B Corp Summit
We were fortunate to be invited to the B Lab Africa 2023 Summit on the 7th of September held at Strathmore University in Nairobi. The Summit was a great opportunity to explore the latest developments in sustainable business, social impact, and responsible leadership. We had an inspiring keynote from H.E. Giovanna Valverde, Ambassador, Embassy of Costa Rica in Kenya and Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN HABITAT, insightful panel discussions, as well as interactive workshops that fostered meaningful conversations. These are some of the takeaways from the day-long event that Maggie Muiruri, Operations & Team Lead, put together.
Panel Session 1: Integrating Business Sustainability and Smart Finance.
Topics: Green Economy & Sustainable Financing; Carbon Markets: Credits, Taxes, Trading, Reduction, Prices; Just Transition: Extractive to Regenerative Economic Systems; Circular Economy; Showcasing Successful Just Transition Initiatives in Africa
- With regards to Carbon markets the overall feeling was that there isn’t enough focus on carbon credit. Businesses, investors and the community at large can all benefit from making it a priority.
- The main challenges are: capacity and resource sustainability, the lack of senior experts, terminologies in climate change when it comes to SMEs – there is a need to speak in a language that everyone can understand.
- The best ways to mitigate these issues is to increase responsibility and for companies to design products that are environmentally friendly – this is a challenge as technology is expensive.
- Guiding businesses toward a future where carbon emissions are managed responsibly, and the value of sustainability is realized through participation in carbon markets.
Workshop – Impact Measurement
Generally B Lab Africa supports businesses to measure what matters most as you make profits. The impact measurement and B Lab framework workshop empowered attendees with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the complex terrain of sustainability. By embracing the B Corp framework and aligning with the SDGs, businesses in Africa can not only drive positive change but also thrive in an evolving global landscape.
- Ability to meet our needs without compromising the ability of the future challenges faced: Investment, policies, customers and supply chain. There is a need to measure financial performance in a company in order to understand the gaps
- Improve the lives of workers as well as result orientated to meet client’s needs. Know whether it is working or not – are you making profits as a company or not
Impact Assessment categories
There are several categories that help with measuring impact assessment among:
- How is the leadership in the company/organization in terms of processes and policies put together?
- Do they have policies?
- Have diversity and inclusion amongst the employees – looking at % of full time workers
- Civic engagement, interacting with society and job creation for the minority and the underrepresented like women, people with disabilities etc.
- How is the company measuring its carbon mitigation?
- Are our services or products helping our clients as expected and if so how do we ensure this is achieved?
- It’s important to also benchmark against our competitors/peers – this will help us in knowing areas we are outperforming or where we need to improve.
Suggested ways of measuring impact in the discussed areas:
Awareness creation and communicating by:
- Getting feedback from customers
- Frequency of repurchasing products
- Help customers track their impact – advice on best practices for guests (in line with helping in mitigation of environmental degradation)
- Campaigns to foster customer engagement
- Customer storytelling
- Electricity bills
- Gas/oil bills
- Mileage on cars
- Mental health – offer counselling for staff
- Adopting new practices – green practices
- Reward systems for best workers – mainly to encourage people with green practices
- Job creation – creating sustainable jobs
- Supporting locals – buying from their businesses
- Going online and collaborating with researchers and academics to best understand their needs and gaps
- Community participation – impact on businesses
- Can partner with researchers external and internal reviews and with stakeholders
- Have a diverse board of governance
- KPIs reflective of community environment
- Staff remuneration
- Impactful investing
Innovation in data – Taking data driven approach
Ethical responsibilities when it comes to data
- Data privacy – using data to determine who needs the work the most – job creation
- Have a balance between data protection and data access
- Utilizing data for good
- Accountability – using credible institutions for certification like B-Corp
Where do you start in measuring your companies impact?
- Follow international laws
- Pick what has the most impact depending on your area of expertise i.e. Creating value for your market