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What does it mean to be a B Corp?

What does it mean to be a B Corp?

What does it mean to be a B Corp?

Mar 04, 2020 4 min(s) read

In 2014, KeepCup became one of Australia’s founding B Corporations.

B Corps are for-profit businesses committed to a new economy. They’re purpose-driven, focused on making a positive difference to their employees, customers, current and future generations and the natural world.  We sign a Declaration of Interdependence recognising this, calling out that corporate practices and policies have real world impact and can (and should) be used for good.

By becoming certified we’re legally bound to consider, and report on, our impact across five areas: workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. This rigorous report is externally assessed by BLab and completed every three years. To maintain certification BCorps must meet a minimum standard across all impact areas. Scores are publicly available.

Our most recent BCorp recertification assessment was conducted in 2019. Recertifying is a good opportunity to deep dive into the business, our operations, policies and the path ahead. It helps us refine our focus and identify areas that need more love.

In these assessments our environmental work scores highly and we’ve twice (2018 and 2019) been recognised as BCorp Best for the World Honourees in the Environment Category. The areas we’re working on include carbon neutrality (we’ve set a 2025 carbon neutral target and are focused on real reduction over offsetting), working with our suppliers to reduce impact (from packaging to carbon and beyond), bettering our supply and demand planning to reduce overstock, end of life recycling solutions for products in all hubs and working with our team globally on increased volunteering and professional development.

In ten years of campaigning against disposable cups, we have learned that tipping points can happen quickly and that the aggregated effect of many small behaviours is a powerful force for change. As a global community of businesses committed to doing good, B Corporations have the power to help shift the status quo of what it means to do business in the 21st century.

What does supporting a B Corp mean for you?

The bar is set high for companies seeking B Corp certification. 

When you see the certified B Corp logo attached to a product or service, you’re engaging with a business who is looking both internally and externally at their environmental and social impact. 

It means you’re seeing less greenwash 
Unlike others who just say they care, B Corps are verified by a third party as having met rigorous social and environmental standards. We're legally bound to consider our impact on the community, consumers, suppliers, workers and the environment. 

It means you’re supporting community 
B Corps strengthen social fabric through their business practices – championing diversity, inclusion and giving back. 

It means making a positive impact with your buying power 
B Corps are part of a global community in business for the betterment of the world. We believe in a post-waste economy and stand up with those calling for better environmental policies from our governments. 

What does it mean to us? 

Our people: 

Firstly, we want to champion the most important part of our business: our people. Protecting the environment means empowering everyone. We believe visible and vocal female leadership is critical to addressing gender inequality and paving the way for future leaders.

We pay living wages and are strong believers in pay equity.

We benchmark salaries against global salary data to ensure roles are fairly paid.

We report on the gap paid between our lowest and highest paid workers, as part of our ongoing B Corp assessments.

We foster a healthy work culture around reasonable hours, communal meals and open communication.

And all our offices are dog friendly. 

 Our community:

As a B Corp, we’re committed to empowering our community to drive positive environmental outcomes. We believe in replacing parts, not products, so all KeepCups are made with replaceable components to increase their longevity.

Together we've led the reuse revolution. Our aim was always to create a worldwide movement, accessible to anyone and everyone, that shapes a world without plastic waste. We started with coffee cups. Now it’s time to finish the job.

 

Our suppliers:

We’re in business to shape a better future.
Our approach has always been to design a strong and responsible supply chain to reduce waste and energy consumption across our entire business.

We manufacture locally where capacity and volumes allow, supporting the transition to a circular economy.

We have close, long term supplier relationships – our core partners have been with us right from the start.

 

Our partnerships:

We believe in purpose before profit. Through partnerships, we aim to support those at the forefront of environmental activism and behaviour change.

We donate 1% of global revenue to environmental causes, including Sea Shepherd Australia and the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation's Circular Economy Hub.

We work with aligned organisations to drive change and advocate for action on climate and the circular economy, including an end to unnecessary and problematic single-use plastics.

We’re a voluntary member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, B Corp and 1% for the Planet because we know that working together, in community, is powerful.

 

Our impact:

As a B Corp that sells a physical product, we’ve always worked hard to balance our business practice with positive impacts.

We hand assemble in solar-powered warehouses, with our Melbourne array soon to be feeding power back into the grid.

Our retail packaging is FSC certified cardboard and our mailers are made from 100% recycled board.

Since 2016, we’ve partnered with Reground to compost our office coffee grounds and recycle soft plastics.

We commit 1% of our yearly global revenue (as opposed to profit) to environmental causes.

It’s a constantly shifting work-in-progress and we’re always looking for new ways to reduce our impact.

 

Find out more about B Corps.

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