of documents and proofs (like financials, profit & loss sheets, policies, etc.) to double-check that businesses actually do as they say—essential to building trust with B Corp and ethically-minded consumers. This process must repeat every 3 years to re-acquire the B Corporation re-certification.
Our re-certification score diagram within our B Corporation public profile
We earned it first back in April 2019 and our first re-certification came through last April 2022, covering the wholesale and online retail side of our operations plus those of our cafes in Surry Hills, St Peters and Chippendale. While the audit process took only ~3 months for the first time, this last one took more than half a year. It’s a substantial commitment of time and effort.
So why go through it? Why be a certified B Corp?
For us, it’s one more way to demonstrate to our customers that we care for more than just the bottom line. Saying that we’re a certified B Corporation tells our community that we’re serious about doing better and using our business as a force for good; it’s a solid sign of trust that holds us accountable, gives us a point of difference and connects us to other companies we admire: Patagonia, Future Super, Who Gives A Crap, Caravela Coffee, Coffee Collective, Coffee Circle… all of these B Corps.
However, we also understand that this is not the only way to say “I care to do good with my business”. We believe that trust and accountability can be earned through communication, and we practice this constantly via our website, journal, newsletter and socials. A business we admire for this, and it’s not a certified B Corp, is Flour and Stone (which we’re proud to have as a wholesale partner).
Wrapping up, what’s next?
The B Corp is growing, and new companies are joining the movement—large and small. It’s a good sign, proving that more and more customers are choosing where their money goes.
We’ll continue operating as responsibly as possible, looking at ways to tread lighter and create a more positive impact on our surroundings. It’s something we’ve always done and always will do—whether we hold a certification for it or not.
From little things…