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What are B-Corps?

A step beyond the fundamentals

If your company is really serious about operating for good, not just for profit, you may consider the B Corp certification. B Corps (also known as B Corporations) are for-profit companies who are determined to use their business for good.  They are proactive, forward-thinking companies committed to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to voluntarily meet high standards around social change, environmental performance, transparency and accountability.  Companies have to be re-certified every two years, and if they fail to meet the set criteria, they lose their B Corp status.  

There are a number of B Corps currently operating in New Zealand.  Some examples are:

  • Sharesies 

  • Ethique

  • Duffle & CO 

  • Peoples Coffee

  • Little Yellow Bird

  • Sawmill

 

Take the Impact Assessment

To find out more about B Corps, or if you think the B Corp certification may be right for your business, visit the B Corporation website for more details. You can even use the B Impact Assessment tool to measure your company’s impact on its workers, community, environment, and customers for free - 

 
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Case Study: Sharesies

 
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What does Sharesies think?

We chatted to Sharesies, the first financial services company and the 22nd company in New Zealand to become a B Corp, about why they thought the certification was for them and how they went about obtaining it!

Why did Sharesies decide to get the B Corp certification?  

Sharesies has always been passionate about being a force for good. We’re making Aotearoa a better place by providing equal access to investing for everyone—whether you have $5 or $500,000.  Getting the B Corp certification was hard work, but it shows we’re serious about our goals and purpose. It keeps us accountable to our customers — in the way we work, and the way we believe every business should operate.

How has getting the B Corp certification changed the way Sharesies’ operates (if at all)?

Going through the B Impact Assessment tool, shows you areas in your business that you are doing really well in and also areas where you can improve to be even better. We use this to help us prioritise what we can be doing to make an even more positive impact on our employees, customers, communities and environment. 

What was the biggest challenge Sharesies faced in getting the B Corp certification?

Time. We completed the assessment in November and we became certified in April. It's a lengthy process, mostly because B Corp have so many companies keen to join the community- which is great!

How will Sharesies’ ensure it maintains its B Corp status? 

Throughout the year, we continue to look at ways we can improve. The Improvement Report you receive once completing the B Impact Assessment Tool is a great place to start. We prioritise sustainable and environmental practices as a business, every week discussing what  we can do better. 

Do you think the B Corp certification is achievable for other New Zealand businesses?

Yes! The first thing is to get started on the B Impact Assessment, which is free to complete and see how you score. There are over 200 questions to answer and from this, you will know if you are in the running to be a B Corp, or you will clearly know the areas to improve to increase your score so you can become a B Corp in the future.


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