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Eagle Consumables - NZ's first certified B Corporation

21 March 2013

Eagle Consumables - NZ's first certified B Corporation

B Corp, a business certification which has been adopted by global brands such as apparel company Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, has made its first step into New Zealand with Christchurch company Eagle Consumables becoming the country’s first B Corp certified organisation.

B Corp, short for Benefit Corporation, is a certification in which participant organisations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Stemming from the idea that “not all profits are created equally”, B Corp certification aspires to be to sustainable business what Fairtrade certification is to coffee - to provide an assurance that a business is socially responsible.

B Corp was co-founded by Andrew Kassoy, Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan in Pennsylvania, USA in 2006 via B Lab, the nonprofit that administers B Corp accreditation. Since its launch over 700 companies in 25 countries across 60 industries have adopted B Corp into their management ethos.

Eagle Consumables Managing Director Steve Ardagh has long been interested in business practices that factor in the impact they have on the wider community. Eagle imports consumable products for the food, medical, and general industries – such as rubber gloves – and it was Ardagh’s belief that his business could have a positive impact on everyone involved: customers, suppliers, staff and the owners.

“We had made efforts within Eagle to do things more efficiently, as many companies have done, but wanted to consider the areas beyond simple profit and loss,” Ardagh says.

For Ardagh being a great company meant being a great employer, building strong relationships with customers and suppliers, considering the local community as well as constantly looking for ways to be better corporate citizens.

Ardagh adds, “Becoming New Zealand’s first B Corp was a useful process for Eagle. Since becoming certified we have formalised our current international supplier visits - auditing employment practices, workplace conditions and environmental impact. The B Corp process has also highlighted other areas we could focus our efforts into improving.”

Eagle has made efforts in the environmental area to reduce waste. They regularly assess sourcing, packaging and shipping of products, and are aiming to develop new products that stay cleaner longer or use fewer materials.

With other New Zealand companies already interested in becoming B Corps, the global movement of increased corporate responsibility is on its way to redefining success in business.

About B Corp
B Lab, the nonprofit organisation who developed the B Corp certification, was founded in 2006 by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy. All founders shared a common passion for creating a better world through business. Prior to B Lab, Gilbert and Houlahan were Co-Founder and President respectively of AND1, a $250 million basketball footwear and apparel business. Kassoy spent his earlier career as a private equity investor; notably as a Partner at MSD Real Estate Capital, a $1 billion real estate fund controlled by MSD Capital, the investment vehicle for the assets of Michael Dell and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

The first B Corp was certified in 2007 and there are now over 700 certified B Corps across 25 countries and 60 industries.

Certified B Corps 1) meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; 2) legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests; and 3) build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corp brand.

About Eagle Consumables

Eagle Consumables is a Christchurch-based, specialised importer and distributor of single use disposable goods for the food processing and preparation industries, the medical sector, automotive, cleaning industry and any other major users of these products.

Eagle Consumables was started in 2006 by Managing Director Steve Ardagh.


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