The state of Australian and New Zealand B Corps revealed
12 November 2019 at 8:36 am
Australian and New Zealand B Corps are making strides in all impact areas
Thinking of starting a B Corp? Australia and New Zealand might be the place to do it, with new research finding it is the fastest growing region per capita for B Corps.
The report, which analysed the current state, successes, and challenges of the B Corp community in Australia and New Zealand, found there has been a seven-fold increase in local B Corps since 2014, with 270 companies certified from 46 different industries.
Most of these are small- and medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees.
Over 2,500 companies from 60 different industries were found to have taken the B Impact assessment, a tool that measures business performance and impact across the five pillars of governance, community, environment, workers and customers.
A total of 27 B Corps in the Australian and New Zealand region are in the top 10 percentile of B Corps worldwide – all attaining a 109 B Impact Score or greater.
Elkie & Ark achieved the highest B Impact Score across the region (150.6) and Ethique topped New Zealand with a B Impact Score of 117.1 out of 200.
Globally, there are over 3,000 B Corps across the globe in 64 countries, across 150 industries.
To become a B Corp, companies complete a B Impact Assessment and receive a score over 80.
The report found that certified businesses were “making strides” across all five impact areas, and that certified B Corps were attaining a higher B Impact score than businesses that just used the B Impact Assessment but were not certified.
Anna Crabb, head of strategy and partnerships at B Lab Australia and New Zealand, told Pro Bono News this highlighted that certified businesses were leaders in the space.
“The impact assessment is a great start because it helps you think about your business in a more holistic way,” Crabb said.
“But certified B Corps are those really credible leaders that go through a rigorous assessment process to show that they are really meeting this high standard social and environmental performance.”
Melbourne and Christchurch were singled out as the two cities leading the movement in the region and Melbourne, in particular, was lauded as one of the global B Corp leaders.
B Corps were found to be twice as likely to offset greenhouse gases, which Crabb noted was important considering the looming climate crisis.
They were also found to be twice as likely to donate revenue to charity than other companies and were more likely to share their wealth among staff rather than keep it at the top, which Crabb said was a key part of combatting the wage growth slow down.
Employees were also more likely to receive health and wellness benefits while working at a B Corp than at a normal company.
Crabb said the predominant challenge the B Corp community needed to focus on was how their own organisations reflected the good work they were trying to do in the community.
“Once they become part of the B Corp community it’s important they start to look more broadly and start to look at how representative their leaders are of the community and look at the environmental impact that their own business is having,” she said.
She said she hoped the report would inspire the broader business community to take the plunge themselves.
“This report shows there is a way to operate a business that balances purpose and profit, and that this is a business community that’s thriving and growing,” she said.
Pro Bono Australia is proud to be one of Australia’s first B Corps.