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One Tribe is now a fully certified B Corp

Ric Porteus

Ric Porteus

One Tribe is proud to announce that we are now a B Corp! Find out below why we put in the work to get certified, and what that means to us and the 3000 other B Corps around the world. We’ll also share some bios of 5 B Corps, finishing with explanations and links to theirs and our b impact reports.

B-Corporation - B the change - people using business as a force for good

We are proud to be a B-Corp

What does that mean? That One Tribe, along with 3000 other B Corporations around the world, has been verified as meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. It was really important to us at One Tribe that we met those standards, with our founders targeting  B Corp certification from day 1. As we help our e-commerce partners to be accountable and prove to their respective customers that they are responsible for their environmental impact and contributing to global conservation, we have chosen to hold ourselves to those standards. 

“This has been such an incredible achievement by our team and I am so proud to finally join the B Corp family, it’s taken 1000’s of hours of work and 18 months to build One Tribe in the most sustainable, resource-light way. I first learned about B Corps when Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia Founder) discussed joining the B Corporation family in 2012. Patagonia is a brand I have been buying from for years. As an active Hiker and Snowboarder, Patagonia has always been part of my kit bag. I still have an old down jacket that is close to 20 years old alongside several other ‘lifetime’ pieces. As a founder Yvon has been an inspiration of mine for many years, I always dreamed of building a company with the same ethics and mindset, to achieve B Corp status was always a goal for me and now One Tribe is a fully certified B Corp, as a business for good, we couldn’t be happier.  Following in the footsteps of many great organisations, we are really excited to engage with the B Corp community – Ric Porteus CEO One Tribe”

Achieving the status was not easy, requiring us meeting a rigorous set of criteria. Once completed, the B Impact Assessments are made public and published on the B Corporation’s website – there is nowhere to hide! Many of the best B Corps not only publish their status and the findings but then also work with their customers and community to seek ways to improve. Which is precisely what we are doing now, seeing how we can do better long before our next assessment in 3 years time. 

We are happy to share the stories below of great B Corps: 

  • Patagonia 
  • Habito
  • All Birds 
  • Charity Bank 
  • Abel and Cole 

To achieve B Corp status each organisation must achieve a score of 80 points.  When we submitted our application our score was at 85, but after further scrutiny and questions from the team at B Coro, they actually INCREASED our score to 95.2!  It turns out we had been doing better than we thought and we were super happy to achieve our B Corp status at the start of 2021. We scored highly on purpose and mission but we also know we still have areas where we can improve.  We will keep the tribe updated on our progress over the next 3 years!

First, you might ask yourself  . . . What does being a B Corp mean? 

B Corp means that a business has been certified as a B Corporation. Certification can only be achieved by being assessed on a number of quite stringent impact indicators. Officially B Corporations are: 

 “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B-Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.”

Why was it important for One Tribe to be a B Corp? 

We have always had aspirations to become a B Corp. Because of this, our founders made sure we integrated the key principles of environmental performance, transparency and accountability to our customers, to their customers and to our partners from the start.

In an era when many consumers are concerned about how their donations and support translate into action in the third sector, such transparency and proof were important to demonstrate clearly that we were delivering.

A key part of our mission is to make a meaningful impact on the climate crisis, using technology to make it possible for e-commerce partners to fund global conservation through micro-donations. So, as we help many of those partners to be accountable and responsible for their environmental impact, it made sense to get certified early, ensuring we were equally accountable. As soon as the climate action platform was in development and our first tribe members onboarded, we quickly got to work with the B Lab to start our certification.

Being B Corp certified

B Corp certification is not easy 

Certification is not easy to achieve. In order to secure B Corp status, a company needs to go through a rigorous process, getting a verified score of more than 80 points on the B Impact Assessment. They look at how we treat our staff, our community, our customers and the environment. It explores our energy consumption, waste, diversity and a long, long list of other criteria.

Once completed, the B Impact Assessments are made public, published on the B Corporation’s website. Many of the best B Corps not only publish their status and the findings but then also work with their customers and community to seek ways to improve. Which is precisely what we are doing now, seeing how we can do better long before our next assessment in 3 years time.

The assessment is also just as important for investors and shareholders. There are over 3,000 B Corps around the world, each of whom is for profit. The good that the organisations are doing is just as measurable as the products and services sold. Increasingly investors are looking to have a positive impact when they consider where they invest, and One Tribe is committed to the principle of purpose alongside that of profit.

Who are some of those 3000 global B Corps?

Patagonia - Sustainable business from Earth Day - Full credit to Hypebeast

Patagonia

A well-known and favourite fashion brand for outdoor activists. The team at Patagonia officially became a B-Corp in 2011. They are a world leader in purpose-led business and are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to protecting our environment.  In 2019 they changed their mission statement to “We’re in business to save our home planet” and they are practicing what they preach.

Currently 68% of the fabrics used are with recycled materials and their target is to use 100% renewable or recycled materials by 2025.  The team has also been connected with grassroots groups to find solutions to the environmental crisis for nearly 40 years. They have a dedicated on-going campaign called ‘Patagonia Action works’. It does indeed, with over $100 million given to its grantees since 1985. 

The team went further with founder Yvon Chouinard co-establishing 1% of the planet, with North Face founder Douglas Tompkins. The organisation deals with sustainability and the environment, offering a global network of businesses, non-profits and individuals working as a membership to implement sustainable environmental projects. Over $270 million has been given back to the environment via the partnership, supporting non-profits like the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

Each year, the B-Corp certifiers recognise and honour members who have strived best to achieve the strongest score and impact around the world. They were recognised for being the best contributor in the ‘best for environment’ category for 6 years, a changemaker and community leader 3 years on the bounce, And the best B-Corp in the world for another 3 years on the bounce. Not only that, but the UN awarded them ‘Champions of the Earth’ for their entrepreneurial vision. A phenomenal recognition and reward, for a phenomenal outdoor fashion brand. 

Habito Mortgages Made easier - Taken directly from Habito website

Habito

One of the UK’s largest digital mortgage brokers, Habito has now cemented its place as a major FinTech brand. Started in 2016, the brand focused on developing a digital directory of buy-to-let mortgages. It now serves over 330,000 people lending 4.9 billion euros worth of mortgages. Firstly on behalf of over 90 banks and building societies, then as a direct lender. In 2019, the team secured $33M to continue digitising aspects of home financing and buying.  And in June 2020, Habito secured certification as a B-Corp. 

The team is very passionate about people and community. In their B Corp Impact Report they score particularly highly on their workforce, ethics and transparency and diversity and inclusion.  This translates to the delivery of great products and services through a strong, loyal and diverse team. 

All Birds

A large ethical footwear manufacturer with a very unique approach before it became an environmental B-corp. The team’s founder, Tim Brown, is native to New Zealand had developed a keen interest in merino wool. He struggled to understand why such a sustainable resource was absent from the footwear industry And so, he developed the brand and the first shoes. With a commitment to crafting footwear using only planet-friendly natural materials. The team’s first range of ‘classic sneakers’ and loungers was made using only merino wool, recycled materials, plant-based fibres, plant sugars and oils. 

The team also become ZQ certified ( means they met stringent standards for sustainable farming and animal welfare) and manufacture using 60% less energy. The team followed up with a range of sneakers and skippers made from eco-friendly eucalyptus pulp, then a range of flip flops, using the first-ever carbon-negative EVA foam. Like one of our ethical footwear partners, Koi Footwear, the team is also committed to recycled packaging when selling their footwear online and supports the Soles 4 Souls scheme. 

All birds became certified in 2016 as an environmental B-corp. Further to being certified and meeting the regulation, the team openly discusses its carbon footprint, achieving a footprint of just 7.6 kg of CO2 per product. They break down per stage from materials, manufacturing, use by the user and the end of life. More amazing than that, they then tax themselves for the carbon emitted per product, invested into offsets that fund projects that they hope will get their emissions to zero.  

Finally, we can confirm that some of our staff are loyal customers and can confirm that as well as being good for the environment, they are also VERY comfortable!!

The Charity Bank

The Charity Bank is an ethical bank that literally does what it says on the tin. The team delivers a range of savings accounts for consumers, businesses, charities, clubs and credit unions. Either as ethical fixed-rate or notice savings accounts. Everyone involved still secures a fair interest rate whilst the funds are used to support the non-profit sector. This includes charities, social enterprises and organisations that can prove the loan will be used for a social purpose. All of the shareholders are either from charitable trusts, foundations or social enterprises, helping the team to remain on a mission, and according to a borrower survey in 2020, 98% of their borrowers would recommend them. 

They became a B-Corp in December 2014 and have a much larger impact score than the average. Since 2002 the bank has used the money saved with it to provide over £170 million of loan finance. To a range of organisations on a social mission say to extend a sports centre, increase access to education for excluded young people or open a safe house for victims of domestic violence. One amazing stat is that the bank believes that two-thirds of all the projects its team has made possible wouldn’t have happened without help from it. Which was in fact part of the reason they were founded, to support charities with loans that they couldn’t find elsewhere’. 

Between 2017-19 the team won 9 awards as best in the world for how it handles it’s governance, supports its customers, acts as a changemaker and in how it acts as a world-class B-Corp. 

Abel and cole - Action shot - Full credit to Abel and cole

Abel & Cole

Since its founding in 1988, Keith Abel and Paul Cole have been committed to organic and fair trade food retailing. Both started out by selling organic potatoes door to door with an investment of just £2000. Within 2 decades, as of 2007, the organic food delivery company became a multi-million-pound company. Valued at between £30m -£40m, and serving up to 50,000 customers across London, Manchester, Bristol and Brighton. It then became a nationwide brand worth £300m, which was then acquired by the William Jackson Food Group (Owners of Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire pudding brand) in 2012. 

Despite the revenues and the acquisition of the brand, a commitment to organic and fair trade remained at the heart of the business. The brand maintains strong local relationships with 100’s of local farmers, and when Abel and Cole become fair trade certified, some of those farms likewise followed suit.  In 2018 the brand became certified as a B Corp. The brand saw the certification as a great way to measure, challenge and improve their impact more than ever before. 

We’ re all committed to innovation – from the farmers out-standing in their fields to everyone here at Veg HQ. Whether it’s supporting green energy sourcing or improving recycling and waste reduction practices, the future’s looking green.”

As well as being fans of Allbirds, we can also confirm that many One Tribe staff members have been eating almost exclusively Abel and Cole delivered food during lockdown.  Some are even on first name terms with the customer support staff who we think are legendary!

And what about the One Tribe certification

Phew! So much going on, and that was just 5 of the B corps in the B-Lab community. There are now over 300 B corps operating in the UK. We feel proud and privileged to now be in the company of such amazing brands. We achieved certification in January 2021, doing better than we could have hoped on the B impact assessment. Ahead of submitting our application, we hoped we had done enough to secure a score of 80. Which is the average impact score most organisations aim to achieve. We secured a score of 95.2! 

We scored highly because we have a purpose-driven enterprise and we are supporting the underserved. We were also recognised for having a strong mission, engagement, ethics and transparency. Our employees have financial security, health and wellness support, and career development. One area where we didn’t scare as highly as we hoped was our environmental impact wasn’t strongly rated. The irony not lost on us.  The reason for this is that we are a remote-first organisation, so while we have zero footprints in terms of travel, the measurement of the environmental impact of each individual remote worker, and the energy suppliers they have at their home office, is not as straightforward as if we were all working in one location.  

This is the first area of improvement we have identified and we will keep our community updated on how we progress! For now we can report that since our application half of our workforce has now moved to fully renewable energy suppliers. We have 3 years until we are required to be re-certified, and we look forward to achieving triple figures in 2024! We also look forward to being joined by many more brands as the sustainable business revolution continues! Read our B Impact report below and keep an eye out for further updates coming soon:

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