B Corporations are businesses which act “as a force for good”, certified by B Lab for meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Community Sector Banking (CSB) and Disruptive Media were named among the 2017 Best for the World Honorees, which recognised the positive contribution they had made to the community. Disruptive Media was honoured in the Best for Community list, which included businesses that earned a community score in the top 10 per cent of more than 2,100 B Corps worldwide.
Sydney, Australia by Anthony Kernich
Lyn Jenkin, the managing director of Disruptive Media, said “social change [had] always been at the heart of everything” they did.
“Over many years, we’ve seen first-hand the challenges many organisations face trying to create social change and bring their visionary ideas to those that will benefit,” Jenkin said.
“Through strong design and communications, Disruptive Media helps social organisations get noticed, reach their goals, and fast-track their way to achieving social change.”
While CSB has been a B Corp since 2015, it has now been added to the Changemakers list, recognising the improvements made by the organisation during their biennial re-certification this year. CSB, which is the only Australian banking service dedicated to the not-for-profit sector, was ranked in the top 10 per cent of B Corps worldwide, along with 174 other companies across 17 countries.
The co-founder of B Lab, Jay Coen Gilbert, said: “Companies like Community Sector Banking and Disruptive Media exemplify what it means for a business to be a good citizen.
“We’re proud to recognise their achievement. Best for the World is the only list of businesses making the greatest positive impact that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance.”
CSB CEO Andrew Cairns, told Pro Bono News the company was honoured to be recognised for their community efforts.
“It makes me feel really proud and excited at the same time. Whenever you get an award or recognition, it’s affirmation that your strategy is resonating. Particularly in regards to B Corp, to be listed in the top 10 per cent is really exciting because it shows we’re on the right track,” Cairns said.
He added that B Corps were an important initiative, which offered “an internal and external capability” for an organisation.
“The internal capability is a set of guidelines, measures and methodology that ensures [organisations] remain ethically, socially and environmentally focused in what they do,” Cairns said.
“And externally, it’s important because it’s a signal to your customers and the market as to what kind of business you are and how you go about doing business.”
Cairns became CEO of CSB in April 2016, after previous roles at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group, and as CEO of Community Telco Australia. He said CSB’s purpose to achieve social good meant the organisation was different, and “an exciting place” to work at.
“CSB aspires for the not-for-profit sector [to bank] together for the common good. And by doing so, it’ll be able to derive greater control and certainty over its financial future. And [this certainty] over its financial future in this changing environment, allows it to accelerate the social impact it has in the marketplace,” Cairns said.
“What makes us different, is whilst we provide financial services as our core product, we are able to be the trusted financial advisor and partner of the not-for-profit sector…which I find particularly exciting.”
While this accolade was something Cairns said CSB was proud of, he added that they would use this affirmation to continue creating a social impact into the future.
“We’ve very focused on working with the sector to understand what is needed to meet the requirements today, but also in the future. This means working with the sector on co-design, looking at what the new needs, services and products required are, to help the industry grow and be more relevant,” Cairns said.
“We’ve had a lot of emphasis on working in the affordable housing and homelessness environment, because we think it’s the right of everyone to have shelter. We also believe it’s critical to work with people to give them the opportunity to access employment or earning capability.
“Those things are all very important to us, and we’ll use the methodology and learnings from what we’ve done in the past with the B Corp accreditation, along with the learnings from our shareholders, to enable us to be the best we can be.”
Source: Pro Bono Australia