The Pathway Forward
Becoming a more responsible business
2020 was challenging for us all, yet our commitment to continual improvement throughout our organisation remained strong.
Our purpose is to lead enduring global change in the way coffee is valued, grown, produced and enjoyed, sustainably for the future.
We are committed to becoming a more responsible business. Our goal is to track our performance in terms of people, planet and business in a commercial setting. We aspire to the continual betterment of our actions and our impact. To this end, we have set the objective of becoming a certified Benefit Corporation (or B Corp) in 2021.
WHAT’S A B CORP?
‘Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to re-define success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.’
The B Corp Handbook
‘B-Corp Certification gives us the common tools we need to assess the positive and negative impacts of our practices, make and measure improvements, and share what we learn.’
Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy - Patagonia
When faced with the question, ‘How do we become a more responsible business?’, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Where do we start?
After much research, we know that B-Corp can provide us with the framework we need to get started. Their rigorous assessment process provides a blueprint for on-going meaningful change, tracking the right data to help us understand how and where we should make improvements. After all, you can only manage what you measure.
Companies that wish to become certified B Corporations must meet three basic requirements:
- Verified social and environmental performance
To meet the performance rule, a company must earn a verified score of 80 points (of an available 200) on the Business Impact Assessment (BIA). The BIA consists of 300 questions measuring our impact on employees, community, customers, and environment.
- Legal accountability
Certified B Corps are required to amend their Articles of Association (legal governing documents). This locks in our ongoing commitment to B Corp principles, regardless of changes to shareholdings and ownership in the future.
- Public transparency
Transparency builds trust. All certified B Corps must share their B Impact Report publicly on www.bcorporation.net. The B Impact Report is a summary of the company’s scores on the BIA.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Our application to become a B Corp is submitted to B Lab (the accreditation body of B Corp), and B Lab will request evidence to support the answers we have provided throughout the BIA.
There are several B Corps already within our community: Keep Cup, Caravela Coffee, Watercare, Good and Proper Tea Co., MiiR, Dame. and Sawmill Brewery. We are looking forward to joining this family - but we have much work to do.
Ahead of making our application, we have already been making meaningful changes in our business:
From extended parental leave allowances to providing inclusivity and diversity training.
From building a formal supplier code of conduct, to developing an environmentally preferable purchasing policy.
- From tracking our current energy use, to setting targets to reduce our consumption in the future.
In total, 70 new initiatives will change how we do business moving forward. B Corps need to re-certify every 3 years and we are committed to ensuring we improve our score on an ongoing basis.
IT’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY AND THE DESTINATION
My favourite of our core values is Betterment. I find the idea that there is always the opportunity to improve, energising. Having a clear framework for how we positively impact our people and planet is incredibly exciting. We look forward to sharing our B Corp journey with you.