We're finally in March and approaching Spring which means warmer dog walks and fewer muddy paws! But did you know that March also marks the annual worldwide celebration of Certified B Corporations? Known as ‘B Corp Month’, every March, B Corps from all sizes and industries share their impact journey. As THE PACK reach the final stages of our application to become a B Corp, we wanted to share why this means so much to us, and why it might matter to our community of pawrents too!
What is a B Corporation?
The official definition is “Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. They meet high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials” (Source: B Corp). More simply put, Certified B Corporations are companies that use business as a force for good by caring about their employees, the environment, and their impact on the world. That means being held accountable for - and being fully transparent about - where we source our ingredients and packaging, how we treat our workers, how we deliver our food to you with the minimum environmental impact, how we manufacture and test our products, and how we use a share of our profits to give back to the community (in THE PACK’s case, by supporting charities close to our heart, like Underdog).
Who can become a B Corp?
It’s pretty tough to become a Certified B Corp, so not everybody! Companies must go through a rigorous certification process – managed by the not-for-profit organisation, B Lab – which measures their entire social and environmental performance. B Lab take company size and profile into account, documenting their business model and detailed information about operations, structure, and various work processes. They also review potential public complaints and even make site visits. To apply for B Corp status, you need to be confident as a company that you have nothing to hide, and that you’re doing everything in your power to minimise your environmental impact, treat your employees well and create positive change in the world.
How do you become a B Corp?
Specifically, there are five impact areas that each applicant is assessed on:
- Governance: This refers to what a company does to enhance policies and practices relevant to its mission, ethics, accountability and transparency. In THE PACK’s case, this means how we make sure we’re creating nutritionally complete ethical dog food that is good for the planet, dogs and other animals, and that we’re being open about how we do this.
- Workers: How a company contributes to their employees’ financial, physical, professional and social well-being. At THE PACK, it’s hugely important to us that the people who work for us are fairly paid, kept safe and experience genuine job satisfaction. That’s why we’ve introduced things like pawternity leave and a dog-friendly office environment, and we try to involve our employees in key decision-making processes too.
- Community: This means what a company does to contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which it operates. As you know, THE PACK’s community of pawrents and their pups is hugely important to us and we’re constantly asking for feedback on how we can meet your needs, whether that be keeping our prices competitive, offering discounts on subscriptions to our food, refining our flavours and ingredients based on your feedback, or offering educational blogs addressing topics you want to know about. Given that plant-based dog diets are still seen as novel and even controversial by some, we’ve made it our mission to create a community which functions as a safe space where you can ask questions and talk with like-minded pawrents.
- Environment: What a company is doing to improve its overall environmental stewardship. Creating pet food that’s kind to the planet as well as dogs’ digestion is at the core of what we do at THE PACK, from being transparent about our carbon impact (and ensuring this is far lower than meat-based alternatives), creating sustainable packaging and educating the wider community about the environmental impact of meat-based pet food.
- Customers: This refers to what a company is doing to improve the value that they create for their direct customers and consumers. Product improvement and innovation is our passion at THE PACK, and we’re constantly striving to enhance and versify our food to give pawrents and pups more choice, value and benefits. When you told us that your dog often prefers just one flavour, we created separate No-Moo Ragu, No-Cluck Casserole and No-Fishy Dishy 3-packs alongside the mixed variety. And having launched with wet food, THE PACK are about to offer a dry oven-baked alternative…
Why is B Corp Status important for companies like THE PACK?
As you can see, we’re passionate about every strand of these business values, from responsible governance to meeting our customers’ needs. Having this officially recognised with B Corp certification would validify our company ethics, show that we never greenwash and make it clear to our community that we’re an ethically driven brand. That’s why THE PACK are so proud to be a pending B Corp, certifying our commitment to people, pups and the planet. This year, we hope to be one of the first plant-based pet food companies in the world joining this movement of business as a force for good. Watch this space!
Q&A with The Good Crowd
THE PACK are excited to be working with The Good Crowd to help us achieve this mission, another founder-led business who are passionate advocates of the B Corp movement. Below, we asked The Good Crowd exactly how they support companies like ours and why becoming a B Corp is so important.
How does The Good Crowd help companies like THE PACK?
We’ve grown up working in the food industry, for big brands and little ones, and we believe the industry can and should be a force for good. We’re big supporters of the B Corp movement and it's great to see a growing number of challenger brands really leading the way. We partner with ambitious brands, with purpose at their heart, bringing our expertise in Brand Strategy & Sustainability to help brands stand out from the crowd. Whether that’s sharpening your brand proposition, defining your sustainability strategy or certifying B Corp.
What values do you look out for when choosing who to work with?
We look for brands and businesses who are disrupting the status quo and genuinely want to make a positive impact. We love working with brands who have a true purpose and mission behind what they do. There are certainly a lot of challenges to overcome but it's an exciting time for the food & drink world with some inspiring leaders acting with honesty and integrity in how they do business.
What appeals to you about THE PACK as a brand?
We love what Judy and Damien have created: a brand that is not afraid to be different and challenge category and consumer perceptions. THE PACK are brave and have a genuine mission. Judy and Damien are extremely knowledgeable and have put in the time and effort to understand the challenges in the meat-based pet food industry.
Why is it important for companies to embed B Corp principles into their brand?
A company’s B Corp impact score isn’t just a reflection of a moment in time, it's a journey of continuous improvement and to ensure brands continue to drive impact the B Corp principles need to live and breathe throughout the brand, business and team. The brands we see that certify with this long-term mindset benefit more from the process and questions, because it's part of who they are. It's also important that the wider team feel involved and accountable, not just the founders. It’s a really positive accreditation that everyone should be proud of and able to talk about with confidence!
What happens AFTER a company gets B Corp certification? Is that where the work ends?
Certification allows you to use the logo on your company assets but it's really only the start of the journey. Companies need to produce an annual impact report and go through the process to recertify every three years. You need to think about two things: growing your impact and improving your score, but also telling everyone about it in a way that feels right for your brand, stakeholders and audience. We really enjoy helping B Corps do this well. We would also recommend embracing the B Corp community events, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow.
Is The Good Crowd a pet-friendly working environment?
We love animals! Some of our favourite furry colleagues include Twister, a noisy Jack Russell who’s getting more even more opinionated with age, and Wispa, a cat who can be known to compete for attention by walking across the keyboard during a virtual call!
If you are new to THE PACK you can get 20% off your first order using THEPACK20 at checkout. Or 30% off your 1st subscription with code PACKSUB30.