B Corps and the new economy in Aotearoa New Zealand
As I type this from my home office in Otautahi-Christchurch, people in the northern cities of New Zealand are battening down the hatches and preparing for potentially the worst tropical storm to ever hit our shores. It’s even more of a slap in the face for Northlanders after having suffered some of the worst flooding in living memory just two weeks ago.
Overnight, Cyclone Gabrielle has been causing havoc across the top of the North Island, with thousands of homes losing power, hundreds of homes being evacuated, schools closing and trains, ferries and flights cancelled in the Auckland region. And worse weather is expected tomorrow.
It is, of course, the sobering reality of climate change. The fossil fuel chickens are coming home to roost. In other words, the 250 or so years of unabated burning of fossil fuels, particularly driven by first world greed and consumerism, has filled the atmosphere with such a high concentration of green house gases that we’ve essentially wrapped the earth up in a huge, suffocating blanket. Everything is getting warmer, including the seas, and that is causing extreme weather such as Cyclone Gabrielle. Don’t just take my word for it, read more from an actual climate scientist about that here.
So, what does this have to do with B Corps and the new economy in Aotearoa? Well, if events like unprecedented flooding and destructive never-seen-before tropical storms doesn’t wake up the people in this country to the fact we might need to reassess our values and ways of living and working, I don’t know what will.
Happily though, there is definitely a shift taking place. More and more people and business owners are saying ‘OMG we gotta do something about this...’ but then it’s often followed up with ‘...but I don’t know what…‘
I’ll tell you what. B Corp is what. B Corps, or Benefit Corporations, are a type of for-profit company that aims to balance profit and purpose. Certifying as a B Corp gives businesses the framework, or roadmap, for shifting from shareholder primacy to stakeholder primacy. And, boy, do we need a framework.
Because it’s going to take quite a bit of effort to shift out of the business mindset that’s been set in stone over the past 50 to 200 years or so. That mindset is ‘profit for shareholders is all that counts, it doesn’t matter how much suffering is caused in the making of that profit‘. Which is how we got modern slavery, child labour, and systemised cruelty to animals. It’s the mindset that got us into the existential mess we’re in. The way out? The B Corp movement is offering a solution. To find out more about this topic at a free webinar on 15 March 2023 called B Corps and the new economy in Aotearoa New Zealand, get your tickets here.
Let me explain what that is: Unlike traditional corporations, which are primarily focused on maximizing shareholder returns, B Corps are legally bound to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, including employees, customers, the environment, and the community. In other words, they aim to create positive social and environmental change while still being economically successful.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, B Corps are part of a growing movement towards a new economy that values people and planet as much as profit. There is a growing recognition that the traditional business model, which prioritizes profit above all else, has led to a number of social and environmental challenges, including inequality, climate change, and degradation of natural resources. B Corps offer a different way of doing business, one that seeks to create value for all stakeholders and make a positive impact on society and the environment.
To become a B Corp, companies must undergo a rigorous certification process that assesses their social and environmental impact, governance, and transparency. This process helps to ensure that B Corps are truly committed to making a positive impact and are held accountable for their actions.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, there are currently just shy of 100 B Corps. They include companies in a variety of industries such as technology, finance, and manufacturing. Companies like Kathmandu, Ethique, Sawmill Brewery, Chia Sisters, Pic’s Peanut Butter... and many more (including Grow Good!) These companies are leading the way in demonstrating that it is possible to do business in a way that is both profitable and responsible.
Overall, the growth of B Corps in Aotearoa New Zealand is a positive sign for the future of the country’s economy. By prioritising the well-being of all stakeholders, B Corps are helping to build a more sustainable, equitable, and thriving future for everyone. That is the aim. But there is no time to waste. We’ve already left it too long to take real and meaningful action.
Here at Grow Good, it’s our job to help businesses become B Corp certified. Because the process can be confusing and daunting. We translate it, break it down, offer resources to make it as manageable as possible. If your business is ready to go B Corp, give us a shout or book in a discovery call.
Are you Ready to B Better?
Don’t wait to be a better business, get on with it now. The planet depends on it.
Feeling like you’re ready to B Better and want to see if we can help? Well then let’s have a chat! Book a call here – https://bit.ly/BookGGCall