A collection of over 500 Certified B Corporations from various industries around the world gathered for the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid last week to take action on environmental issues.
Australia’s Honest to Goodness, Bear and KeepCup were among 44 Aussie companies who joined a collective commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the year 2030 – 20 years ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement.
This is the largest group of businesses to ever make a commitment of this kind and sets a standard for companies worldwide.
“We are facing a global emergency that threatens our only home and all our children. It’s time for leaders to lead,” Kim Coupounas, co-leader of B Corp Climate Collective said.
“As the source and cause of the vast majority of the planet’s greenhouse gases, the business sector is uniquely culpable for the climate crisis—and therefore responsible for demonstrating leadership in eliminating emissions and drawing down carbon as rapidly as possible.”
There are over 3,000 B Corps globally from more than 70 countries and 150 industries, working to play their part in major social and environmental issues.
One such company, online organic food retailer, Honest to Goodness, recently hired a graduate to work on its sustainability projects, which have been a key focus for the business.
The company’s environmental efforts include supporting local regenerative farming practices, minimising packaging and waste, implementing an energy efficient infrastructure and sourcing from renewable energy suppliers, to name a few.
Matt Ward, owner of Honest to Goodness, challenged all Aussie businesses, including major players in the grocery industry, to step up and take responsibility for their contribution to sustainability.
“Right now, it seems even more critical, due to extreme weather conditions in Australia with fires and drought, bringing with it dreadful air quality and water restrictions,” Ward told Inside FMCG.
“We’ve found that consumers are increasingly seeking quality and transparency in their food as they become more health-conscious as well as more environmentally aware, favouring sustainable and ethical supply chains.”
Organic sheet company Elkie & Ark was ranked by B Corp International as Australia’s highest scoring business and one of the top 10 per cent globally across Environment, Community and Overall.
Founder Tom Threlfall said the business has been built on the foundation of putting people and planet before profits. And while the process of applying for B Corp status is time consuming, it has given the business an advantage with sustainably-minded shoppers.
“The process of becoming a B Corp is challenging but will change depending on service based or product based. For us, we focused on commitment to sustainable practices, verifiable products (Fairtrade or GOTS organic), environmental, toxicity, community impact,” Threlfall said.
“I would recommend any business go and start the questionnaire a year in advance of when they want to be a B Corp, to give their business adequate time to properly implement the areas they want to focus on.”
The company uses only regenerative and sustainable farming, uses significantly less water and only Fairtrade Organic cotton, to ensure more profits go back to farmers and education programs.
Farming waste is reused as biomass energy fuel, feedstock, or quilt stuffing and all packaging is plastic free.