“We're in this together, and if we united and we inter-culturally cooperated, then that might be the key to humanity's survival.”
—Jeremy Gilley, TEDTalks.
When we started Kusaga Athletic, our foundations were seeded in dreams. What sprouted from those early days was a deep commitment to create products that are better for our planet as we built a business that would influence and lead existing companies, as well as those still finding their roots.
In the years since we have created future fabrics and performance sportswear, products that are planet-friendly and pretty awesome. But we wanted a smart framework to allow us to showcase to the world how beneficial our products are for the environment. We were also looking for profit-for-purpose parameters to guide the growth of our business.
We wanted to be sure our aims were in step with existing business methods, and we identified certification programs within the industry, but we also wanted independence. We wanted to follow pathways to profitability without compromising our sustainable mission. It was hard to find a program that covered all bases. Then we found B Corporation.
B Corporation is recognised as the highest standard for social corporate responsibility. B Corps are a new type of corporation that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
“B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee”
Iconic companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s headline the 2000+ strong B Corp global community, and following in their impressive footsteps was a strong draw card. These organisations are long regarded as forward thinking and industry leading, in environmental impact, in social awareness, and in transparency.
Kusaga Athletic was certified B Corporation in 2016. We are proud of the achievement, as it’s a very rigorous assessment process. Once you go through that process you know have properly assessed all facets of your organisation, and you deserve the stamp of approval.
With the B Corp approval comes access to a community of leaders who are righting the wrongs of the past, and creating businesses of the future.
For us it comes down to smart business. As part of B Corp we have two-way access to clients and suppliers who are verified in their attitudes to business, and in their values to people and place. We feel comfortable working with any organisation that has met the high bar of B Corp certification.
B Corp’s approach is straightforward. They make their messaging accessible, creative and interesting. Forget being overwhelmed by empty statistics or mind-boggling data. They are the cool cats of communication, putting purpose first, making it simple and practical. Being a B Corp approved company gives us another avenue to articulate our profit-for-purpose business.
The B Corp certification process has a number of frameworks that serve a dual purpose. Firstly they ensure that participating organisations meet the stringent standards expected of the B Corp community. As an added bonus they provide excellent internal frameworks we can use to ensure we continue to operate as a sustainable company as we move beyond the start up phase.
At Kusaga Athletic, we focus on three key pillars: to Educate, Challenge and Lead. We believe being a B Corp certified company will help us to live our mission every day. We are part of a community of businesses with similar attitudes, business that care about their people, their customers and the broader community.
Graham Ross is CEO of Kusaga Athletic and growth advisor to planet friendly companies. Graham is a multiple Ironman-distance triathlete and marathoner with a passion for riding up the biggest mountains he can find.