• The B Corp movement is growing, with many global brands joining the movement
  • MoneyMe and a handful of other ASX-listed companies are B Corps or about-to-become a B Corp
  • Stockhead reaches out to MoneyMe CEO, Clayton Howes


Some of the world’s most popular brands count themselves as part of the global B Corp movement.

Bodyshop, Kathmandu, Warby Parker, Ben and Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Coursera and TOMS are all certified B Corporations.

A recent analysis of Google data by USwitch revealed that Aussie company Moodle was in fact the world’s most searched B Corp business with over 53.5 million annual searches around the globe.

Based in Perth, Moodle is a platform for online learning that enables educators to create online courses, add assignments, and keep an eye on a student’s progress.

Another online education business, Coursera, takes the second spot, with over 35.9 million searches each year on Google.

Source: Uswitch

But what is B Corp, and why are so many companies around the globe so eager to join this movement?

B Corp certification is awarded to companies that meet the highest standards of accountability when it comes to their environmental and social impact.

The movement was started in 2006 in the US when three friends decided they wanted to make business a force for good.

The “B” stands for beneficial, and indicates that the certified organisations voluntarily meet certain standards of the ‘triple bottom line’ – social, environmental and financial.

There are currently 5,600 B Corps around the world.

The process to achieve and maintain a B Corp certification is rigorous, and requires companies to have engaging teams across departments.

An analogy that’s commonly used is that B Corp Certification is to a business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee.


Which ASX-listed companies are B Corps?

In Australia and NZ, over 470 companies are Certified B Corporations, representing industries from accounting to waste management.

Private companies like T2, Beyond Bank, Australian Brands Alliance, Bank Australia, Flora & Fauna are all certified B Corps.

On the ASX, there are at least nine companies which can call themselves a B Corp or on the verge of becoming one.

* Volpara Health
* Australian Ethical
* Kathmandu
* Synlait Milk
* Sezzle
* Kelly+Partners
* Liberty Financial
* Biome Australia
* MoneyMe

MoneyMe (ASX:MME) was the latest listed firm to announce its application for B Corp certification.

The company has even changed its Constitution last week in preparation for this application, and to cement environmental and social values into its governance.

According to MoneyMe, companies that wish to be sustainable and profitable over the long-term will need to develop the level of robust, measurable, and accountable impact criteria and governance requirements that B Corp status demands.


Interview with MoneyMe CEO, Clayton Howes

Stockhead asked MoneyMe’s CEO Clayton Howes how his company could benefit from becoming a B Corp.

Clayton Howes

Why did MoneyMe decide to become a B Corp?

“We’ve just submitted a request for validation about being certified, so we’re in the queue for certification,” Howes told Stockhead.

“We believe in transparency. We’ve got a natural step in the evolution of our business to think more broadly about being both profitable, and purpose focused.

“And when we think about ESG reporting that’s not yet regulated in Australia, we see the need to align our ambition to a framework that gives our stakeholders confidence in our sustainability initiatives.

“We also have a fairly younger demographic of staff, and it’s important to them that they’re working in an organisation that demonstrates these principles and standards that we can be proud of and be measured against.”


Why did MoneyMe change its Constitution last week?

“That’s incredibly rare for a company, right?” says Howes.

“Particularly when you’re a listed company, changing the Constitution is very difficult. You need greater than 75% of shareholder votes in favour of the change.

“We got more than 98% of shareholders voting in favour for the Constitution change.

“What this means is that shareholders want to see a shift from a single focus of generating returns, to a multifaceted approach that requires considerable changes in the organisation to think about its purpose more broadly.

“The risks that come with not delivering on that Constitution are great, so there is clear accountability here.

“The B Corp application along with our Constitutional change really cements our focus on being an ESG organisation.”


What would this change mean for MoneyMe on a day to day basis?

“One example would be around how we engage with our communities and create a positive impact on our community,” said Howes.

“We’re partnered with Canteen where we contribute both time and money to drive a program that’s impacted hundreds of people in the community suffering with cancer.

“Another focus we will start making is our carbon footprint.

“MoneyMe offsets the first 1,000km of emissions of every vehicle that we fund via our Autopay product.

“So once the customer drives the vehicle out of the showroom after getting finance from MoneyMe, we have a carbon offset program that offsets emissions of at least the first 1000km on that car.”

“We’ve also taken particularly strong responsibility about genuine recycling habits, for example our office is a predominantly paperless environment.

“I’m confident we’ve got one of the lowest carbon footprints of an organisation of our size here in Australia.”


Are your remunerations tied to ESG outcomes, and how do you measure them?

“30% of mine and my CFO’s long-term employment remunerations are attached to ESG outcomes, and 10% of our short-term incentive are also attached to ESG,” said Howes.

“This is where B Corp comes into the picture when it comes to measuring those ESG outcomes.

“If you don’t have a B Corp program, then it would be difficult to measure them. But that’s the exact purpose we’ve created in leveraging the B Corp framework.

“The B Corp framework is measurable against many interactions, such as staff, balance of gender, pay gap analysis, emissions, reporting on emission, et cetera.”


How does becoming a B Corp impact the share price?

“I think from a sustainability performance, it’s proven to lead to better business outcomes, so that would naturally lead to higher valuations,” said Howes.

“It’s not about greenwashing to get high valuations, that’s irrelevant to us.

“What becoming a B Corp will do is create a strong sustainable performance, and that’s going to create value for shareholders.”


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While MoneyMe is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.