It’s no secret that We Are Explorers loves the outdoors – that’s why we think protecting it is so important. And it got us thinking…what can the everyday adventurer do to help? The answer is to vote with your dollar.
Yep, where you spend your money matters. But how do you know you’re making the right choices? We caught up with our mates at the responsible super fund Australian Ethical to find out how. And the answer lies in a little something called B-Corp.
Certified B Companies (Australian Ethical is one themselves) are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit. Getting accredited is no easy feat: B-Corps are legally required to consider their impact on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
Of course, buying from a B-Corp is top notch, but if you can’t you can still find businesses putting the planet before profit. The responsibility is on our shoulders as consumers to make the right choices. The collective power of individuals is pretty potent if we all use it.
With that in mind and in partnership with Australian Ethical, we’ve decided to profile some kick-ass ethical businesses from Byron Bay Shire, where the We Are Explorer’s Head Office is based.
Great Things Are Brewing
Fellow B-Corp Stone & Wood is a bit of a Byron Bay legend and its beers are a go-to thirst quencher across the country. But not only do they make excellent beers – they do it while striving to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Now that’s frothy goodness we can get behind.
Being awarded the accolade of B-Corp proves Stone & Wood meet the highest standards of social, economic and environmental accountability. They join companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s in a quest to do better.
‘We want to give back to the areas where we live, work and sell our beers around the country,’ says Jasmin Daly, creative and community manager. ‘As a ‘for profit’ business, implementing sustainable practices, refining processes and continually looking at how we can do things better is a part of our responsibility and something our team is passionate about.’
Stone & Wood’s approach to B-Corp covers all inputs and outputs to the brewery, as well as thinking about its place in the community as a whole. And they’re doing pretty darn well. They’re on track to become one of the most efficient brewers globally by 2020!
‘We owe it to this planet to be thinking about and implementing ways to be regenerative.’
‘As part of our commitment we launched our Green Feet program, where we’ve reduced our reliance on off-site resources (water, electricity, and gas) and reduced the impact of our waste stream,’ says Jasmin. ‘For example, our waste glass now goes straight back to the supplier in Brisbane to be made into new bottles.’
Stone & Wood also runs multiple projects aimed at customers, such as the ‘For Cup’s Sake‘ cup exchange, to encourage drinkers to avoid single-use plastic cups at events.
‘Climate change IS happening and the fact is, as businesses and individuals we’re contributing,’ continues Jasmin. ‘We’re at the point where being sustainable isn’t enough. We owe it to this planet to be thinking about and implementing ways to be regenerative. If we can all step outside of ourselves and consider the impact we have on our communities and on our environment, this will create the change we need.’
Go Against the Flow
Bees are up there with one of the most important species on our wild planet. Without them, well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Luckily, Flow is here to help.
It all started when Cedar Anderson felt bad about crushing bees during the honey harvest. A third-generation beekeeper, he was also sick of being stung and having to spend a whole week harvesting his honey. The answer was the Flow Hive, a way to harvest honey that was less stressful for the bees – and the beekeeper.
‘Our advice for others wanting to make a difference is to just get started with your impact initiative.’
When Flow launched back in 2015, they always knew they wanted to be about more than just the bottom line. Today, they’re a proudly certified B-Corp.
‘Being certified was a big moment for us in our goal of being a business with positive purpose,’ says Cedar. ‘Of course, a business has to be profitable, but we believe there are many other factors companies should consider as they make their mark and bring their products to the world. Maintaining our B-Corp status will challenge us to be the company we always strive to be.’
Thanks to Flow’s hives, the ease of harvesting honey has inspired many thousands of people to take up beekeeping. And given the plight facing bees right now, that’s a very good thing. Flow has also become a prominent advocate for bees and other pollinators and a champion of responsible beekeeping – which in and of itself delivers benefits to the planet.
‘Our advice for others wanting to make a difference is to just get started with your impact initiative,’ says Cedar. ‘There’s no impact too small! Since we’re in the beehive business we’ll use a beekeeping analogy – bees are tiny creatures, yet all the efforts of the individual bee contributes to the larger colony/hive, and the planet at large.’
Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
Nothing goes with adventure quite like coffee. And SIPP Instant’s 100% compostable packaging, organic and probiotic ingredients, and $1-per-pack to the planet model makes our caffeinated friend taste even better.
‘We were originally inspired because it was so hard to get decent coffee while travelling,’ says director Dylan Garft who started the company with his business partner Luke Zocchi. ‘Then, we realised over three million coffee pods are disposed of every day in Australia. That’s a lot of waste.’
‘If you want to make a difference you need to roll up your sleeves and do it. It’s hard work. But there’s always a solution to a problem.’
At just a year old, SIPP Instant is in a unique position to help make a change. They’ve built sustainability into their business model from the get-go. But it hasn’t been easy. To find a packaging supplier, Dylan rang over 50 to find one that felt right.
‘If you want to make a difference you need to roll up your sleeves and do it,’ he says. ‘It’s hard work. But there’s always a solution to a problem. We’re the first to market this packaging material and we’re already seeing others follow.’
Dylan isn’t shy about sharing his supplier either. ‘For many businesses, it’s a cost factor,” he says. “The more people who choose this solution, the more the cost comes down, and the more accessible it becomes for everyone.’
Are you spending wisely?
When it comes to being an ethical consumer, looking at your everyday purchases is a great start. But what about the bigger things? Investments through institutions like banks and superannuation are an important one to think about. Luckily Australian Ethical have got your back for ethical super – and making the switch is a huge step towards becoming a sustainable and mindful consumer.
Feature photo: Festival of the Stone, a Stone & Wood community event that raises money for Big Scrub Landcare.
‘We’re all in this together’ – no seriously, there’s no Planet B