Business as a Force for Good

Business as a Force for Good

Nada was founded with the mission to use business as a force to solve environmental and social problems. From our start, we recognized the importance of becoming a B Corporation, a company that prioritizes people, planet, and profit. The B Corp Certification is a way for companies to assess their operations and uncover areas where improvements can be made. It is also a tool that consumers can use to make purchasing decisions that align with their values. 

When you support a B Corporation, you are supporting a company that has considered more than just shareholders in their company. B Corporations consider all stakeholders, including their communities, employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment when making decisions. For Nada, this means not only thinking about how a decision will affect their profits, but analyzing how a decision could impact their customers, team members, and the farmers and organizations they source products from and partner with. With this holistic mindset, Nada aims to perpetuate a world in which companies take responsibility for their actions and in turn attempt to create a better world through their business. 

There are 5 overarching impact areas for B Corps to focus on. These include Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. This multifaceted approach ensures that companies aren’t only solving one part of the problem. The B Corp framework illustrates that interconnectedness of social, environmental, and economic issues.

A company must achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment and make their report transparent on bcorporation.net in order to be certified. Additionally, companies are encouraged to amend their legal governing documents to require their board of directors to balance profit and purpose. Consumers can feel confident supporting B Corporations because of the public transparency, legal accountability, and third-party verified performance.  

Why should you support B Corporations? 

The holistic approach that B Corps take to solving problems is one reason you should support them with your purchasing decisions. As of January 2020, there is another compelling incentive to support the B Corp Community. In 2015, the United Nations member states created the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global framework to approach global challenges that pose a threat to the environment and our societies. These goals aim to make sure no one is left behind and to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

A new development called the SDG Action Manager is a free online platform that can help businesses of any size or sector track and compare their performance towards the SDGs. This new addition is a way for companies to incorporate the SDGs into their business operations and discover new ways they can create change on various goals. This partnership between B Corps and the United Nations Global Compact can catalyze the private sector to be part of the solution on the Sustainable Development Goals. When consumers support B Corporations instead of conventional businesses that only consider profit, they are supporting a business that has a bigger picture in mind when creating their business strategy. 

Nada’s Recertification Game Plan! 

The very reason Nada was founded was to remove the plastic and packaging that is too often the norm in our present-day relationship with food. With a package-free store, Nada prevents customers from purchasing more than they need and in turn, reduces food waste. Tackling food waste is also incorporated into Nada’s store design and business model; our in-store team of talented chefs captures surplus food before it goes bad, turning it into delicious soups, smoothies, sauces, and dips that are sold both in the zero waste cafe and online.

Every three years, companies must go through the recertification process to remain in B Corp standing. Nada is currently going through that process, and we are so excited to share our progress and our goals for what is to come. 

We have implemented projects, policies, and initiatives to help us improve. Through employee training we want to provide education that includes social and environmental issues material to Nada and our mission. We know we always need to be both learning and unlearning. As a team, self-assessment is one of the most important parts of improving our business. Through materiality assessment of our company, we have identified and set performance targets for material issues and measurements. Below, we outline three of our main objectives for this upcoming recertification.

Project 1: Supply Chain Transparency 

Nada is working to increase our impact model tracking by improving engagement and transparency throughout the company. One project we are conducting is an annual supplier survey to collect information and keep up to date on what is going on throughout the supply chain. Surveys and follow up meetings allow us to gather environmental tracking information and understand the supply chain in a holistic way. Through these surveys we are able to ask our suppliers about their growing practices, labour policies, and what kind of packaging they use in order for us to see if our values line up and if there are areas we can collaborate to come up with better solutions. Understanding the companies we supply from and creating more transparency for our customers and the general public is one of our main goals.

Project 2: Customer Engagement

This project focuses on policies to help Nada understand our customers better and gather important information on the experience customers have in store and online. Understanding what our customers want from Nada and how we can best serve our community is a process of learning about our community, customers, and local residents and with this information, creating a space where all of these considerations are taken into account. To acquire this information, each year, we send out an annual customer survey, and we have an account where customers can email us for any input or concerns they have.

Project 3. Measuring & Mitigating our Carbon Emissions 

Nada is conducting a Carbon Footprint Analysis of our operations and business model. Environmental issues are all connected, and we take responsibility for the carbon resources we use as a result of being in business. With this analysis, we will see what areas of our operations are “hotspots” for greenhouse gas emissions. In turn, we will be able to detect specific areas of our business where we can take mitigative actions to reduce our overall carbon footprint. Additionally, the emissions that we cannot work to mitigate, we will offset through Climate Neutral, a credible carbon offset program.

Through this process of recertification, we are excited to creatively find new ways of doing business that challenge the “business as usual” mindset. We are going to make mistakes along the way, but we believe if our end goal is to better the environment, the community, and the Earth as a whole, mistakes are an inevitable part of the process, and we will learn from them.

Take Action!  

Not only are we very proud to be a B Certified Corporation, we are adamant about supporting them by specifically seeking out fellow B Corporations to source our ingredients from. More than 50% of our inventory is sourced from fellow B Corporations. The largest portion of our product comes from Left Coast Naturals, an organic natural foods manufacturer and distributor. Other B Corporations we source from include Aisle, Eco-bags, and MiiR to name a few. 

As we continue through the process of recertification, we want our projects to be as transparent as possible and we hope you follow along with our journey on the Nada Blog, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more! Also, to learn more about B Corporations in general, check out the B Corp Website.

With so many certifications out there, we know it can be overwhelming and in many cases, it is a privilege to be able to support B Corporations. We hope that you can feel inspired to support businesses that have social and environmental causes at the forefront of their mission. Next time you shop, whether it’s for a toothbrush or Marketing Services, be sure to look for the B Corp logo and you can rest assured you’re supporting a more sustainable future. Check out the B Corp Directory to find B Corps in your area!

Resources to learn more 

The investor perspective: why B Corps make resilient investments
Yes, business has responsibilities, but the entire system needs an “upgrade”
Why more brands are seeking out B Corp certifications