March 2023 newsletter

Read our news: sustainability and decarbonation

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B Corp Certification: a Mark of Trust

Photo: Pangolin Associates Senior Consultant Richard Bolus speaking at B Corp event, Melbourne
Richard Bolus speaking at ‘B Corp Month: Going Beyond Business as Usual’, Melbourne

‘It’s time to show the world how B Corps go beyond expectations.’ B Corp Australia & New Zealand

This month our B Corp Consultants Richard Bolus and Mike Rhydderch are connecting with businesses in Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide. March is B Corp Month, and along with event host and B Corp-certified workspace provider Hub Australia, they are educating businesses about this growing global movement.

Our consultants bring to bear Pangolin’s own experience: as well as providing certification services, Pangolin Associates is one of Australia’s founding B Corps.

See more on the event here: B Corp Month: Going Beyond Business as Usual.

Why certify?

Because B Corp is reshaping global economic systems for positive outcomes and a better world.

B Corp logo: Pangolin Associates provides B Corp Certification services and is one of Australia's founding B Corps. The certification process involves a range of factors, including employee benefits, community engagement, supply chain practices, and input materials. A successful certification signifies the highest standard of integrity, accountability, and transparency. Put another way, the B Corp logo is a mark of authenticity and trust, rather than overstatement and greenwashing.

We know firsthand that certification brings many benefits to a business. B Corps attract and retain exceptional people to the organisation. And B2B, B Corps look to other B Corps to refer business, build trusted partnerships, and develop a stronger, more sustainable supply chains.

Hear why from one of our clients…

Logo: MI Global PartnersOur client MI Global Partners works from inception to celebration across events, sport and place projects. We asked them to explain why they chose to undergo the B Corp certification process. In their words:

‘Planned well, the power of events, sport and place combined with a commitment to sustainability unlocks innovative opportunities, creates collaborative partnerships, and brings value to athletes, communities, supply chains and the natural environment – and this is everything a B Corp is about. We are proud to lead from the front and show our commitment by starting our journey to becoming a B Corp.’

– Ann Duffy, MI Global Partners Chief Sustainability Officer

B Corp and ESG are ‘intrinsically linked’

photo: Pangolin Associates MD Iain Smale speaking about Net-Zero and ESG, AusIndustry event 2023
Pangolin’s MD Iain Smale speaks about Net-Zero and ESG

Certification is open to any size of organisation that can meet B Corp criteria. Our larger clients often undertake certification as part of a broader commitment to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), or to align with a global goal such as the Net-Zero framework.

At an AusIndustry event in Brisbane this month, Pangolin’s Managing Director Iain Smale explained it this way: ‘B Corp and ESG have become intrinsically linked. Achieving certification demonstrates an organisation has irrefutably cemented and validated ESG commitments.’ Smale also pointed out that B Corp goes a long way to improve – and even repair – reputation amongst staff, clients, investors, and as a member of Australia’s business community.

We’re talking to industry groups about B Corp, ESG, and more

As well as the AusIndustry and B Corp events, this autumn our consultants are speaking to industry groups in Australia and overseas. Coming up:

  • Owen Morrison addresses the Walker Wayland Australia Annual Conference, Sunshine Coast QLD. Walker Wayland is one of Pangolin’s trusted Partners.
  • Mike Rhydderch travels to Taipei to the BKR International Asia Pacific Regional Conference: How setting and working toward a net-zero target can help a company on their broader ESG journey.
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In the News: Truth Comes Out in the Greenwash

Photo: book -Australian Consumer LawAvoid greenwashing in your business.

With consumers now more environmentally conscious than ever before, a business’ environmental and sustainability credentials are an extremely powerful selling point. However, if not done properly, the seemingly simple task of promoting ESG initiatives could expose businesses to accusations of greenwashing.

Corporate greenwashing has been in the headlines in Australia in recent months, with both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) signalling a crackdown on false or misleading environmental claims by Australian businesses.

In February, ASIC launched its first court action for alleged greenwashing and has made greenwashing one if its enforcement priorities for 2023. The ACCC also recently conducted a study that found that 57% of the 247 businesses that it reviewed had made ‘concerning claims about their environmental credentials’. As a result of this study, the ACCC has vowed to investigate claims of misleading environmental claims across several industries.

It is therefore essential that businesses accurately represent their environmental and sustainability credentials to protect their brand reputation, ensure that customers aren’t misled, and avoid exposure to potential enforcement action by corporate regulators.

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the practice of misrepresenting or making inflated claims about a product, service or business’ environmental or sustainability credentials. This can include making vague and unqualified claims regarding environmental benefits, making tenuous comparisons between products or services, or setting aspirational targets without evidence of meaningful action undertaken to achieve them.

In a world where sustainability is increasingly seen as a significant competitive advantage, greenwashing is a form of misleading or deceptive conduct. Greenwashing is illegal under the Australian Consumer Law.

While many people may think of greenwashing as a deliberate act by an unscrupulous business operator, using unclear language, omitting important information, or unintentionally misusing third-party certifications when advertising and marketing products and services, well-intentioned businesses may also inadvertently engage in greenwashing.

We can help: find out what to do, and not to do

Find a helpful resource right here. See: How to avoid greenwashing.

Our Service Spotlight: Climate Fresk Workshops

Mylène Turban, Pangolin Associates: Climate Fresk Workshops leader
Mylène Turban – Senior Consultant | Climate Solutions: Climate Fresk Workshops leader

Complex scientific data of climate change in a highly accessible format.

Climate Fresk is a three-hour interactive workshop designed to help people understand the basics of climate change and what they can do in their professional and personal lives to influence positive action.

Workshop participants work together, progressively drawing from 42 cards to make climate-related connections. Gradually the cards reveal a web of relationships. These relationships are both causes and impacts of climate change.

Climate Fresk grew out of the latest findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Accordingly:

  • Climate Fresk challenges participants’ knowledge and explores their ideas and beliefs about human-induced climate change.
  • Importantly, the workshop facilitates a solution-based discussion about what every person can do to make a difference.

Climate Fresk makes complex scientific data understandable

Climate Fresk helps participants understand the complex scientific data of climate change in a highly accessible format. The workshops are fun while providing essential education about the gravity and the impacts of climate change. We have several accredited Climate Fresk facilitators who run workshops in person or online.

Meet a Pangolin: Rich Bolus, Senior Consultant, Melbourne

Pangolin Associates Senior Consultant: Richard BolusB Corp Consultant and passionate advocate for the global movement.

Rich joined Pangolin Associates as a Senior Consultant in 2022. His specialty is  B Corp Certification services. Rich helps organisations navigate the rigorous processes and requirements of the program’s global standards.

Rich is a passionate advocate for the B Corp program and speaks regularly at events such as B Corp Month: Going Beyond Business as Usual with Hub Australia this March.

Rich’s B Corp experience began when he worked in the World Flourishing team at Bellroy and helped the Australian accessories company achieve and maintain its B Corp certification.

Before Bellroy, Rich had an extensive and varied career in the carbon management sector. His work included co-founding education and training provider Carbon Training International, where he developed the Certificate III and Certificate IV in Carbon Management. He founded the Carbon Manager magazine and served as Editor-in-Chief. Rich played a pivotal role in the development of the Carbon Management Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and he also ran a marketing and education company that helped schools raise money while encouraging environmentally sustainable behavioural change.

Away from the desk, Rich is an ocean swimmer, a father of three, and a seasoned podcaster. He’s hosted more than 90 episodes of The Dad Mindset, a podcast inspiring parents to apply a growth mindset to navigating the challenges of raising kids.

Little known fact: Rich completed the 2001 Tokyo Riot Police Instructors’ course (as detailed in the book Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger) and went on to teach aikido for three years at the Yoshinkan Aikido headquarters in Tokyo.