Good & Proper Tea is officially a certified B Corp™
We are very proud to announce that just before Christmas we officially became a certified B Corporation. We have now joined a global community of over 7,800 purpose-driven businesses on a mission to change the rules of the game, by using Business as a Force for Good™.
What is a B Corp?
Certified B Corporations™, or B Corps, are companies that have been verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
B Lab is a non-profit network on a mission to inspire and enable people to use Business as a Force for Good. It aims to redefine business as usual, transforming the current economic landscape, which prioritises individualism and profit, towards an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy that benefits all stakeholders - workers, customers, communities, and the environment.
B Corps are essential for helping to drive this change, demonstrating that together, we can create a better economic system that works for all.
What does certification involve?
Becoming a Certified B Corp involves a rigorous process that requires businesses to embed B Corp’s values into its legal structure.
To achieve and maintain certification, all B Corps must:
1. Complete the very thorough B Impact Assessment and achieve a verified total score of 80+ points.
2. Meet the B Corp legal requirement – amending Articles of Association to embed a commitment to consider the impact of decisions on all stakeholders.
3. Sign the B Corp Agreement and the Declaration of Interdependence.
What does B corp mean to us?
We’re firm believers of letting our actions do the talking, rather than relying on ethical-sounding labels. After all most labels focus on one thing only, and even then can’t guarantee that a company or its supply chain is entirely free from destructive practices. The very presence of a label can therefore mislead consumers at times.
While no business or system is perfect, we were attracted to how holistic B Corp is - it looks at all areas of the business, from workers, communities and customers to governance and the environment. While becoming certified does mean you have been audited to ensure that you meet a certain level in these key areas, it more importantly sets you on a path of continuous improvement - and that is what really chimed with us. Doing Things Properly is at the heart of how we have always done things at Good & Proper, from sourcing the best tea leaves from farms and co-operatives that align with our values, to supporting all our customers to brew the best possible cup, and we have always sought to see how, every step of the way, we can do that better.
What challenges did we overcome during the B Corp certification process?
Our journey to certification was no minor undertaking - one that took us almost a full 12 months of dedicated work. Anyone who has been through it themselves will understand how much of an achievement getting certified was for our small (but mighty) team. The work involved in getting things in order, pulling together evidence, preparing for audit calls and more was significant - and it of course sits on top of an already heavy workload, in what was an incredibly busy year at Good & Proper. The process became a project in its own right, and it involved all of us, yet it sat outside of any other workstream we had in place. There were many weeks when we wouldn’t have made as much progress as we had hoped, and we’d feel disheartened that it still felt like such a long road ahead. But we got there, and to have our hard work recognised with a score of 97.1 was a fantastic way to end 2023!
Despite the challenges, there is no doubt that the process has given us a much-needed way to structure all of the great things we were doing already, as well as a critical framework to work within as we grow. It has created a notable shift in mindset too - we now approach our everyday decision-making in a completely different way, and already that is making us a better business.
What are our next steps for the future?
Certification is very much just the start of a journey of continuous improvement, so the real work starts now! Our Assessment gives us a starting point, where we can see which areas we are strong in, and where we could do better, and that forms the basis of our goal setting for the year ahead. After all we’ll need to re-certify in three years’ time 🤪
We will share those goals for the year ahead in due course. In the meantime, as a proud new member of the so-called B-Hive - an online platform where like-minded B Corps can connect, collaborate and share knowledge - we will start by doing a lot of listening, learning, asking questions and generally trying to better understand how we can do our part to push the movement forward.
Finally, what does this all mean for you?
It means that by choosing to brew our tea every day, you are supporting a business that is, along with a strong community of others, working hard to change the status quo, by transforming the global economy to one that benefits all people, communities, and the planet.