Brisbane eco business Biome has become the first Australian retailer to be awarded international B Corporation certification for its success in operating a business with high social and environmental standards.
Biome Eco Stores was established in 2003 and now employs 46 people across its online store and Brisbane stores in Paddington, Balmoral, Indooroopilly and the CBD.
Founder Tracey Bailey said she was proud to join the ranks of world-changing brands. Certified B Corporations have one shared vision – to create a global movement using the power of business to drive positive change.
“They are driven by the value they add to the wider community, not profits, and operate at a higher social and environmental level, considering business impacts and being responsible for them,” she said.
However, Bailey believes the B Corp accreditation will have benefits for the bottom line.
“I am confident B Corporation will help grow our business because it is incredibly motivating for our employees, it gives our customers greater trust in what we offer them, and makes us more attractive for suppliers to want to sell their innovative eco products through Biome,” she said.
Biome is looking for opportunities to expand into other areas of Queensland and also interstate.
There are now more than 170 B Corps in Australia and New Zealand including two publicly listed companies, many professional services firms, and an increasing number of consumer brands including Keep Cup, Kester Black, TOM Organic, Jasper Coffee, Republica Organica and Who Gives a Crap.
According to B Lab Australia & New Zealand, the not-for-profit organisation that reviews the governance, transparency, environmental and social impact of businesses to provide B Corp certifications, the number of B Corps is doubling every 18 months and 1800 companies are currently undertaking the assessment.
B Lab spokesman Charlie Syme said there was evidence that B Corp certification makes brands more attractive to consumers, particularly with millennials.
“We also know that millennials have a strong interest in working with companies that have purpose at their core, leading to a more productive and engaged workforce,” he said.
In addition, companies should take note of the growth of B Corps and sustainable living brands.
Unilever has two B Corps in its portfolio – Ben & Jerry’s and 7th Generation. The multinational consumer goods company’s sustainable living brands are growing 30 per cent faster than the rest of the business and delivered nearly half of total growth in 2015.