How can you be the best at something, if you’re not the best for something? This is the premise underpinning B Corps. They’re businesses, but better – for people, planet and economy.
Putting profit above all-else is tired, old news. Businesses of the future understand that accountability is at the heart of a profitable and successful model because of one simple fact: no planet, no product.
There is a name for companies that operate from these ethos of community and sustainability – they’re called B Corps and they’re what good business looks like.
B Corps are companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. They’re part of a growing global community that operates on a triple bottom line, where people, planet and profit are all considered in business decisions.
Koala is proud to be a certified B Corp since early 2018, believing that business can be a force for good through careful design, care for nature and community-focussed systems.
“Basically, we’ve got a duty to provide the best outcomes we can with the resources we have at our disposal, not just look for a short term economic gain but long term holistic success,” says Koala Co-Founder, Mitch Taylor.
The brilliant thing about B Corp certification is that it holds companies accountable for the ways in which they operate on an ongoing basis. To join – and stay – in this most excellent of clubs, the B Corporation requires us to meet some pretty high standards across areas of governance, workers, community and environment every three years.
Here’s what it means to be a B Corp and why it’s a way for us all to thrive:
We design ethical, sustainable products from start to end
Koala’s ethos has always been to disrupt in a way that gives back to the planet. We can’t survive unless the planet does, so our aim is to create ethical, sustainable products that customers will love and keep.
We use an ethical supply chain, partnering with the global non-profit SEDEX (Suppliers Ethical Data Exchange) to assess our key suppliers’ ethical, social, health and safety, and environmental practices.
Product-wise, we source the best possible materials; ones that are safe for you, prevent environmental damage and are designed to last. Our furniture is then tested for durability and designed to move with our customers, so they’re kept for longer.
Importantly, a product’s end of life is also considered in our design process. We donate returned products to the vulnerable within our community (after they’re thoroughly cleaned) via one of our 35 charity partners. Otherwise, the pieces are taken apart for materials to be recycled.
We care about animals and their habitats
Ever wondered why a furniture company would name themselves Koala? It goes back to one of our founding missions – to help save endangered Aussie wildlife. Customers ‘adopt’ a koala with every mattress sold through the World Wildlife Fund. Now, we’re also working with WWF to save green sea turtles from climate-change extinction.
Our commitment to help all habitats thrive has enabled us to donate over $1 million dollars towards environmental projects.
The workplace is our extended (very fun) home
Considering we spend so much of our lives working, workplace habitat matters too. Koala wouldn’t be where it is without our amazing staff, so we look after our people by creating a fun and supportive environment that aligns with our beliefs and allows everyone to flourish.
We provide mental health benefits, allow pets to collect their tummy rubs through the office, give free products to staff, organise corporate discounts, and throw ‘Friyays’ each week. We also supply an educational allowance for those wanting to further build on their skill sets.
Koala also purchase carbon neutral energy, recycle, has a sustainable cafe at HQ and buys products that provide a social benefit where possible.
Our customers matter to us
Customers are very much part of the Koala family. The very essence of our brand is around offering high-quality, ethical options at an affordable price. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two.
We also pride ourselves on our unique and warm customer service, a point that saw us awarded 1st place for ‘Effortless Experience’ in the 2019 Customer Happiness Awards.
We’re part of a global community of like-minded legends
Being a Certified B Corporation is so much more than having a badge of honour: it means we belong to a global community of kickass like-minded businesses. And we’re damn proud of that fact.
There are literally thousands of companies with this stamp of approval, but some of our favourites include Aesop, Patagonia, Intrepid Travel, Tom Organic, Keep Cup, Sample Coffee, The Farm Byron Bay, T2, Stone and Wood, We Are Explorers, Sunday Riley and Kathmandu.
We’re committed to ongoing change – and prove it every three years
To maintain our B Corp certified status, we verify and update our score every three years, measuring our performance and improvement in five categories: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment.
The assessment makes sure we meet the highest standards of transparency and legal accountability every time. You can check out our profile here.
Koala isn’t just a furniture company – we’re the materials we use, people we work with, staff we employ, customers we design for and communities we choose to be part of. And in each of these areas, we actively strive to operate in ways that ensure a future for everyone.