Heilala Vanilla – The World’s First Vanilla B

Heilala Vanilla The World’s First Vanilla B

We are super stoked for the team at Heilala Vanilla who just became the world’s first Vanilla company to Certify as a B Corp with a very solid score of 104.7.

👏 👏 👏 👏

It was a real pleasure to work with Rebecca McQueen (Queen B), Jennifer Boggiss and the team to help them on the journey

It was humbling to see what amazing work they do and how they go about doing it.

They are the epitome of what makes for a B Corp.

Heilala now joins a community of 5000+ committed B Corps driving the global movement of business as a force for good.

You can check out a summary of their journey in their post here.

But B Corp is just the start of the journey as Bex says:

“As proud as we are to have reached our goal of Certification, we see this as a starting point on a journey. We have set ourselves some special and impactful goals across our team, our Tongan community and the environment.”

#bcorp #getbcorpcert #growgood #purposefuelledperformance

3rd time’s a charm? The threepeat?!

What a way to celebrate my birthday! 3rd time’s a charm? The threepeat?!

I am fairly stoked to announce that Grow Good just re-certified as a B Corp making us a 3x B and only the 5th to do so in NZ.

I first came across B Corp waaaaaaaay back in 2014 when I stumbled across Eagle Protect NZ, the first B Corp in NZ.

Walking out of a meeting with Steve Ardagh, their founder and CEO, I was convinced that B Corp was the way forward for business.

Fast forward to 2016 and Grow Good Certified as B Corp #6.

Since then we have been leading what at times has felt like a lonely charge for businesses to make the change and get on the B Corp journey.

A massive thanks to those early adopters that were part of building the movement here and around the world and who were an inspiration to us.

And a super huge thanks to all our clients that we have helped and those we are working with on the journey to B Corp & Beyond!

Looking forward to the 4th time round in ’25 where we will be bigger and better and more impactful than ever before…

#growgood #earlyadopters #getbcorpcert #beyondbcorp #getpurposeatwork #bcorp #threepeat #bbetter

Kin’s Journey to B Corp Certification

If ESG Is The Question... Is B Corp The Answer?

Kin’s Journey to B Corp Certification

If you’re flirting with, curious about, or only vaguely aware of B Corp, you might be interested in Kin’s journey to joining this growing movement.

In March 2020 when the world as we know it was about to change, the CEO of Kin Wendy Alexander was in Auckland, New Zealand with her external leadership group.

She got talking to Ian Harvey, the founder of Collective Intelligence, and he mentioned B Corp to her as he believed many of Kin’s values and practices aligned with the B Corp community and movement.

Wendy left the group to return home, and as she hastily jumped on the plane to Wellington, little did she know that kicking off our accreditation process would be one of the internal projects we undertook when the wind went out of the recruitment market sails later that year.

The process

If you’ve flirted with becoming a B Corp before, you’ll know it can be an overwhelming process. Run by B Lab, the assessment dives deeply into five key areas of business: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Across these five pillars, 80 points are needed to reach the standard of accreditation.

But Wendy realised she was going to need some support.

“The detail is exacting, the supporting documentation and evidence are comprehensive, and even the language is often not easy to interpret. We started and stopped our application process twice before we realised we needed a hand to navigate our way through.”

Asking for help

And it was at that point that Wendy reached out to us and after a quick intro zoom we realised that we could definitely help her and her team. Just like almost all of our clients, Wendy and the team were time poor and needed some help with navigating the Impact Assessment.

“He connected with our team through a series of five or six one-hour sessions and helped demystify some of the B Corp language. He also shared valuable template resources and many other insights along the way. Don’t get me wrong, there is a mountain of mahi to do but when our process was supported by Tim, it all somehow felt just that little bit easier.”.

How things played out

In October 2021 Wendy finally pressed ‘send’ on the application for assessment by B Lab. After a journey lasting 18 months, they eagerly awaited their turn at the front of the queue, something that can take up to six months due to demand for B Corp right now.

In February of ’22, they finally had the call up for their first assessment meeting with B Lab.

“I’m not going to lie; it was an intense meeting that left us with sweaty pits. We’d worked so hard for this, and that meeting felt like the moment of reckoning.”

After a few more back and forth meetings and a bunch more information being provided, Kin received the great news that they’d made it through! We were really happy with the advice that we provided at Grow Good as they submitted their Certification on 112.5 points, and that is what they were finally Certified on.

What it means for Kin

Kin became the first recruitment company in New Zealand to Certify – amazing stuff! But it’s often the journey that is more important than the destination.

“Whether we had succeeded or failed on our first attempt at becoming B Corp certified, Kin is a much better business because of the process. The B Corp framework has given us a north star to anchor our values and business practices on. I’m so grateful to have had the experience and look forward to Kin continuing our journey within the B Corp community.”.

If you want to hear a bit more about Kin’s journey to B Corp, you can check out our podcast interview with Wendy here. 

If ESG Is The Question Is B Corp The Answer??

If ESG Is The Question... Is B Corp The Answer?

Increasingly, your customers, employees, suppliers, board and investors are asking you about your ESG or social and environmental footprint.

But where to start eating this elephant?!

Do you go Carbon Neutral? Do you look at your supply chain? What about Living Wage?! Or ISO?!

It’s tough. But there could just be a Certification framework out there, that helps you manage and report your ESG requirements all in one place.

Say hello to B Corp.

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.

B Corps are leaders in a global movement of business as a force for good.

They meet the highest independently verified standards of transparency and accountability in their social and environmental performance.

It’s achieved by measuring the positive contribution that your organisation makes, through the BIA or B Impact Assessment. It reviews your business against the 5 pillars of:

  1. Governance
  2. Workers
  3. Community
  4. Environment
  5. Customer Model

The BIA is a self-assessment and is completely free to take. You only pay to have your answers verified by a B Lab Standards Assessor,  in order to achieve certification. 

Fundamentally, it’s a measure of the good that your business creates from its operations and business model. The Certification tool is a framework to help you maximise the good that you can create in and via your organisation.

Why B though? Shouldn’t we be an A Corp? Well, the B stands for Benefit. So beyond just benefitting your shareholders, what other benefit does your organisation have?

If you need to B Better at understanding the impact that your organisation is making, 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, or feel free to book a call with me and the team.

The Benefit Of Using A B Consultant

The benefit of using a B Consultant

What does working with Grow Good look like?

When it comes to navigating your B Corp Certification we reckon we can help you on that journey; just like we helped some of these amazing humans:

“We’d flirted with B Corp about a year earlier and were overwhelmed by the volume of questions and language. We allowed BAU to distract us after that. Tim was just what we needed to get back on track!”

Wendy Alexander
CEO Kin

“Tim’s motivated and can-do attitude balanced with being super relaxed and approachable. He made the whole thing exciting and fun rather than a daunting task.”

Bex McQueen
Heilala Vanilla

“Tim was a huge help to us in gaining our B Corp accreditation. He provided some good, practical advice on what we could expect throughout the accreditation process and some excellent tips on how to interpret and respond to some of the trickier areas. But most of all Tim gave us the confidence and inspiration to just get on and do it when we could have spent many more months talking about it. I’d highly recommend Tim to any organisation thinking about embarking on the B Corp journey.”​

Sarah Able
GM People & Culture, The Co-Operative Bank

We are global experts in business for good, organisational purpose and creating impact led organisations. 

Since 2016 when Grow Good Certified as B Corp #6 in New Zealand, we have been regularly working with organisations in the US, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand to do just that.

When it comes to B Corp Certification we definitely have you covered. Since we started we have helped over 60 companies through the B Corp Impact Assessment from small to large enterprises in a range of industries from agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, media and service-based businesses.

Tim, Founder and CEO of Grow Good is also New Zealand’s 1st qualified B Consultant. This means that he has successfully completed the training programme run by B Lab ANZ and maintains regular CPD to ensure he stays up to date with the latest changes and updates to the Impact Assessment. 

That’s why we are able to offer a consulting service to make the process of B Corp Certification as quick, engaging, fun and easy for you as possible, whilst at the same time bringing the B Corp assessment to life and engaging your entire team.

The program we run is a proven methodology that we use with all our clients for outstanding results. It includes everything you need to successfully reach the 80/100 points requirement for B Corp Certification because it is:

  • Structured –  We have a clear structure to navigate the Assessment
  • Efficient – We can typically get you through all the questions within 4 – 6 hours
  • Effective – You won’t have to waste time starting many crucial documents from scratch
  • Focused – Breaking down the Assessment into bitesize chunks we keep you focused on what you need to do right now
  • Accountable  – By working with us we’ll make sure you get the work done that needs to be done

But most of all, we make it engaging, exciting and inspirational for you and your entire team so that you really start to bake in the B across the business.

So, if you have started but had the process stall, or just want some support from day 1, we’ll be able to help you become the business that the planet needs you to be right now. 

Check out how we can help you here or book a call with us right now for a chat as to how we can get going right away.

Join the B Corp movement and be part of something amazing!

Who Gets To B A B?

Who gets to B a B?

Last week B Lab Europe announced that they were “thrilled to welcome Nestlé Nespresso SA, into the B Corp movement, joining over 120 companies in the coffee industry. Nespresso is certified globally with a B Impact score of 84.3.”

I shared this post on my feed and it got some interesting replies both supportive:

“So good!! Gotta get the big guys 👊🏽 This is just what I was saying the other day!”

“So good to see a large global business striving to do better. It really feeds into the conversation around B Corps aligning with ‘big business’ that you had with Jamie Cashmore on your podcast last week!”.

“That is epic!”

“That is huge.”

And those that felt something was seriously off:

“This raises big questions about the validity of Bcorp. Looks like nestle has found a small slice of their business to certify. Haven’t they just externalised the negative impact across their other companies?”

“That’s interesting considering that coffee pods in the last 10 years have become one of the major sources of unrecycled plastic left in landfills across the globe!”

“This is a red flag for B Corps credibility. Very disappointing. Nestle has a track record of criminal activities. https://www.zmescience.com/science/nestle-company-pollution-children/.”

“Sorry, Tim but this really shows the B corp is a joke. Non-recycable coffee machines and coffee pods company really a B corp? I do not think so. Not Environmentally friendly at all.”

So it made me think about the B Corp framework and reflect on whether this is a good thing or not.

For transparency, I had no involvement with their B Corp journey, I don’t generally support Néstle or any of its products as I prefer to buy local and from independent suppliers where possible and I don’t use Nespresso pods – indeed, I never have as I don’t even drink coffee!

For some background let’s just explain what B Corp Certification is and what it entails.

Certified B Corps are a new form of business that seek 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.

B Corps are leaders of a global movement of business as a force for good and to get certified you must meet the highest verified standards of transparency and accountability around your social and environmental impact.

B Corp Certification is a positive screening tool. You get rewarded for the operational good that you are doing, not penalised for the bad.

The B Corp BIA or Impact Assessment looks at 5 sections of the business and a disclosure questionnaire:

On the assessment, you need to reach a minimum score of 80/200 points. It’s worth reflecting that the median score on the first attempt is 50 points, so to even get to 80 you are doing some good work.

We typically find that you need to do ok across all 5 or really well in 2 to reach that standard.

Who can Certify?

B Corp Certification is open to any for-profit businesses of any legal structure that has been in operation for more than 12 months, of almost any size (really big ones need to go talk to B Lab to see if they can), from almost all geographies (sorry Russian and Belarussian peeps) and from most industries.

B Corp Certification currently only excludes certain existentially risky industries, such as arms dealers for example, but not single-use consumable items or companies that might have a shady past.

It is key to remember that the B Corp assessment is a measure of your operational goodness, not the core product that you make. So there is no guarantee that the product a company is making is recyclable just because it is a B Corp.

If we chose to exclude all companies that had a negative environmental impact, few if any companies would certify.

That being said, you can be recognized for creating more social and environmental impact than you are required to through what is called an Impact Business Model.

Patagonia and Ethique are two great examples of such.

B Corp is by no means the silver bullet to all the world’s crises, BUT it’s a bloody great start. It is the world’s most holistic ESG framework that is also independently audited and verified.

For more information on B Corp, you can get a copy of a free e-book here or drop me a message and I can send you something.

So should Nespresso even exist let alone B a B?

Well, this is an interesting question. Who gets to decide whether any business gets to exist?!

It’s a question I pose to our MBA students at the University of Canterbury where I co-teach the programme “Creating Impact Led Enterprises” and it’s not an easy one to answer.

I personally struggle to see how the Pooch Selfie has the mandate to exist. I posted recently about how I felt that Zuru’s latest attempt to destroy the planet was pretty stupid.

What about Coca Cola? They basically make fizzy pop that rots your bones, gives you heart disease and diabetes and sucks water out of the ground at a massive rate.

What about Eagle Protect? NZ’s first B Corp – As Steve Ardagh their CEO admits, they make single-use disposable gloves that 100% end up in landfills.

What about airlines, cars, and infrastructure companies?

How about we go further back in history. Not many people know that IBM, VW and Hugo Boss had their success built on the back of the Nazis.

The list goes on.

The challenge is we live in a consumer-driven society that we all take part in and benefit from but at the expense of others and the planet.

Don’t forget we live in a world where 50 years ago your GP might have recommended you smoke more as a preventative health measure…

So where does this leave us?

I think it’s clear that we need to have better conversations about what serves us and the planet.

But let’s not forget that the lightbulb💡 was invented under candlelight 🕯. There are plenty of industries that need to be better, and some that maybe shouldn’t even get to exist. But who gets to decide that and when.

And how do we empathetically help people out of these industries and into a regenerative system that enables community and restores the environment?

If a committee today decided that Nespresso should be shut down what happens to all those people currently working there?

B Corp is just the start…

Since I started Grow Good in 2015 I have been dedicated to making the world a better place for all of us. I recognise that we need to rapidly transition to a better way, a better system.

As I said, B Corp is not a silver bullet. It’s a start of a journey for us all to work out how business can become truly regenerative:

It’s about mindset and intent and what we do from here.

The best way to do that? Get more businesses to independently verify their impact by getting B Corp Certified regardless of where they have come from.

I don’t know the full ins and outs of Nespresso but I’d imagine there is a team there now that gets this stuff and will be working hard to make a change.

Yes, Nestlé is clearly not a business that operates as a genuine force for good and they have heaps of areas to improve.

But this is a massive step in the right direction.

Doing good is contagious, so hopefully, this spreads to other business units and over time it creates more positive change across Nestlé.

It’s worth noting that apparently, it took Nespresso 3 years to get the business Certified. So in 3 years of work they got just over the 80/200 threshold for certification. You can see the full impact assessment here.

For me, it’s better that they are in the B Corp community.

I’m more hopeful that as part of a community of businesses that are pushing each other to B Better that they will raise their game.

Here’s hoping that Nespresso kicks the pods in the future and has a better supply chain and ultimately becomes a better B Corp.

I’ll leave it to Rose Macrcario, former CEO of Patagonia to sum it up for me.

“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders – it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”

Rose Marcario

Former CEO

Patagonia

Stop Your Brain Drain

I have a theory…