A Cambridge company has become the first financial adviser in New Zealand to achieve a B Corp certification, meaning it joins a global network espousing the notion that business can be a ‘force for good’.
“I’m very excited, and I’d like to get more people interested in looking at it,” Moneyworks founder and managing director Carey Church said.
“Not only have we learned a lot through the process, but we have received valuable feedback throughout,” she said.
Certified B corporations, known as B Corps, are businesses that meet standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The certification process measures companies on everything from their social and environmental impact to employee benefits, charitable giving and volunteering efforts.
“The ‘B’ signifies ‘benefit’ to all people, not just to business owners and shareholders,” Church said. “A key focus for us is that it really does reflect our values when it comes to ethical investing. This gives them a shape… it gives us sound ideas on moving ahead.”
Moneyworks achieved its B Corp certification in August, attaining a score of 102.9. The average score of all organisations completing the B Corp Impact Assessment is 50.9 and an 80.0 score required for certification.
Church said the company joins 5500 businesses around the world and is the first financial adviser of 77 B Corp companies in New Zealand.
B Lab, a not-for-profit network aimed at making the global economy more inclusive and sustainable, has certified businesses across six continents since the launch in 2006.
Carey started Moneyworks in early 1997. She said she has difficulty with the business model popular where companies existed primarily to fill shareholders’ pockets.
“I have seen managing directors and CEOs earning tens of millions of dollars while their workers still earn around $30,000 a year. I hate that,” she said. “Another bugbear of mine is the way some companies treat their employees.
“When I heard about B Corp and what it did to ‘do business better’, I grew increasingly interested and looked into it for our business. There was a lot of work involved once we started, but tough as it was, I have loved the process. It really made us push the bar.”
Helping get them there was the company’s involvement with national and international professional organisations via which the team ‘gives back’ within their sector, and Carey’s lengthy involvement with Cambridge Rotary, and more recently, her establishment of U3A Cambridge.
Certified companies must update their assessment and verify their updated score every three years.