Whilst not a conventional topic for a lawyer’s article, I thought I would use this article as an opportunity to share Harwood Andrews’ recent certification as a B Corp and hopefully encourage other businesses in the Geelong and the Surf Coast region to do the same.
B Corp certification is issued to businesses by B Lab, a not-for-profit organisation that works to give the tick of approval to businesses who meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
B Corp certification is popular in the United States, and it is now starting to take hold in Australia. Prominent B Corps include apparel brand Patagonia, thriving online marketplace Etsy, reusable coffee cup brand Keep-Cup and TOMS shoes. In February this year, Harwood Andrews joined over 1,200 businesses from 40 countries and more than 120 industry sectors as a certified B Corp.
To be certified as a B Corp, a business must undertake a free online assessment that measures a business’ performance in the areas of governance, treatment of workers, community impact and environmental performance. We found that the B Corp certification process provides an insight into the impact of our operations and an opportunity to benchmark our performance. Some of the benefits I see of the certification include employee engagement, increasing credibility and building trust in your customers.
B Corp certification demonstrates to employees that the business walks its talk. As a member of the millennial generation, I am proud to work for a B Corp. Many Gen Y and millennials want to know that their work is creating impact and that their employer recognises that good business is about more than just profits, it’s also about creating value for all stakeholders, including employees, customers and the wider community.
B Corp certification can also help distinguish between truly good companies and just good marketing. Today many businesses claim to be green, sustainable, and responsible – and when everybody claims to be the same thing, those words mean less and less. Certification provides a platform for businesses. It turns the ambiguous concepts of “going green” or “being good corporate citizens” into something tangible and measurable that people can easily identify, trust and support.
If one of the goals for your business is to create better jobs and improve the quality of life in your community, then you may want to join the growing number of businesses that have sought B Corporation status.
For more information about B Corp certification contact:
This article was published in the Geelong and Surf Coast Living Magazine, Winter 2015