Byron Chamber of Commerce member Alison Michalk has launched a new consultancy, ffutures, to offer assistance to companies on their journey to B Corp certification.
What are B Corps and why does the world need them?
B Corp Certification is the highest standard of social & environmental responsibility in the world. To certify you must be assessed in five key areas of business including customers, the environment, workers, governance and community.
More now than ever we need to build a new economy, one that values all stakeholders such as people and the planet, alongside profit. The ethos of delivering profit at any cost has had dire consequences for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Whilst moving away from “shareholder primacy” is from a new ethos — it’s a belief held by many business owners in the northern rivers region — it’s one taking hold around the world.
How is the movement being received in Australia?
Australia is the fastest growing region for B Corps globally, with new companies being certified every day. Joining the likes of Stone & Wood, Who Gives A Crap, Patagonia, Keep Cup, Kathmandu, Bank Australia, Aesop and many more.
What are the benefits of certifying?
You get to join a global community of companies committed to being a force for good. It’s also great for attracting & retaining staff, and maintaining your mission – ensuring the legacy of your company remains intact to value all stakeholders.
How did you come to launch ffutures?
I’m CEO of a certified B Corp, Quiip, and also hold a position as Comms Chair on a B Local Board (a volunteer board made up of B Corps). When I found the movement I knew these were my type of people! Not driven by money but drive by a desire to “do business better”.
I enjoyed the process, and the value and inspiration I get out of being a B Corp and wanted to help companies achieve certification, to help increase the impact we all have globally.
How do companies certify?
To achieve certification you need to score 80/200 points in the B Impact Assessment (BIA). The BIA is a free tool any company can use. It’s a great framework as it will shine a light on the great things you are doing — but provide tonnes of ideas on how you can operationally improve your impact. Whether that’s doing better by your staff, the planet or your local community.
What tips do you have for Byron companies wanting to certify?
I would encourage companies to spend an hour on a speed-date with the BIA. Answer as many questions as you can — be conservative in your answers where unsure. This will give you a taste of the BIA, and a baseline score. You can go on to complete and submit, or if you need more help, reach out to me! I’m happy to answer questions and point people in the right direction, or provide more formal support if required.