Consultancy Net Balance has been certified as a B Corporation, an international process that assesses a company’s impact against a set of social and environmental performance standards.
B Corp status is awarded by US-based non-profit B Lab, which evaluates potential companies for how they impact on employees, suppliers, community and the environment against standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
“We’ve known about the movement for a couple of years now, and we started about mid-last year to pursue the certification process” said Terence Jeyaretnam, Net Balance director. “It’s taken about four to six months to complete. The main reason we pursued this is our unusual makeup in the way we operate as both a for-profit and a not for profit. We’re driven with the twin motives of profit and purpose. The B Corp certification provides an easier way to communicate it and to have some credibility behind it.”
Net Balance’s structure is one in which the business spends up to 20% of staff time on a parallel not-for-profit organisation, the Net Balance Foundation. Net Balance is the fifth and largest organisation in Australia to be certified as a B Corp and has been named a founding Australian B Corporation. There are 675 B Corps across 24 countries, according to B Lab.
As part of the certification process, Net Balance signed an independence declaration including “that we must be the change we seek in the world, that all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered, that, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. To do so, requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
Net Balance will work with other B Corp organisations, such as Small Giants, Jeyaretnam said.
“As a founding member of the B Corp movement in Australia, we will be working with Small Giants to increase our advocacy as well as contribute to the development of the standards and processes more globally with B Lab,” he said. “We are in the process of formalising that regional arrangement with B Lab. We will be increasing our advocacy and also looking to see how we can influence legislation to help promote change in Australia and the region.”
Net Balance recently announced a merger with sustainable procurement advisory firm ECO-Buy, a move that brings together two leading specialist sustainability organisations. The merger will see both entities increase the range of their sustainability supply chain consulting services across private and government organisations in Australia. The merger was recently finalised and follows on from a history of successful partnerships, the firms said.