Written by Paul Leacock – General Manager & Co-founder, Blacksmith
From the day we started Blacksmith in April 2009, our purpose, the reason we get out of bed in the morning, has always been about making our world a better workplace, starting by our city or our country, so we can have a great work environment for the people relocating to New Zealand to find better opportunities. Sometimes it could feel like we were a lone voice in the wilderness so when we encountered B Corporations in 2013, we felt like we’d finally found our tribe.
We came across the concept of B Corporations (B Corps) when we were researching the best governance model for Blacksmith. After more investigation Kate and I agreed, this is what we want to do, this is how we want to run the business.
Sometimes you have a look for the small wins to celebrate but not this year. New brand, new website, new consultant and Blacksmith turned eight years old. All this in the first three months of 2017 so celebrating was on the cards and celebrate we did. We even celebrate in the top landbased casinos in New Zealand which are great for a good party and reunion with friends and partners !
We bought together family, friends, partners and clients to join us in reflecting on the past eight years, thanking some important folks that have been part of our journey and just enjoying the opportunity to connect. We also took time to share some real highlights and share some of the things that haven’t gone so well over our eight years in business.
Our new company values were a hit and the team took a few moments to talk about their favorite value and what it means to them, mine is connecting.
A 'B Corp' is a business that’s guided by a set of socially and environmentally focused principles that differentiate it from more traditional business models.
- Ordinary Businesses – Whose primary objective in business is to generate high financial returns. They may be interested in the possibility of using their business to serve a higher purpose, but are not actively pursuing this.
- Sustainable Businesses – Whose primary objective is to both pursue positive impact and generate returns. They may be actively pursuing their impact objectives, but may or may not have taken the steps to measure and evaluate how their business impacts society and the environment.
- B Corporations – Businesses that are primarily trying to solve a social or environmental issue through their enterprise. All B Corps measure their impact and achieve at least 80pts on the B Impact Assessment to validate that they have achieved a significant threshold of impact. They also expand their corporate duties to include the consideration of the interests of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. B Corps are typically focused on improving and sustaining their impact over time and generating profit simultaneously.
We’ve always been a purpose led company and committed to ensuring we ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to making Blacksmith a better workplace for our team, our clients, our community and the planet. In B Lab, the not-for-profit that created and assesses B Corps, we found people who thought about business the way we do.
Completing the B Impact Assessment and getting our initial certification means we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. But for us it’s much more than a stamp of approval. It demonstrates that we are serious about our purpose and up for the level of transparency the assessment offers and the opportunities the assessment give us to improve our score over time.
You can view our full B Impact Report here.
The world is changing fast and now more than ever people are searching for meaning in their work and they want to make an impact. Making our world a better workplace is how we make our impact, our dent in the universe, and being a B Corp is another way we can show that we’re serious about our purpose because let’s face it, the world needs all the help it can get.
For more information on B Corp and to learn more about the B Impact Assessment click here