Time flies … one year ago we received our B Corp certification! Becoming part of a global movement of companies that use business as a force for good. Joining thousands of companies such as Patagonia, Tony’s Chocolonely, Ben & Jerry’s, The Guardian, and many more. A major milestone in our sustainable mission. Where are we now, one year later?
Our ways to have a positive impact
As a consulting firm, most of our positive impact is made through our client projects. Our mission is to let 100% of our projects have a positive, and measurable impact. Supporting the transition our clients to a ‘business as a force for good’. Adding value to all their stakeholders, not just shareholders. But what exactly is an ‘impact project’? Malou Bok, B Corp expert, explains: “There are roughly three ways our projects can drive positive change. One way is to do projects for clients whose core business is delivering social and environmental impact. Helping a renewable energy provider, for instance. Next are projects that help clients to improve their social and environmental impact, such as helping a company in their journey to become B Corp certified. The third way to drive positive change is where we see most added value. And that’s to bring about a systemic change and help our clients transform their business and the ecosystem they operate in. For example, helping to dismantle gas extraction sites and find new uses that benefit both the environment and the community in Groningen.”
Our impact so far
How far are we in this mission to 100% positive impact? Malou: “Last year, 27% of our project revenues had a positive impact. This year, we’re looking at 42% ‘impact projects’. Since becoming a B Corp Way Partner (a group of companies that are eligible to help others in their certification process, ed.), we’ve had lots of requests from companies looking for guidance. I’m especially proud of the work we do on a more systemic level. For instance, our work for Transdev, where we brought together companies across the entire energy chain to find solutions to speed up the electrification of their businesses. Another great example is our team at Enexis: helping this transmission system operator to handle the workload of adapting our energy grid to incorporate renewable energy sources. And consider our work at insurance company Grupo Ageas Portugal; we’re driving the performance of its sustainability team. I’m personally involved in helping pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Netherlands with its sustainability strategy.”
You cannot build a sustainable and social business alone, we need a community approach.
Roel Beentjes, founder and Managing Director
Upping our game
How about our own company, how sustainable and social are we? Esther Eijkemans, the consultant in charge of our internal performance: “Last year, in order to qualify for certification, we’ve implemented a lot of improvements. In two years, we’re up for re-certification and we aim to be B Corp champion in our field. That’s also part of being a B Corp: to keep on improving, and keep pushing. We focus on all aspects of sustainability. It ranges from operating from an inclusive and sustainable governance model to being a good employer. From benefiting the community we operate in to limiting our environmental impact. In 2021, we already switched to 100% electric vehicles, launched our Carbon Footprint dashboard, and implemented energy savings at our office. In 2022, we’ve started a program on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and launched our partnership with Net4Kids and Rhiza Babuyile. I’m very proud of our collaboration with Rhiza Babuyile, a South African NGO. We’re supporting a project to professionalize early childhood development centers in Diepsloot, a township near Johannesburg. We commit 3,5% of our annual profits to the education of teachers, so that they’re qualified and eligible for government subsidies. Also, we set up a training program and are providing trainings to support them with additional skills. Very inspiring!”
Looking forward to 2023
What if we look ahead, to our second year as a B Corp? What can we expect? Roel Beentjes, founder and managing director: “It’s a very important year in our journey. We want 70% of our projects to be an ‘impact project’ in 2023. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, is that you cannot build a sustainable and social business alone. We need partners to support, to complement and to challenge us. The B for Good Leaders Summit in Rome, (co)organized by our very own Leen Zevenbergen, is such an example. 500+ leaders of B Corps and other companies that want to use business as a force for good met in Rome. I’m pleased to share that I committed myself to the B for Good Leadership team as a steward. In 2023, the summit will come to Amsterdam. I’m looking forward to welcoming even more leaders then.”
Where are you in your journey?
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