Being a B Corp means other brands want to work with you

Becoming a B Corp reaps a host of benefits, one of these is how it makes you more attractive to other organisations, which brings you more business and wins you more tenders, bids and contracts. We call it the double whammy ROI of B Corp.

In brief, businesses are scrambling to meet the raft of new legislation and regulations, to conditions being implemented by governments, local councils, investors, institutions, etc. From cities with Clean Air Zones to climate change levies, polluter taxes, mandated emissions reporting, and a whole lot more. The business sector is no longer able to focus on making profit regardless of the impact on planet and people.

So organisations are looking to partner, hire, and buy from other businesses that have valid ESG credentials. It means they have an easier time of tracking their own emissions and showing visibility on their supply chain. We have a number of clients come to us about becoming a B Corp because they just lost a contract due to not being a B Corp.

Here are some examples of how being a B Corp won new business:

Around the world, organisations want to do business with credible ethical businesses for many reasons, e.g. healthier relationships through values-aligned partnerships, simpler emissions reporting, mutual growth benefits, as well as marketing opportunities.

That’s where B Corp Certification comes in. As an independently verified certification, it’s the gold standard and gives credibility to ethical claims.

It offers other organisations an easy way to spot a truly sustainable business from a greenwashing fake one that’s just saying the right things but not doing anything.

In summary, having the B Corp logo is a clear sign that your firm is committed to ethical practices. It gives your company an edge over non-certified competitors when you’re looking to win new business, which can only have a direct positive impact on profits.

Is your organisation ready to B Corp?

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seeks to value people and planet while making as much profit as possible.

If you think B Corp might be for you, check out our free e-book “2B Or Not 2B: The What, Why & How Of B Corp Certification” here.

Being a B Corp attracts investors

Becoming a B Corp reaps a host of benefits, one of these is greater access to investment capital, loans and growth funds. We call it the double whammy ROI of B Corp.

According to B Lab UK, 70% of B Corps that seek equity finance end up raising the amount they want, compared with 56% of all companies.

Why? In a nutshell, more financiers, bankers and investors won’t work with companies lacking a sustainable strategy. These investors are under pressure from a range of stakeholders, including consumers, who are demanding better ESG performance from businesses. B Corp certification can therefore enhance a firm’s credibility with investors seeking sustainable returns.

According to Morgan Stanley, the growth of sustainable finance in the next decade will be driven by three main trends:

  • Expect a greater diversity of sustainable investing strategies across assets and themes, partly driven by growth trends among Millennial investors.
  • The net-zero transition will change approaches to land use, in order to satisfy demand for renewable power, metals and minerals and nature-based solutions.
  • A proliferation of regulations and voluntary standards across the world will reshape corporate strategies, disclosures and availability of data.

It’s about more than just avoiding the big polluters of the world; investors are actively seeking to invest in businesses with solutions to our biggest challenges. This includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, water technology, social housing, and more.

In recent years, we have seen a tectonic shift of capital. At the beginning of 2020, the value of sustainable investment in major financial markets globally stood at $35.3tn, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), and accounts for 36 per cent of all professionally managed assets across the US, Canada, Japan, Australasia and Europe. The previous two years alone saw growth of 15 per cent, the GSIA said. Actions and ambitions towards decarbonization have also increased. This is just the beginning – the tectonic shift towards sustainable investing is still accelerating.

Here are some examples of how sustainability is shifting the economic landscape…

  • In 2023, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (.W1SGIGTD)had a total return of 21.7%, compared to returns of 17% for the global broad market (.SBBMGLU).
  • Kiwi B Corp Kathmandu secured a $100 million loan from ANZ under the condition that they maintained their B Corp Certification
  • UK B Corp Coutts Private Banking and Wealth Management firm says ‘responsible investing’ is one of three key factors consider when deciding where to invest clients’ money – along with managing risk and managing costs.
  • Most banks now offer green loans. For example, the ANZ Business Green Loan lends amounts of up to $3 million to help businesses invest in their sustainable goals.

Around the world, institutional investors, bankers, private equity and angel investors, are demanding higher sustainability credentials from the companies they support financially.

That’s where B Corp Certification comes in. As an independently verified certification, it’s the gold standard and gives credibility to ethical claims.

It offers investors an easy way to spot a truly sustainable business from a greenwashing fake one that’s just saying the right things but not doing anything.

In summary, having the B Corp logo is a clear sign to prospective investors that your firm is committed to ethical practices. It gives your business an edge over non-certified competitors when you’re looking for loans, seed funding, growth funding, or other capital investment.

Is your organisation ready to B Corp?

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seeks to value people and planet while making as much profit as possible.
If you think B Corp might be for you, check out our free e-book “2B Or Not 2B: The What, Why & How Of B Corp Certification” here.

Being B Corp boosts sales

Becoming a B Corp reaps a host of benefits, one of these is boosted customer sales and brand loyalty. We call it the double whammy ROI of B Corp.

Around the world, we’re seeing a tidal wave of consumers demanding to know more about the provenance of what they’re buying. From clothes to cars and food, consumers are voting with their wallets and increasingly choosing ethical goods and services, which is driving massive shifts in the business sector.

A few statistics to highlight this shift…

  • US sales of products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than other products from 2013 to 2018 – NYU Stern Center
  • In 2015, a survey of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries found that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for products or services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact – Nielsen, 2015
  • In the UK alone, the market for ethical products grew to more than £81.3 billion in 2017, with demand for sustainable fish growing by nearly 37% in 2016 (Ethical Consumer, 2017)
  • 73% of UK consumers want to be more sustainable in 2021 – YouGov
  • Two thirds of consumers support carbon labelling on products across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK and US – YouGov
  • Millennials (80%) are almost twice as likely than Baby Boomers (48%) to pay more for sustainable products – Nielsen… and Gen Z are likely higher.

Given this soaring demand for sustainable products and services, companies are trying to figure out how to both be more sustainable and market themselves as such without risking accusations of greenwashing.

That’s where B Corp Certification comes in. As an independently verified certification, it’s the gold standard and gives credibility to ethical claims.

As well, it offers customers who are worried about issues like plastic pollution, climate breakdown, and social justice, an easy way to spot a truly sustainable business from a greenwashing fake one that’s just saying the right things but not doing anything.

When customers see the logo on a product or service, they tend to automatically trust that brand more than a non-B Corp competitor and thus be more inclined to buy.

In summary, having the B Corp logo on your packaging, marketing materials and pitch documents, is a clear sign to prospective clients/customers that your firm is committed to ethical practices. It gives your business an edge over non-certified competitors when pitching for business and is proven to have a direct positive impact on sales and profits.

Is your organisation ready to B Corp?

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seeks to value people and planet while making as much profit as possible.

If you think B Corp might be for you, check out our free e-book “2B Or Not 2B: The What, Why & How Of B Corp Certificationhere.

 

 

Being a B Corp attracts top talent and boosts retention

Becoming a B Corp reaps benefits that often take businesses by surprise, one of these is worker retention and recruitment.

Basically, B Corps get first pick of the best talent, they retain existing staff longer, and staff are more engaged and productive.

We call this the B Corp ROI double whammy. There are many other surprise benefits of B Corp certification that we’ll cover in other posts. For this post, we’re looking at the ROI of B Corp on Recruitment and Retention.

Here’s what people say about working at a B Corp…

“Working for this organization marks the first time in my career where I’ve truly felt like my identity and values are embodied in the way in which my employer does business.”

“It feels like I’m just so much more than the work that I produce, and I’m valued for more than that.”

“As a team member, I feel more like a living creature who is cared about and working toward a common goal as opposed to a cog that is just working to meet the bottom line.”

While the reasons why people appreciate working at a Certified B Corporation differ by individual, they reflect the same guiding principle: Businesses that value the people who power their operations and, in turn, operate with their benefit in mind as well. It’s all part of the framework that businesses adopt when they go through B Corp Certification and legally commit to consider the impact of their decisions on their stakeholders: workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

Here’s how B Corp certification can positively impact worker satisfaction and retention:

  1. Mission Alignment:
    • B Corps are committed to balancing profit with social and environmental responsibility. Employees often find greater job satisfaction when they work for a company that aligns with their personal values and contributes to a positive impact on society and the environment.
  2. Employee Engagement:
    • B Corps often prioritize employee engagement initiatives. They create a sense of purpose and community by involving employees in decision-making processes and social responsibility projects. This engagement can enhance job satisfaction and create a positive workplace culture.
  3. Fair and Inclusive Practices:
    • B Corps typically prioritize fair and inclusive practices, ensuring diversity and equal opportunities for all employees. Such practices contribute to a positive work environment, fostering a sense of belonging and satisfaction among workers.
  4. Work-Life Balance:
    • B Corps often emphasize the importance of work-life balance, recognizing that a healthy balance contributes to employee well-being. This focus can positively impact job satisfaction and contribute to employee retention by reducing burnout and stress.
  5. Transparent Communication:
    • B Corps are required to maintain transparency in their operations. Transparent communication fosters trust between employees and the company. When employees feel that they are well-informed and part of the decision-making process, it can contribute to higher job satisfaction.
  6. Investment in Employee Development:
    • B Corps often invest in the professional development and well-being of their employees. Providing opportunities for skill enhancement and personal growth can enhance job satisfaction and make employees more likely to stay with the company.
  7. Positive Brand Image:
    • B Corp certification enhances a company’s reputation as a socially responsible and ethical business. This positive brand image can contribute to a sense of pride among employees, increasing job satisfaction and potentially improving retention rates.
  8. Competitive Advantage in Talent Acquisition:
    • B Corp certification can make a company more attractive to potential employees who prioritize working for socially and environmentally responsible organizations. This can help in attracting top talent, contributing to higher job satisfaction and retention.

In summary, B Corp certification can positively influence worker satisfaction and retention by fostering a values-driven culture, promoting employee engagement, and implementing fair and inclusive practices. The emphasis on transparency, employee development, and a positive brand image further contributes to creating a workplace where employees are more likely to stay and thrive.

Is your organisation ready to B Corp?

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seeks to value people and planet while making as much profit as possible.

If you think B Corp might be for you, check out our free e-book2B Or Not 2B: The What, Why & How Of B Corp Certificationhere.

How B Corps outperform other businesses

How do B Corps compare with other businesses?

It’s a question we get asked a lot around here at Grow Good.

But what people really want to know is, do B Corps make more money that ‘business as usual’ companies?

The answer is, overall, that’s a big YES. Numerous studies have shown that B Corps financially outperform their ordinary business counterparts.

Many studies have been done on this now and data from recent years shows that, overall, B Corps see higher revenue growth than their non-B Corp ‘business as usual’ peers.

A new paper by the Insights team at B Lab, summarises the vast data on revenue and headcount growth from the B Impact Assessment (BIA); a comparative international study of economic survival during the COVID-19 pandemic; and a literature review, delivering important findings. The report is called ‘Financial Performance and Resilience of B Corps’ and it asks: ‘how do B Corps compare to other businesses?’

To answer that question, B Lab analysed three sources: data on revenue and headcount growth from the BIA; a comparative international study of economic survival during the COVID-19 pandemic; and a literature review.

They found:

  • Higher Revenue Growth: B Corps globally were more likely to increase revenue.
    • Between the years 2019 and 2020, 79% of B Corps experienced an increase in revenue, while 54% of Ordinary Businesses demonstrated a revenue increase.
    • Between the years 2020 and 2021, those numbers were 85% and 61% respectfully.
    • Overall, B Corps’ revenue increased by 25 percentage points between 2019 and 2020 and 23 percentage points between 2020 and 2021.
  • Better Economic Survival: B Corps are more likely to survive tough times.
    • From 2019 to Sept 2023, 95.6% of B Corps sampled were still active businesses, while only 87.8% of Ordinary Businesses in the sample were still active.
    • The difference between these two groups is 7.8%, with a p value of .0016; the result is significant at p < .01.
  • Higher Rates of Hiring: B Corps are more likely to hire new workers.
    • Across the world, B Corps are 1.62 times more likely to have increased their worker base by more than 25% over the last 12 months in comparison to ordinary businesses (40.1% of B Corps have).

In addition to B Lab’s own studies, several independent studies have found promising results in terms of the impact of B Corp Certification on revenue growth rate, as well as sales growth.  Paelman and colleagues (2021) note: “Our dataset allows us to study how the effects of B Corp certification [sic] evolve over time, which was previously untested. Our study documents a positive effect of B Corp certification on turnover growth and also that this effect increases with the time since certification, implying that certification requires some time for its full effect to become apparent.

It’s not necessarily an immediate effect though. Other studies do not find short-term financial gains after certification, especially for smaller companies (possibly because of the efforts required to certify).

In summary, if you want your business to be more resilient and make more money in the longer term, become a B Corp.

Does this mean that you should become a B Corp just to make more money? Well, you can but ideally, you’d also want to be part of a movement looking to transform the global economy to one that values people and planet just as much as profit. It might therefore seem ‘not very B Corp’ to be focussing on revenue growth at all.

But here’s the crux of it. In order to be a force for good in the world, B Corps need to be viable and profitable businesses. The more profitable a business is, the greater positive impact it can have on the world because money is a powerful changemaker. It bestows choices, freedoms, influence, and power. So let’s put more of it in the hands of people working to do good in the world.

💳 Download the Financial Performance and Resilience of B Corps paper now: https://infogram.com/1tgl93rr6z7d7df4xo1q6xv8d0ip86gl6lq

 

Become a B Corp

Are you more convinced that B Corp is right for you? Would you like to join the B Corp companies using business as a force for good? Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your friendly B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free call here.

Yours in purpose,

Kia kaha,

Tamara

tamara@growgood.co

From profit to purpose – Tim’s aha moment

This is me in my former life. I spent 10 years in medical device sales.

Right: Tim Jones at work in his previous life as a sales person for surgical medical devices.

Yes, think of Netflix programmes like “The Pharmacist” and “Painkillers” but not as seedy. At least the products I sold were actually fixing people who had things actually wrong with them.

Life was great. I had tons of money, a free car, healthcare, I’d get to go to the best restaurants, travelled internationally and was generally living an amazing life.

I thought I was living a life of meaning and I was, to a degree. My job was to go into operating theatres and ensure that the surgical teams got the best outcomes for the patients they were operating on.

But I wasn’t truly purpose driven. Because fundamentally I was only focused on me maximising my financial return.

After a while, I got thinking about things I was seeing in the industry that didn’t sit right with me.

It started when one of the companies I was working for got into a spot of trouble.

A company Tim worked with allowed patients to die rather than admit their product was not ready for market.

 

MEDICAL MISADVENTURES

The medical device industry is hyper competitive and for companies to maintain market share they need to stay ahead of the pack. This means launching products to market as quickly as possible. It also means that patient care is not always the priority as was demonstrated with four patients dying on the operating table with the launch of one product. Sadly, this launch was being driven by the surgeon who was also as shareholder in the company.

At the time though, the internal spin machine kicked in and you are soon able to compartmentalise this and move on.

A few years later, there was another speed wobble when a whistle-blower in one of the major device companies reported their company to the US Department of Justice for making illegal payments to surgeons. They were, in many cases, literally being paid by the companies to use their products.

 

Again, the companies came out with the spin. ‘It’s a level playing field’ they said. ‘We are all doing it so it must be okay, right?’

Something inside of me just didn’t feel right.

I started to question what I was doing.

It was the birth of my daughter, Daisy, on the backdrop of the Canterbury earthquakes that made me really sit up and take a good look at what I was doing.

After all, if an industry that should be all about saving people was knowingly killing them just to make more money, what was I doing?

Some of the companies that I worked for even had the values about how their primary aim was to make people better engraved in stone in their offices, but it just wasn’t true.

All they cared about was profit maximisation at any cost, and the surgeons were not much better!

I got to feeling that I was living against my moral compass, I was a part of a system and a way of doing things that didn’t align.

Ultimately, I got to thinking there had to be more to life?

THE AHA MOMENT

And so, in 2013 I finally decided enough was enough. I made the leap.

I clearly remember the moment when that switch was flicked. I was standing in the operating theatre bearing witness to some appalling but typical behaviour. I went home afterwards and said to my wife, ‘I’m done’.

Now, the medical device world is a very strange one in many ways and so I thought perhaps all the things I’d seen were specific to that industry.

So, I applied for around 60 different roles in all sorts of industries. I just wanted to get a feel for what else was out there.

Ultimately, I was hired as the General Manager for a firm of surveyors in Christchurch.

At first it felt great.

I was building a team and helping them pursue opportunities that were supporting the rebuild of Christchurch after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

But after a while the cracks started to appear.

Within the company, it was clear that maximising profit was the overarching driver for all decisions – frequently at the expense of personnel.

But beyond that, most of the people in the wider construction industry also just cared about maximising their financial return at any cost to society or the environment,

It was a proper case of out the frying pan and into the fire.

There was this growing misalignment within me – what I now call the authenticity gap.

There were two Tims living inside me – Work Tim and Home Tim.

Work Tim is the one who towed the line and nodded in the meetings about increasing utilisation and productivity while Home Tim was in my heart telling me that I was on the wrong path.

And I was really struggling with life. With this dualism. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that life was just going to be like this.

Is this all there is for the next 40 years?

I figured ‘well it must be me, not them’ and this created some high levels of depression and anxiety. I just wanted out of this system.

But to help work out why I was feeling that way, I went searching inside myself for some answers:

How had I ended up here?

How had we all ended up here?

Why did I spend so long thinking that what I was doing was actually okay?

Why couldn’t anyone else see what I was seeing?

Surely, I couldn’t be the only one struggling with how we were running the show?

Well, the good news is that I wasn’t alone.

Having gone down a Google rabbit hole I stumbled across this group called B Corporation.

B what?

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seeks to balance purpose and profit. This means that rather than solely focusing on profit maximisation, they consider the impact of their operations on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.

There was this collection of businesses around the world that felt the same way as me!

They had a common vision of working to be the best for the world, not the best in the world.

They were these amazing organisations that had a declared higher purpose that was prioritised over just making a profit.

A bit more research showed that there was even one in New Zealand, and it was called Eagle Protect and it was in Christchurch!

After a week of umming and ahhing I figured I had nothing to lose so I sent the CEO Steve Ardagh an email and asked him if I could come round for a cuppa.

A 45-minute meeting turned into a 2 ½ hour extravaganza of my mind being blown by the possibilities of this B Corp movement.

I knew that this is what I had been looking for.

I’d found my tribe.

But how could I get amongst it?

Initially I thought that I could get the surveying company I worked for to look at B Corp.

But they were just not interested.

At the same time, I was also keen to explore the idea of coaching and training as a career path. It had been something that I had toyed with for a few years but didn’t know how to get into it.

After a couple of conversations with some contacts though I managed to get a role doing just that.

Working for a small family-owned business that was values-aligned, I thought they might be open to this B Corp idea, but they just had too much on their plate to consider it.

It seemed that I’d reached a dead end.

But then I figured I’d been talking to everyone about this B Corp concept, perhaps I should pony up and go do it myself.

And in late 2015, I was offered the perfect opportunity as I and the rest of the team were made redundant from the training company.

Now for anyone contemplating the leap into self-employment, here are a few tips on how not to do it:

  • Don’t have a young child.
  • Don’t have a partner who is not earning because they are looking after said child.
  • Don’t have a mortgage.
  • Don’t have a father living in the UK that gets diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

There were compelling arguments pulling me back, to go and get a ‘proper job’ as my mum would say, but my sense of resolve was massive due to my sense of purpose, and I knew I only had one option.

To go and start my own B Corp.

2016 was a year of challenge for sure.

Starting a business in a fledgling industry was tough enough.

But the harder conversations were to be had with my father over three-month long trips back to the UK as we tried to work out our relationship as he was getting more ill.

All the while trying to make a crust and keep my business alive.

But the more I looked at what I felt I was being pulled to do, the more my resolve was strengthened,

Unfortunately, November saw my father pass but by the end of 2016, the launch of my new company, Grow Good, was on track.

I was certified as one of the first 10 B Corps in NZ and my personal purpose was locked in – to co-create a world of abundance that my daughter could inherit, where every human thrives in a manner that is regenerative to each other and the planet we call home.

And that’s what I am all about now.

I do that by helping others get on the B Corp journey.

Maybe you want to grow more good in your world?

Maybe you don’t know where to start?

It’s completely up to you but our e-book could be a great place for you to start to learn more about B Corp and how it can help you become the business the world needs right now… or if you’re ready to chat about it, book some time in with me here.

Yours in purpose,

Tim

 

Should you B Corp?

If you’re in business, chances are you’ve already heard about B Corp certification. If so, you’ve probably wondered whether it’s the right thing for your company. You’ll most likely be asking yourself, ‘How will I benefit?’ and ‘Where do I even begin?’ Excellent questions! Let’s first address how your business could benefit and then we’ll tell you how to begin.

Currently there are almost 130 Kiwi businesses that have B Corp Certification. This includes big businesses like Ethique, Kathmandu, Chia Sisters, Kiwibank, ecostore, Synlait Milk, and Pic’s Peanut Butter but also plenty of small businesses like Twiice, Like-Minded Learning, Sustained Fun, Tax Traders, Soul Studio Hot Yoga, Two Islands, and many more.

Globally, the movement is growing at an exponential rate. As more businesses take the B Corp plunge, even more are weighing up the benefits of becoming B Corp certified. That’s why we’ve put together this short ‘why and how’ of B Corp because when it’s done right, sustainability and B Corp is a massive opportunity. Let’s start with six reasons why…

  1. Brand Loyalty

More shoppers are choosing ethical products and services. Many are prepared to pay more for sustainable brands. Millennials (80%) are almost twice as likely than Baby Boomers (48%) to pay more for sustainable products [Nielsen]. In the US, sales of products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than other products from 2013 to 2018 [NYU Stern Center]

  1. Recruitment and retention

The best talent are choosing to work for companies that align with their values. As well, existing staff are engaged and retained for longer. 75% of millennials would take a smaller salary to work for a sustainable company [G&A Institute survey] while according to LinkedIn, demand for ‘green’ jobs has tripled.

  1. Cost savings

Businesses are finding significant cost savings from sustainable efficiencies and innovation. In one year, IBM saved $1.35 million from energy conservation initiatives. Interface Flooring saved $450 million by reducing/recycling its manufacturing waste from 1996 to 2013.

  1. Legislation-proofing

ESG regulation is coming thick and fast. Governments are mandating companies to align with a net-zero agenda through policy and legislation. As well, the growth of climate change-related litigation is becoming a risk which businesses of all types cannot afford to ignore.

  1. Access to capital

Increasingly, financiers, bankers, insurers and investors won’t work with companies that don’t have a sustainability strategy. CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, Larry Fink said: “There is no company whose business model won’t be profoundly affected by the transition to a net-zero economy.” Companies seeking investment with BlackRock must provide a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy.

  1. It boosts your bottom-line

That’s right, you make more money. Overall, B Corps are outperforming their non-B Corp peers. This has been empirically studied by a European university that found that based on data from 2012 to 2018, European B Corps had higher turnover as a result of B Corp certification. As well, a US academic study found that businesses that got on the sustainability train enjoyed a nine per cent increase in sales.

That’s just a few of the B Corp benefits. For some NZ industries, including wine and honey, B Corp is quickly becoming the norm so before long businesses that aren’t B Corp in some industries will be standing out for the wrong reasons.

If you’re ready to strap on your B Corp boots, you can do it all yourself by logging onto www.BImpactAssessment.net, registering for a free account and then answering the 200 or so questions that are relevant for your business. Some businesses though, get stuck doing it by themselves. So you also have the option of hiring a B Corp consultant, like us here at Grow Good. We live, breathe, and sleep B Corp. We exist to help businesses get B Corp certified as quickly as possible and with the highest score possible. If you need a hand, give us a call – details below. Or if you just want some more information for now, click here.

Become a B Corp

Are you more convinced that B Corp is right for you? Would you like to join the B Corp companies using business as a force for good? Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your friendly B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free call here.

Yours in purpose,

Kia kaha,

Tamara

tamara@growgood.co

Fashion to die for

I love Paul Polman and I don’t care who knows it.

‘Who’s he when he’s at home,’ you ask? Polman is the former CEO of Unilever who transitioned that mammoth brand from its ‘extractive business as usual’ model to a company that is now a role model for sustainable business. And guess what? In doing so he made it more profitable than ever. [Repeat after me: ‘Going green pays’.]

Since leaving Unilever, Paul [if I may be so familiar] has become a tireless campaigner for sustainable business. His latest book is Net Positive: how courageous companies thrive by giving more than they take.

But I digress. My love and admiration for Paul Polman is not the purpose of this post. My purpose is to draw attention to his recent article called ‘Fashion as a Force for Good?’ Because our lives depend on it.

Who knew something as frilly, frivolous and fun as fashion could be a key driver in humanity bringing about our own demise. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘oh that dress is to die for’. Because it really is. In fact, chances are someone in a far-off corner of a developing country already has.

As Paul points out, the fashion industry produces around 10 percent of global carbon emissions and, based on current trends, these could surge. If the whole world stopped making clothes today, there are already enough garments in the world to clothe the next six generations. I mean, WTF? Who signed that off?

Fashion is responsible for staggering water consumption, soil destruction, ocean pollution and landfill, and human rights violations affect vulnerable workers throughout the value chain.

We are swimming in unwanted clothing. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that a bin lorry full of used clothing is landfilled or burned every second. Every single second. That’s three truckloads in the time you took to read this sentence.

Less than 2% of the clothes, shoes and accessories produced every year are recycled into new fashion; most that are recycled are ‘downcycled’ into products such as cushion stuffing and insulation.

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

Here’s the thing though. We cannot despair. Despair is another form of delay and time is already in short supply. It’s precisely because fashion has an outsize impact on people and planet that we must work together to transform it. [That’s a quote from Paul, just FYI.]

And thankfully there is plenty of reason to be hopeful! Many fashion companies are undoubtedly raising their game.

  • Fashion giant Patagonia has partnered with social impact companies to launch a new clothing repair centre in London that will provide jobs for those with challenges to finding employment and train them on circular economy methods.
  • Chloé is the first big luxury brand to become a certified B Corp.
  • Both Kering and H&M Group are committed to reducing absolute emissions, rather than a relative figure, where gains are quickly wiped out by growth. Both also include so-called ‘Scope 3’, meaning emissions the companies are indirectly responsible for in their value chains.
  • Inditex aims to get most of its raw materials from sustainable sources within the next two years.
  • Aigle wants to enable people to experience nature “without leaving any impact except their footprints.”

But we need bigger change and we need it faster.

THE FASHION PACT

“Whether you’re Gucci, LVMH or Primark, you all need low- impact materials, like leather which doesn’t cost the Amazon rainforest, and cotton which doesn’t worsen water scarcity, pesticide pollution and global warming. You all need effective recycling systems, instead of relying on landfill,” writes Paul.

“This is why, with Kering’s François-Henri Pinault and myself as founders, we set up The Fashion Pact: a coalition of more than 60 CEOs and 160 brands, representing a third of the global industry, and including ready-to-wear, sports, lifestyle and luxury sectors. The idea is that by taking joint action on climate, ocean pollution and biodiversity, a critical mass of leaders can drive industry-wide reform.

“All members are committed to creating a “net-zero and nature positive” fashion industry.”

“Every Fashion Pact member knows they need to get off fossil fuels. It won’t happen quickly enough if everybody chips away at the problem on their own. So, in a first for the industry, a dozen members are jointly investing in a solar facility in Spain to add much-needed clean energy onto the grid. They’re setting a precedent for fashion, and more joint energy buying will follow.

“Another example: Members are designing a system of carbon credits to help farmers shift to regenerative practices and produce lower-impact cotton. It’s being piloted with hundreds of farmers in India and the US. If the market mechanism works, 25 brands are lined up to adopt it.

“Seventeen have engaged in a joint R&D project to develop a paper alternative to plastic polybags used to transport garments. Led by Chanel and Kering, companies who produce mainly in Europe, are joining forces to help their suppliers decarbonize. High-volume players in Asia are doing similar. And we’ve developed practical tools all fashion businesses need in order to rethink their relationship to nature, and to support biodiversity rather than destroy it.”

That was a big chunk of quoting straight from Paul’s article. To read his full article in Women’s Wear Daily, go to https://wwd.com/sustainability/environment/fashion-sustainability-pollution-pact-polman-unilever-1235891362/

 

Become a B Corp

Are you more convinced that B Corp is right for you? Would you like to join the B Corp companies using business as a force for good? Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your friendly B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free call here.

Yours in purpose,

Kia kaha,

Tamara

tamara@growgood.co

Sustainability boosts sales by nine per cent

There is a mountain of surveys out there now that are telling businesses that if they up their game on sustainability, they will get more sales. The million-dollar question is, are the surveys correct? And it really is a million-dollar question. There’s a whole load of money at stake here (not to mention survival on Earth but don’t get me started…).

Because of course when we’re filling out a survey, most of us we will say ‘absolutely, yes, I buy sustainable brands over those that aren’t and yes, I will pay more for sustainability…’ but do we really do that when we’re standing in the supermarket getting our wallet out? [Or tapping our phones on the payment reader, for younger readers]. Equally, do we choose to shun brands that have had negative press on their social and environmental (E&S) performance?

To find out for sure, once and for all, a new and rigorous empirical study has been carried out by proper serious academics in the US. This comprehensive study set out to find out for sure whether, as shoppers, we really do put our money where our mouth is.

I’ll get straight to the point. Turns out we really, actually do. The results are in and sustainability really does drive a significant boost in sales but wait, there’s more…

SUSTAINABILITY BOOSTS SALES

This study, called Do Consumers Care About ESG? Evidence from Barcode-Level Sales Data, took the E&S ratings from third-party agencies of 192 firms with products in 886 product categories, sold in 2,641 US counties. It looked at the relationship between the E&S rating and sales from barcode data.

Now, crucially, the researchers were also able to control for other factors such as advertising and price in order to really hone in on the causal relationship between E&S and sales.

The findings were conclusive. ESG and corporate social responsibility does drive sales. The scientists stated that: “Our study provides direct evidence that E&S activities affect consumer demand–the cash flow channel of ESG.”

“Using granular barcode-level sales data from retail stores, we show that environmental and social ratings are positively related to local sales… The granularity of our data enables us to compare very similar products sold in the same location at the same time by companies with different levels of E&S activities.”

THE DIFFERENCE ESG MAKES

Okay great, but how much difference does it make? How much more sales does a brand drive when it gets serious on sustainability? On average, the study found that E&S drives a nine per cent increase in sales.

“Based on our estimates, a one-standard-deviation increase in the owner’s E&S rating is related to an increase in sales of 9.2% in the subsequent year for the average product sold in the same county,” the scientists stated (they go into a lot more detail in the report that you can download here).

Of course, a word of caution, this is an ‘on average’ figure. It depends on all sorts of variables such as the type of product, socio-economic factors, etc. But still, it’s a guide.

SALES SLUMP AFTER BAD ESG PRESS

The study also found that if your market competitor has a higher E&S rating, it will negatively affect your sales. In other words, your competition will see their sales climb at the expense of your sales dropping.

As well, the study found that sales decline for a firm that receives negative press on E&S issues.

Finally, the study also found that immediately after major natural and environmental disasters, sales in areas located close to the disasters become more sensitive to environmental ratings.

So, let’s sum that up.

  • If you get serious on your ESG (you know, like becoming a B Corp), your sales will increase by an average of nine per cent.
  • If you don’t do anything about ESG but your market competitors do (you know, like becoming a B Corp), their sales will lift and yours will decline.
  • If you get any bad ESG press, your sales will slump.
  • If you’re in an area that experiences any extreme weather or natural disaster exacerbated by climate change, and your product doesn’t have good ESG, your sales could slump.

So what do you do? You take action on ESG. We think the best way to do this is by becoming B Corp Certified.

Become a B Corp

Are you more convinced that B Corp is right for you? Would you like to join the B Corp companies using business as a force for good? Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your friendly B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free call here.

Yours in purpose,

Kia kaha,

Tamara

tamara@growgood.co

Bolly’s a B Corp, darling

Patsy and Edina’s favourite tipple is now a B Corp, darling.

That’s right Sweetie, Bollinger is the latest bottle of posh bubbly vino to get certified as a B Corp business. Which gives us all cause to utter those immortal words from Ab Fab’s Patsy, ‘crack open the Bolly, darling’. Followed quickly by ‘top up, darling?’ ‘Just a smidge…’

Although, to be fair, Patsy probably wouldn’t care that La Maison Bollinger has formalised its ongoing commitment to its land, its people and its roots. Her only concern would be that they keep making the stuff. 

She doesn’t have anything to worry about there. Now with B Corp certification under its belt, Bollinger has cemented its intention to stay in business by shifting to a model that values planet and people, as much as profit. Champagne Bollinger is the second Champagne business to get its B Corp certification. The achievement sees it join Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Rare Champagne, all part of EPI Group, as B Corp-certified companies.

So what’s B Corp? It’s essentially a third-party, independent verification of a company’s social and environmental performance. It’s also a global movement that’s working to transform the world’s economy by building a community of businesses that are committed to being a force for good.

What does that look like for La Maison Bollinger? It means formally committing to creating a better future for its employees, for the Earth and for its local ecosystem. More specifically, it means ensuring the wellbeing of its workers, reducing the company’s carbon footprint, preserving vineyard biodiversity, developing a circular economy, and more.

To that we say, cheers, sweetie darling.

 

Become a B Corp

Has Bolly inspired you? Would you like to join the B Corp companies using business as a force for good? Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your friendly B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free call here – https://bit.ly/BookGGCall

Yours in purpose,

Kia kaha,

Tamara

tamara@growgood.co