Sendle’s Eva Ross Talks The Value Of B Corp Certification

Sendle’s Eva Ross Talks The Value Of B Corp Certification

Sendle’s chief Customer and marketing officer, Eva Ross, talks to B&T about the power of B Corp Certification. 

So what is B Corp Certification? Well, according to the official B Corp Certification website, it is a “designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.”

Basically, it’s like a company getting a giant ethical tick of approval. I think by 2022 it has become abundantly clear that it is cool for companies to care and Sendle has been leading the pack in this regard. This is why B&T picked Ross’s brain about the value of B Corp Certification.

Ross explained to B&T that the rise in B Corp certification speaks to a shift. Customers expect more from brands.
Ross said: “The rise in Australian brands seeking B Corp certification is emblematic of a broader shift worldwide to use business as a force for good and create benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
“There is increasing consumer pressure on brands to address social inequalities and the climate crisis, and not only that but growing consumer activism when brands don’t live up to their promises.
Two-thirds of Aussies say it should be up to businesses to act as leaders in driving positive social and environmental outcomes.
“It’s no surprise then that we’re seeing a boom in B Corp certifications down under. Data from B Lab ANZ shows that between 2020 and 2021, there was a 59 per cent increase in Australian and New Zealand companies becoming B Corps. 
“There has been steady growth internationally too. Since January 2020, B Lab Global has received more than 6,000 applications for certification from businesses looking to join the global community of 4,800 B Corps — that’s a 38% increase in the 2018-2019 period.   
“This incredible momentum debunks the assumption that businesses prioritise profits over purpose in an uncertain economic environment.”


Of course, the burning question is, does it pay to embrace B Corp certification? For Sendle the answer would be yes.

Ross said: “As Australia’s first certified technology B Corporation and maintaining our accreditation since March 2014, we’ve seen the significant impact it has had on our business, customers, employees, and the environment. 

“We have small business customers who specifically use our shipping service because we are 100% carbon neutral and a certified B Corp. 

“We’ve grown exponentially as a company and expanded into the US market while maintaining our dedication to the sustainable ideals upon the company was founded on.  Our B Corp status grounds us and holds us accountable to all our stakeholders. 

“Joining the B Corp community is really about being a good business! Research shows that Australian consumers want to support more purposeful and ethical brands, and they’re willing to take a stand.

“In fact, almost half of Aussies said they would immediately stop buying from a business they believed had done something socially or environmentally inappropriate.

“Becoming a certified B Corp helps consumers sort through the deception so they can find products and services that are genuinely socially and environmentally responsible.

“The B Corp seal of approval is a great way to build trust with customers and show that your business is run by people who care about real issues.

“Being a B Corp improves employee morale and retention too. As Gen Z and millennials become a more significant part of the Australian workforce, they want to work for brands that genuinely make a difference in the world.

“A recent study conducted by Culture Amp showed that when employees at B Corps were asked if their company’s commitment to social responsibility is genuine, 82% agreed, which was much higher than the 70% of employees at non-B Corps. 

“We know that all our employees value our B Corp status and sustainable-first business model, and that’s why many of our team have chosen to work for Sendle.”

So, how do companies aim to get there? Well, Ross explained, “Companies seeking B Corp certification must prepare for and meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. 

“This is assessed by undertaking a B Impact Assessment (BIA) and they must score at least 80 points out of 200 across a range of metrics including governance, workers, community and environment. 

“Sendle has always been unashamedly geared toward environmental sustainability, and that’s where we direct most of our B-worthy efforts. The length of the certification process varies based on a company’s size and complexity and can take anywhere from weeks to months. Businesses are then certified by B Lab.

“However, becoming a B Corp doesn’t mean the box is ticked. Job done! Maintaining B Corp certification means making an ongoing commitment to the values and aspirations of the B Corp community, laid out in the Declaration of Interdependence.

“There is also an annual certification fee, which can be as low as $1,000 for a small-sized business, but up to $50,000 for a company with more than $750 million in revenue. You have to undergo recertification every three years, so it’s a big commitment.

“Back in Sendle’s early days, a potential investor offered $1 million in funding on the condition that we NOT become a B Corp. They thought it would be a distraction to more pressing business goals like growth and profit.

“We rejected the offer, and here we are, still going strong nearly eight years later as a successful global delivery start-up and a long-standing member of the B Corp community.

“Having B Corp status is a badge of honour for doing good in the world, and we want to encourage more companies to join us because Sendle has proven that purpose and profit can successfully coexist.”

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