Date Updated: 21 August, 2023
Manawa Honey NZ is now B Corp Certified! Just like it says we meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact. We’re joining only 200 companies in New Zealand that have achieved certification by B Corp.
What does this certification by B Corp mean? In this article we will explain it in detail covering:
B Corp seeks to engender a new kind of business that balances business purpose and profit, led by people who use business as a force for good. The B Corp certification framework measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. The evaluation process involves assessing how a company’s operations and business model impact on governance, workers, community, environment and customers.
B Corp was founded in 2006 in the United States by three friends who shared a vision to use business as a force for good. B Corp has now swept across the globe as a premium business certification that is internationally recognised. As of October 2022, there are more than 5900 businesses across the globe in over 150 industries and 85 countries that have gained certification by B Corp.
We’re proud to add that within New Zealand, Manawa Honey NZ is one of only 200 companies certified by B Corp, Further, we are amongst only a very few Māori and a very few honey producers who have achieved this accreditation.
“We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.” — B Corp
B Corp standards are at the heart of the movement defining social, environmental, and governance best practices for businesses. Their standards serve as the foundation for everything the network does – from B Corp Certification to their policy work worldwide.
This overall goal (stated as the theory of change) is to “work toward a world where business is a force for good, and plays a leading role in positively impacting and transforming the global economy into a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative system”.
In order to achieve certification, a company must:
- Demonstrate highsocial and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review.
- Make a legal commitmentby changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.
- Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile.
The B Corp evaluation process uses a framework for assessment that consists of:
Manawa Honey NZ wanted to become a ‘B Corp’ to gain recognition of all that we do for our people and our environment here in Ruatāhuna. We believe that customers need assurance against certain standards as to the social and environmental impact of a business. They deserve answers to the questions of:
- Does this business do good overall?
- Can I trust what this business is saying?
We also considered that B Corp was an excellent standard to pitch our business against because it has such a comprehensive framework for assessment of overall social and environmental impact.
The B Corp standards align with Manawa Honey NZs kaupapa (reason for being) and values. Choosing to go through the rigorous verification and certification process is a way for us to visibly demonstrate our commitment to being a socially and environmentally conscious company that employs people fairly and makes a difference in our community. Recertification processes in future years will continue to hold us accountable to these values.
It is the B Corp Certification process that ensures that B Corps are stewards in creating a positive impact and meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. Before the Review process a company’s assessment score reflects a self-reported and unverified score. The goal for this process is to learn more about a business and to arrive at a verified score that applies the standards according to their intent and consistently with how they have been applied across the B Corp community. This is meant both to preserve the credibility of the certification and to support companies in designing a road map of what they want to measure and improve upon.
The stages of the process consisted of the following:
- Confirming company eligibility for B Corp Certification, Reviewing Approach and Completing the B Corp Statement
- Completing the B Corp Impact Assessment, Company Structure and Business Model to confirm the company’s path to certification in order to receive a preliminary minimum score of 80 points.
- Once the Verification tasks are completed, an Analyst is assigned to you and a 1-hour Focused Review Call is scheduled. They will have highlighted questions that require additional documentation or comments. Attend to any notifications that require action as a result of the review call.
- Submit company’s review for a Final Assessment Check – this process may trigger further follow up requests and answer adjustments. Review and acknowledge any final adjustments needed to assessment responses
- Complete and upload Legal Requirement Review
- Once the final verified score of 80 points is reached, sign and send B Corp Agreement & Declaration of Interdependence and pay Certification fee.
- Once Post Verification steps are completed, you receive an email welcoming you to the B Corp Community, which will officially conclude your certification process.
With B Corp Certification, we now sign up to this declaration of interdependence. All companies who gain certification through B Corp make this commitment, which puts ‘wind into the sails’ of the B Corp mission for using business to do good.
We will be introducing the logo for B Corp certification to the labelling of at least some of our products and into the material profiling our business and what we stand for.
Carrying the B Corp certification means that our customers around the world can trust that Manawa Honey:
- understands the importance of our social and environmental impact: and
- has business processes and practices in place to do good for our people and to avoid doing no good for our environment.
As a certified B Corp member, we have also joined ‘The B Hive’. It’s a platform the B Corp community can use to connect, collaborate, access resources, share knowledge and offer discounts to one another.
With B Corp we have also developed a plan for further developing policy and practice for even more positive social and environmental impacts. These developments will be continuing throughout our ‘business as a force for good’ journey.
|Brenda Tahi draws on a range of areas in her diverse experience for her writing. She has an MBA in Strategic Management from Henley College (UK) and has had careers in public sector management and governance in New Zealand. Brenda has published research in topics ranging from public sector management policy to Māori history and traditional knowledge. Brenda is a trustee for the Tuawhenua Trust of Ruatāhuna, and, drawing on beekeeping as her hobby, she was part of founding Manawa Honey NZ, of which she is now CEO.