Our Journey to B Corp Certification: Embodying Sustainability at George Walkers

Our Journey to B Corp Certification: Embodying Sustainability at George Walkers

For the past 15 years, George Walkers has been at the forefront of providing secondhand office furniture solutions to SME businesses across New Zealand. When we started, we were pioneers in a market that had yet to embrace the benefits of refurbished office furniture. Over time, as competition increased, we knew we needed to formalize our commitment to sustainability and put our purpose on paper. This led us to the B Corp certification—a journey that reaffirmed our values and strengthened our resolve to lead by example in the circular economy.

Pioneers in Sustainable Office Solutions

When George Walkers was founded, sustainability was not just a business strategy; it was a way of life. Offering secondhand office furniture wasn't simply a market niche but a genuine commitment to reducing waste and promoting reuse. For years, the circular economy was ingrained in our operations, reflecting our dedication to environmental responsibility and resource efficiency.

Our transparency in operations has always invited competition, but it also reinforced our commitment to integrity. As pioneers, the road was tough, but we had a personal stake in caring about SMEs in New Zealand. Integrity became an even stronger focus, ensuring that our business practices future-proofed both quality and sustainability.

Discovering the B Corp Movement

Our exploration led us to the B Corp movement, an initiative that resonated deeply with our ethos. B Corp certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The alignment was clear, and to be honest, the process was less daunting than we had anticipated.

We joined a cohort group with Grow Good, a consultancy that guides businesses through the B Corp certification process. Together, we embarked on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive evaluation of our business practices and their impact on stakeholders.

The B Impact Assessment: A Natural Fit

As we progressed through the assessment, it became evident that our existing practices were already in harmony with B Corp standards. The circular economy principles that had guided us for years meant we didn't need to make significant changes to qualify. Instead, the assessment provided valuable insights into small improvements we could implement, enhancing our sustainability efforts even further.

From the start of the assessment to our final qualification, the process took around five months. We were proud to achieve certification with a strong score of 112.4 points, a testament to our longstanding commitment to doing business responsibly.

The Road to Certification

  1. Initial Exploration: Discovering the B Corp movement and recognizing its alignment with our values.
  2. Joining a Cohort: Partnering with Grow Good to navigate the certification process.
  3. B Impact Assessment: Evaluating our business practices and realizing we were already meeting most requirements.
  4. Certification: Achieving B Corp certification with a score of 112.4 points.

Reflections and Encouragement

The journey to B Corp certification reaffirmed that sustainability is truly at the heart of George Walkers. It also gave us the opportunity to refine our practices and implement new ideas that further our impact. Being B Corp certified is more than a badge—it's a public declaration of our commitment to balancing purpose and profit.

Despite the increasing competition, including funded non-profit competitors, our integrity led us to remain a business dedicated to serving others. We have consistently focused on making a positive impact on both the environment and communities, often flying under the radar due to our limited marketing efforts.

If you're considering embarking on the B Corp certification journey, we encourage you to reach out. We're more than happy to share our experience and guide you through the process. It might seem challenging at first, but as we discovered, if sustainability is already part of your DNA, you're likely closer to certification than you think.

Join Us in Leading the Change

At George Walkers, our mission has always been about more than just office furniture. It's about making a difference—environmentally, socially, and economically. Our B Corp certification is a milestone that validates our efforts and inspires us to continue leading the charge towards a more sustainable future.

We invite you to explore our range of secondhand office furniture, knowing that each piece represents a commitment to a better world. Together, we can make sustainability a standard practice in every business.

Visit our showroom, explore our catalog online, or get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you create an office space that aligns with your values. Let’s make a positive impact, one chair at a time.

You can see our profile on the B Corp website here

https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/george-walkers-online-auctions-ltd/


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