To celebrate Edge Environment’s first year as a certified B Corp, two of our sustainability consultants, Joana Almeida and Tim Watson, headed to Alice Springs for an official B Corp summit. The goal? To use collective B Corp brainpower to discover better ways of doing good together.
Chocolate, chutney, beer, banking, logistics, legal advice and tampons. What do these previously unrelated products and services now have in common? They can all be provided by certified Benefit Corporations, otherwise known as B Corps.
Edge certified as a B Corp in Autumn 2016. This certification acknowledges that our business model and working practices aim to do good and better. We are now part of the “movement of people using business as a force for good” who strive to perform for shareholders, the community and the planet in equal measure. Our fellow B Corps span industries and continents, providing a thread of shared values between companies around the world.
It’s not easy to become a B Corp
Aspiring companies must undergo a demanding assessment of their governance, transparency, and social and environmental impacts to gain certification. As of writing, there are 2140 B Corporations belonging to 130 industries in 50 countries. The movement is growing rapidly, with more and more leaders discovering that doing good is good for business.
Edge is proud of being a B Corp
We care deeply about growing the movement and making the most of the incredible network this certification provides us. During the first week of May, we (Tim and Joana – hi there!), represented Edge at the B Corp Champions Retreat in Alice Springs. The retreat brought together companies from Australia and NZ, and people from nearly all continents, meeting in the red centre and spiritual heart of Australia.
The Champions Retreat?
We have to confess: ‘Champions Retreat’ sounded almost ‘yeah right’ auspicious. But we stand corrected. On the plane back to Sydney, the flight attendant was welcoming us into a Boeing-something but we’re sure we flew on the wings of a magical winged unicorn of optimism.
B Corps gathered in Alice Springs to develop ideas for what we can do together that we can’t do apart – for the planet, for business and for each other. The proceedings revolved around an innovation workshop, where teams formed loosely around kick-off ideas, followed by brainstorming and prototyping concepts over the course of the day.
The diversity of ideas reflected the varying perspectives of attendees – from B Corp bartering to talent share programs and a B Corp street festival, all focussed on harnessing the power of aligned values and a common mission to do things better.
Everybody lived up to the spirit of collaboration and the buzz of excitement for the potential of what we could achieve was palpable. We shook hands and hugged at departure (mostly hugged) and are still humming in the follow-up.
Procuring through the B Corp Network
One of things Edge most enjoys about being a B Corp is the chance to work with other B Corps. Some of them are our clients, others we purchase goods and services from. We do it all with a sense that, besides the physical goods exchanged between us, we’re also exchanging trust and value. Every bottle of 4 Pines beer we drink at Edge social events enables 4 Pines to do their bit and it surely enables us to do ours. We are very, very proud to be engaged by other B Corps to help them be more sustainable or to help them show off to the world how awesome they are!
Cooperation and value-sharing is the essence of this movement, and Edge is tuned in and ready to play a part. Are you?