Header image: B Corp–certified Food Made Good HK
Food Made Good HK has been helping Hong Kong food-service providers and suppliers to both celebrate their strengths and identify their environmental weaknesses so that they can be better than they were yesterday. The Food Made Goods Awards last year celebrated MANA! for their environmental efforts, Belu for helping restaurants to bottle their own still and sparkling water and Chef Punam Chopra from SpiceBox Organics for her winning “One Planet Plate” submission. Find out how to work with Food Made Good HK here.
Food Made Good HK CEO Heidi Spurrell says it’s important to understand that just because a company makes some good products, this doesn’t necessarily make them a good company. “While a specific product may be sourced in a responsible way that has a positive impact, it doesn’t mean that the company is doing all of its business that way. So when you see the B Corp logo, you know that a company is socially and environmentally responsible throughout its business.”
What is B Corp?
The B Corp movement aims to shift our focus in this capitalistic culture we live in by building a framework for businesses that encourages moral, socially responsible behaviour even when it might not maximise shareholder profitability.
Certified B Corporations (“B Corp”) are a new kind of business whose purpose includes being financially profitable and also creating a material positive impact on society and the environment.
For example, companies might make decisions for profit maximisation to the benefit of owners and shareholders, a term known as shareholder primacy. But often there is potential value for all stakeholders (i.e. workers, communities, customers, suppliers and the environment as well as shareholders) at the sacrifice of some short-term shareholder gain.
Certified B Corporations in the USA are legally required to consider this, even when new management rolls in. Ada Yip is the CEO of Urban Spring, which became B Corp certified here in Hong Kong in 2020. She tells us that in Hong Kong this modification to a company’s articles of association is more a declaration of the spirit of the business rather than a legally enforceable requirement. And whilst it sounds technical, there is plenty of support from B Corp to get this right.
To become a B Corp–certified company, you must complete a comprehensive survey covering your governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Follow-up interviews and paperwork submissions follow, and this process results in a score out of 200 – the sum of your performance in each area. You must get over 80 to pass and be certified. The median score for ordinary businesses is 50.9. Find more information on the B Corp HK website.
The score is a benchmark, and it varies depending on the type of business and industry amongst other things. Some segments are out of our control. For example, many Hong Kong start-ups operate out of shared office space, and their environment (e.g. energy use, waste management, air and climate) is largely determined by others.
From the B Corporation website, a certified B Corp company must:
- Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing the risk review
- Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders
- Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website
The transparency is such a breath of fresh air. Anyone can look up a certified company on the B Corporation database to see what its strengths and weaknesses are. We also love that companies don’t hide their weaknesses in this framework – they just improve on them.
To ensure consistency, B Corp–certified companies are continually reassessed and are required to pass the recertification process every three years.
Who is B Corp certified in Hong Kong?
You already know about Food Made Good. You can look up their score here, where they excelled in community. They will now focus on improving their environmental management practices and impact.
“It’s good to know where we’re doing well, but it’s also really useful to know where we could improve.” – Heidi Spurrell, Food Made Good CEO
There are 55 companies listed when you search for Hong Kong, but many are headquartered elsewhere, with only an office or registration here. Here are the true HK- born businesses we identified:
- Food Made Good HK
- AvantFaire is an investment-management firm.
- EcoMatcher helps to integrate tree planting with any business.
- Education for Good is a social-innovation consultancy.
- Hotel Ease Tsuen Wan is strong in their community segment.
- One Bite Design Studio is an architecture-based multidisciplinary design company.
- PALO IT Hong Kong is a software-development company in Quarry Bay.
- PIE Strategy helps businesses to get B Corp certified or just improve their sustainability plan.
- SourceGreenPackaging.com and Ekopak Limited are nearly there! Their certification is pending.
- The Wave is a platform of co-working and event spaces and more.
- The Art of XYZ brands include the cycling studio XYZ in Central.
- Urban Spring is helping to install drinking fountains around Hong Kong.
The HK list is small but diverse. Worldwide, there are over 4,600 B Corp–certified companies in 78 different countries. B Corp certification allows these businesses to recognise others with the same goals and values and enables customers to trust that the big picture is always being taken into account.
Look out for the B Corporation logo and support these companies where you can.
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