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Making an Impact with B Lab Australia & New Zealand


Hub Australia

13th March 2018

Hub Australia is a Certified B-Corporation. As a B-Corp, we donate 1% of Hub Australia memberships to non-profit and social impact organisations. 

One of those organisations is B Lab Australia & New Zealand.

Hub’s National Impact Lead, Jan Stewart, interviewed Andrea De Almeida, the new Executive Director of B Lab AU & NZ, the not-for-profit organisation that sits behind the B-Corp certification process for Australia and New Zealand, and works alongside new B-Corps.

B Lab AU & NZ have members based in Hub’s Southern Cross location, but frequently visit other Hub sites for events and meetings.

What is the background of B Lab Australia?

B Lab Australia & New Zealand was founded in 2013, after cofounders Danny Almagor (of Small Giants) met Andrew Kassoy at the Skoll World Forum.

Mr. Almagor was committed to becoming the first B Corp in Australia and as an impact investor, he required all Small Giants investments become B Corps.

In a short period of time, the Australia/New Zealand community grew, leading to a small group of Australian B Corps lobbying B Lab to make partnerships available to ensure greater support and growth of the movement down under.

B Lab Australia & New Zealand was created in 2013, with Mele-Ane Havea as its inaugural Chair.

Since then, we have grown to over 220 B Corps and are looking to accelerate the local movement and contribute back to the global network. B Corps redefine what success means in business, and many are using the power of business to solve complex social and environmental problems.

What are some programs and initiatives B Lab Au NZ are working on?

B Corp Australia & New Zealand has a thriving and diverse community of entrepreneurs and business people who are passionate about social and environmental issues.

We work with these businesses, particularly our ‘B Keepers’, to develop events, campaigns, and interesting collaborations, ensuring the community is rewarding and resilient.

We are also looking at new ways to partner across the purpose ecosystem, and will be bringing on new community partners, innovation partners and ecosystem partners.

We currently have more Australian and New Zealand businesses going through the B Impact Assessment on their way to becoming B Corps, including some large, exciting organisations.

B Corp are advocating for changes to the Corporations Act 2001 to include a new voluntary corporate structure to be known as a “benefit company”.

Companies that opt in have to enshrine the triple bottom line principles of “profit, people and planet” into their constitutions. This involves expanding director’s duties and requiring them to consider the interests of non-financial and financial shareholders, and report publicly on social and environmental performance alongside financial indicators.

How do you see your experience to date and your role with B Lab AuNZ?

I’ve spent 15 years working across the public, private and non-profit sectors to create meaningful social change.

In my previous role as a Director at Social Ventures Australia, I worked across Australia’s business community to drive social innovation, increase workforce diversity and promote my vision of shared economic prosperity.

I’d say in this role, I bring a deep desire to support B Corp as a catalyst for a more inclusive society. I believe there has never been a more relevant time for this movement than now. Our vision of shared and durable prosperity, using business as a force for good, and working together to create local and global change, is the perfect antidote to individualism, exclusion and a deep distrust in our economic system.

B Corps are leaders, demonstrating the highest levels of transparency and accountability, whilst building a more inclusive society. We are humbled by the ways our B Corps are rising to this challenge.

Why do you/your team like working out of Hub Australia?

Hub Australia is a certified B Corp! In fact, they were one of the founding members of the B Corp community in Australia.

They care about their social and environmental impact and hold it up to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. There are a number of B Corps who also work out of Hub, alongside many like-minded businesses. 

As such, it’s a no brainer that this is a space that we want to be working from, and a community we want to be close to.

We recently celebrated our one year anniversary working out of Hub Southern Cross in Melbourne.

It’s always a great day when we are there – we are greeted by the smiling concierge, there’s the conveniently located cafe and we get to know the many businesses that operate out of Hub.

The facilities are always reliable and available, which makes holding meetings and being productive that much more seamless. Being at Hub is very conducive to us being able to work towards our mission and help businesses certify and use their business as a force for good.

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