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.
, 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.
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
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. www.bcorporation.net
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.