We are thrilled to announce that, together with Added Insight, we recently became one of the few learning and development organisations in the world to be awarded B Corp certification.
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Since launching in 2006, B Corporation certification has become the gold standard for companies around the world wanting to make a positive social and environmental contribution. There are currently over 6000 Certified B Corps in more than 80 countries and over 150 industries including household names like Allbirds, Kiwibank and Patagonia.
The overarching objective of the B Corp movement is to harness the power of business as a force for good. In practical terms that means balancing purpose, planet and profit.
“Balancing purpose and profit is a concept we’ve been committed to” says Drew McGuire, CEO of Capability Group. “We believe that both elements are intrinsically connected. In business, profitability is what allows us to operate, innovate, and grow. Yet, purpose is the reason we started this journey. By being profitable, we can invest in projects that resonate with our passions and values. It’s the essence of why we do what we do – to not only thrive as a business but to make a lasting, positive impact in the world.”
Some examples of purpose-driven programmes that we have worked on recently include the Women’s Football Capacity Building Programme with Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and Tuberculosis Warriors (TB Warriors) with J&J Asia. The programmes represent our dedication to making a meaningful and positive impact and also addressing critical social challenges to build a more equitable and inclusive future.
Fiona Hancock, Director at Added Insight says “Everyone that works for us is really passionate about the purpose that underpins our business. They want to make a difference; they want to have a positive social impact. They really care about the environment so this process was all about ensuring that both Added Insight and Capability Group are designed to deliver on that promise and go on an improvement journey”.
B Corp Certification recognises that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency. In order to achieve certification, a company must provide evidence that it is in business not just to accrue profits for its owners and/or shareholders but also to benefit other stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.
Companies are asked to self-assess their policies and procedures in five different areas: governance, employees, local community, environment and customers. It requires a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of the business and requires significant time and resources.
“It took a lot longer than we anticipated, probably three times as long,” says McGuire. “But as a learning and development organisation, this was a great opportunity to turn the lens on ourselves and consider what we’ve learned as a business and what we need to do to develop and improve. It forced us to analyse our business and ask some tough questions like ‘What gaps are there in what we do and how we do it?’ and ‘What’s working and more importantly, what's not working?’“
As a company, we’ve always ‘talked the talk’ when it comes to having a positive impact but this process forced us to consider what impact we were having and how we were measuring it. That's what we do with our clients every day, so it made sense to hold ourselves to the same standards.”
Anna Hyland led the B Corp certification process for Capability Group and Added Insight. “As part of the verification process the assessor requested evidence and documentation,” explains Hyland."
We achieved exceptional results, particularly in our collaborative work with clients to create learning and development opportunities for individuals from minority and lower socio-economic groups who may not typically have access to such initiatives”
Another crucial focus was the implementation of workplace guides and initiatives aimed at enhancing employee well-being across various dimensions, including mental, social, financial, learning, and physical well-being.
We've now got resources and programmes in place that will have enduring benefits for both Capability Group, Added Insight and team members, extending beyond our B Corp certification."
We also needed to consider our stance on sustainability. We recognise that environmental, social, and economic sustainability are inextricably linked and are critical for long-term business success and a healthy planet. But what does this commitment mean to us, our employees, customers, and the community? What is our commitment to give back? How can we have a truly lasting impact?
One of the ways we addressed this was by considering our impact on the 2030 United Nations Sustainable goals (UNSG). The UNSG, “recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.” After careful analysis and review, we could clearly link several of the UNSG goals to the work we were and continue to do, specifically the goals identified are:
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
SDG 4: Quality education
SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 13: Climate action
This approach underscores our commitment to building a sustainable future in harmony with these global objectives.
B Corp is just one part of our sustainability journey. We have also launched several vital initiatives to advance sustainability throughout Capability Group and Added Insight:
"This entire process extends far beyond a mere checkbox exercise," emphasized Hyland. "It carries real, tangible implications. In an era where individuals and organisations increasingly base their decisions on ethical considerations and a dedication to sustainability, the conscious choices we make today will resonate throughout other daily interactions we have with team members, our clients, and the community. These choices will have a lasting impact, not only now but well into the future."
Learn more about our sustainability initiatives.