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.