New Zealand sustainability leader ecostore recently met social and environmental standards to achieve B Corporation Certification for its Australasian operations validating its balance of purpose and profit. The company creates household, home and body care products at its Toitū carbon-zero certified factory in New Zealand and the certification now includes its business operations across Australasia.
Ecostore had never been solely focused on financial performance. Its foundations were built around social wealth creation and environmental responsibility, making the world a safe place, putting people's health first and giving consumers the choice of products without nasty chemicals.
In a Covid-19 world, doing business with personal and environmental safety as the priority is not the cheapest nor easiest option. But the ecostore team refused to rest on their laurels when the future of the planet and the health of communities is more pressing than ever.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ecostore has donated over $600,000 worth of stock to organisations supporting families in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. During the latest Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, ecostore donated $10,000 worth of ultra-sensitive and laundry products to David Letele's Brown Buttabean food bank to provide basic supplies to families in central Manukau. Across the ditch, ecostore donated $70,000 worth of product to organisations including share the Dignity, Sister Works, Kids First and the Happy Box Project.
The B Corp certification, administered by Standards Analysts at the non-profit B Lab, took ecostore over two years to achieve.
Ecostore group CEO Pablo Kraus said the company's choice to become B Corp certified was a natural extension of its goal to be the world's most sustainable home and body care brand. The process towards the certification was challenging for the company, however, Kraus said it was truly worth it and has been one of its greatest achievements as a team.
“At a time where we’re facing COVID, climate change, challenging economic and social conditions more than ever before, we believe that we must be the change we seek in the world. In achieving B Corp certification, our business is now set up to be more robust and resilient in the future, and we believe this will only strengthen our triple bottom line in the long term.
“We’re not perfect. We have built a global company informally over the last 25 years. We’ve got a lot of products and a complex global supply chain. Our impact is real, and making improvements can be challenging, but we want to continually do better.
“The journey towards certification has helped us formalise a lot of these elements, such as implementing a code of conduct for our supply chain. We are now working towards increasing our score through a process that helps us stay accountable, measure our impact, and chart a course for continuous improvement. This has only solidified our commitment to being better for people and the planet.”
B Lab Australia and New Zealand's CEO, Andrew Davies, said they were thrilled to welcome ecostore as a certified B Corporation and achieving this certification provides third-party assurance for their customers.
“Today, ecostore joins the fast-growing community of Certified B Corporations in Aotearoa. We congratulate the ecostore team on living its purpose and continually inspiring others to set the bar high.
“To become a B Corp, ecostore had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Seeing more household brands like ecostore make this commitment is a positive sign that purpose-driven business has entered the mainstream.
“By supporting B Corps, people are supporting organisations that are actively working to change the culture of business and our economy. They are making big investments to reduce inequality, design a healthier environment, and create more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. It’s up to each of us to think about our daily choices and how we can choose businesses that have made these commitments," said Davies.
Ecostore is committed to continually evolving its products to be better, and with sustainability always in mind. It is constantly innovating to reduce its environmental impact, from biodegradable ingredients to carbon zero certified manufacturing, plastic made from sugar cane, launching its own plastic return programme and creating over 200 refill stations to reduce plastic consumption.
Kraus said the company's next five priorities are:
- to become an accredited Living Wage Employer, the amount needed to be an active citizen in society,
- to provide more circular solutions,
- to offer more products that carry the Environmental Choice New Zealand eco label,
- to enhance sustainability through water reuse in their manufacturing, and
- to reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and increase the use of renewables and offsets.