HRA Global announces B Corp certification
I’m so excited to announce HRA Global became fully BCorp certified in late November. We scored 88.5, a strong score reflecting not only how we run our business, but also the hard work that the team have put in behind the scenes.
There is some beautiful symmetry here as we’ve done this in our 10th anniversary year.
We’re now formally on a “Mission Lock” – so our objective and desire to create a more sustainable world is always going to be core to our company. Like, legally wired into our corporate DNA.
I cut my teeth launching the Fair Trade brand for Tesco in the mid 2000s across coffee, tea, chocolate and flowers so that is perhaps the easiest way for me to explain BCorp; so Fair Trade is to coffee, what BCorp is to business.
It’s profit-with-purpose, which is very cool these days.
It wasn’t always like that – I remember when I studied my MBA in the early 2000s the business strategy textbooks were all about “maximising shareholder value” and “prioritising shareholder returns”. That view always sat uneasily with me as I felt pretty strongly that business should be used as a force for good.
So we’re trying to hold ourselves to the standard that all our stakeholders – staff, customers, community, suppliers – should be highly valued, not just shareholders. For sure, we don’t always get it right, but we try and we keep it front and centre.
Back in the 2000s it wasn’t very popular to believe that deep down, we are all on the same team. We’ve tried to act this out and over the last decade we’ve become serial collaborators with a huge web of allies across FMCG with whom we share, collaborate and work. We try not to hoard our cards close to our chest, we do love a good collab and we try and pay it forward, giving the first big break to 25+ paid interns over the last 10 years.
I’m as sceptical about greenwash, lofty corporate statements and agency crafted CSR reports as the next person in the trade. And some of the food and beauty standards used in FMCG are pretty flaky if you look closely, too often reduced to the lowest common denominator.
So, what I like about BCorp is that it’s a judgement of an impartial, demanding and independent third party. I like the fact its tough to achieve. I like the fact that not everyone passes the “Impact Assessment”. I like the fact that the BCorp community fizzes with energetic and passionate organisations.
So what does it mean to you, dear client, supplier, collaborator?
Well, you can be sure that we are trying to improve our legacy year on year. That bit by bit we are trying to do better, to leave businesses, brands, relationships, products and categories healthier and more sustainable than we found them. We publish our progress each month in our Impact Report on our website, together with the metrics. We measure our carbon footprint and are working on offsetting it.
We love to work both with the upcoming younger generation in FMCG, with those more experienced heads and leaders in our industry that are trying to change things for the better. We’re focused on doing our bit to help FMCG and wider Agriculture change for the better.
And if you want to learn more, I am running a main stage BCorp event at the International Food Exhibition show at Excel on the 22nd March. It would be great to see you there – the link is here if you are curious. It would be great to see you.