New leadership for B Corps in Australia and New Zealand
B Lab, the not-for-profit organisation that sits behind B Corp certification, has announced Andrea De Almeida's appointment as its new Executive Director.
Andrea comes to B Lab from Social Ventures Australia (SVA), where she was Director in Venture Philanthropy, responsible for incubating and testing innovative solutions to complex social problems, and leading the organisation’s strategy, thinking and business development in preventing and tackling employment exclusion across Australia.
Prior to SVA, Andrea worked at KPMG and in Victorian government where she led teams to deliver high-profile policy and program reform. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Public Policy and Management (First Class Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She is also a Vincent Fairfax Fellow, a flagship program which offers a select group of senior executives the most advanced leadership experience offered in Australia, with a focus on moral reasoning skills in the most dynamic, disruptive and complex business challenges.
“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to lead the B Lab team and community in its next phase of redefining success in business, across Australia and New Zealand. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my career working across Australia’s public, private and non-profit sectors, to create meaningful social change.”
B Corporations are an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world, and generate shared and durable prosperity for all. There are over 2,200 certified B Corporations from more than 130 industries across 50 countries globally. In just over three years in Australia and New Zealand, the movement has grown from a committed group of 13, to a thriving community of 213 businesses who voluntarily verify their higher levels of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
Some certified B Corps in Australia include household names like Australian Ethical, Emma & Tom’s, Stone & Wood, Who Gives a Crap and Beyond Bank. All sectors are represented in the community, with financial and professional services being the largest in terms of number and revenue.
So why do businesses certify? Reasons vary from getting a credible 3rd party recognition of their responsible business practices, being part of a global community of B Corps, differentiation in a crowded marketplace, and increasingly — attracting and retaining talent. Silver Chef Group, one of Australia’s largest B Corps, have recognised this aspect as a huge asset of being certified. CEO Damien Guivarra says:
“We have found that what people expect from organisations has changed. Not only do people want a job, they want a career. Not only do they want a career, they want to make a difference. Working for a purpose-driven, socially responsible company — and getting paid for your trouble — is the ultimate goal.”
Globally, the B Corp community of businesses has now surpassed $46B in revenue, employing 150,000 people. In Australia & New Zealand, the community of 200 employs more than 4000 people, with more than $1B in revenue.
While recognising the critical role that government and non-government organisations play in solving important social and environmental problems, it’s the potential within the business community that excites Andrea the most:
I’ve always been deeply values-driven, which led to a career in social impact, working to increase the economic opportunities for marginalised people. I’ve always been drawn to highly commercial but impactful business models, and in my mind, there’s no better place and platform to continue this mission than with team at B Lab.”