Nelson company Chia Sisters has achieved the highest scoring B Corp certification in New Zealand. Its score of 118.6 is the highest ever for any juice company in the world to date.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet high standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Balancing profit and purpose, B Corps redefine success in business by building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
There are 3,800 certified B Corporations around the world. In New Zealand, there are just 39 B Corps covering a variety of industries from food to professional services, including Kathmandu, Sharesies, Toitū Envirocare and Ethique.
Chia Sisters co-founder Chloe Van Dyke said, “Achieving B Corp certification was important because we’re using Chia Sisters as a testing ground for creating an ethical business framework. A framework that measures not only profit but also environmental and social impact. As our company grows, it is important that our values are always at the table when we make decisions, that they are the backbone of our company culture.”
During the B Corp assessment stage, founder Chloe Van Dyke realised how much more they could be doing. “This achievement is one step further on our roadmap of defining what good business means to us. We have done a lot already but the real achievement is in being able to define what we can do next.” One area Chia Sisters could improve on was choosing a more ethical bank – “If our bank doesn’t clean up its act we will look to take our business elsewhere,” she said.
Speaking of the future of sustainable business in New Zealand, Florence says “New Zealand needs to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement and to do that, the way businesses operate needs to change. Sustainability icons on the label of products only represent a tiny piece of how a business operates. The big issues are actually not in front of you, it’s all about the part you don’t see, the culture of business behind the scenes”.
Crucially, the Van Dyke sisters believe that global sustainable change is not achieved by being the best, but by collaboration, even with competitors, to open doors for others. This is certainly a sentiment shared by other B Corps, including Allbirds.