Alicia Darvall is the executive director of B Corps Australia. We catch up with her to find out how she’s building a community of values-driven businesses and working to benchmark their great work.
What does being a B Corp mean to consumers?
It is early days, however many consumers have started using the B Corp website as a way to understand more about good products and not just good marketing. It is a way to ensure consumers know that a company isn’t just greenwashing.
We believe consumers need to ‘be the change’ they want to see in world and to look deeper into the products that they buy. It’s not just about buying good products, it’s about supporting good companies. If a company is B Corp certified a consumer can feel confident that the entire company is sustainable and measuring its impact.
Do you have geographic challenges?
We are shameless in promoting Australians and New Zealanders to the global B Corp community. We have one of the highest recruitment rates worldwide for B Corps.
I have the good fortune of being in a global network and meeting with leaders from South America, Canada, USA and UK once a year and support each other in building the global community.
It’s not a challenge; it’s an honour to represent Australia and New Zealand internationally.
Do people come to you looking to join or do you approach them?
It’s a bit of both. A lot of what we do is work closely with other B Corps. Most B Corps talk about why they’re a B Corp as part of their own business identity every day.
Companies are regularly carrying the brand and the logo on their products. A great example is a FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) company in Australia called five:am – they ship around half a million yoghurts to major supermarkets each week. All their lids say, ‘we’re proud to be B Corp certified’.
What does the future hold?
The future is bright and we see vibrant B Corp communities in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. In the next 18 months we’d also like to officially launch B Corp movement in New Zealand.
I’d like to see an increase in business associations and organisations using the Business Impact Assessment as a tool to help their members look at their areas of success and improvement.
I would like to see corporations, local councils and governments positively procuring from B Corps.
Also, I’d like to see the development of a several impact investment funds for B Corps.
The future is that one day all companies will compete to be best for the world. And society enjoys a shared and durable prosperity.
Find about more about Alicia and her work with B Corps at Project NZ: Telling Good Stories, our conference in Auckland on 3rd September.