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B Corp & Beyond

We join the B Corp Community! September was a big month in our business. In addition to launching our new River Cottage range with Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, we certified as a B Corp and couldn’t be prouder. But that is just the beginning! Our journey to certification began in May 2019, when as a business we […]

We join the B Corp Community!

September was a big month in our business. In addition to launching our new River Cottage range with Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, we certified as a B Corp and couldn’t be prouder. But that is just the beginning!

Our journey to certification began in May 2019, when as a business we decided to take our sustainability and ethics a stage further and integrate it into the DNA of our culture and business practices. In the 9 months it took us to submit and prepare for our certification, we experienced massive growth cycles, floods in our local Calder Valley (and warehouse!) and then COVID-19 lockdowns. B Corp and its framework for putting stakeholders at the core of our business decision making brought us closer together as an organisation and allowed us to connect more deeply to the true needs and wants of our community and customers as the pandemic has continued.

It allowed us to have truly meaningful discussions around environmental practice, diversity and inclusion in our local context (especially in light of the Black Lives Matter protests) and holistic health and wellbeing relating to our products and ethos. In times of crisis, real values arise and are lived as we problem solve and co-create together.  Over 2020, we have realised that at Equinox, two values that form the core of our ethical DNA are those of inclusivity and care. Care for each other, care for our community in Calderdale and care for the environmental ecosystem within which we do business.

Looking to the future

Each year we take the time to ask and listen to what our people, our community and our customers really care about. Our annual Future Trends survey helps us to listen to the social and environmental issues specific to our business that people would like to see us taking action on. It helps us to set our sustainability and people strategy for the year ahead as well as prioritise what to focus our impact targets on as we navigate these increasingly uncertain times.

So a big thank you to all our customers and community out there who took the time to answer our call for feedback and let us know what really matters to you in these times of social and environmental transformation. Key trends this year were –

Key future trends

Environmental regeneration and reforestation.  This issue continued to be top of our environment section, with 35.8% of people highlighting this as the most important issue. It is interesting to see that this category, alongside clean green cities is still a primary concern among women in particular with 71% of females choosing these two causes over other environmental causes.

For 32% of all entrants, clean and green cities is the standout issue this year and especially high on the agenda for those respondents under 25 years old.  This is a big increase from 2019 and perhaps is a result of COVID-19 lockdown and people spending more time in their cities of habitation to care about developing them sustainably into the future.

Education continued to be most important social issue with a total of 49.3% of participants choosing this over other options. This was predominantly a female choice with 65% of the respondents to this being women over the age of 25.

Diversity and Inclusion was the second most important issue in the social category for both genders with 32% prioritising this challenge. Perhaps this is to be expected given the BLM protests during summer 2020 and the increasing focus on social inequality as we move through the rest of the year.

Mental health continued to top the Health and Wellbeing category this year with 45% of all entrants saying this was a priority issue for them. 64% of people choosing this category were again female.

Similar to 2019, the next highest category of concern for people of all ages and genders was exercise & nutrition, with 37% saying this was their primary concern. Again given COVID-19 and the emphasis on exercise and nutrition as supporting immunity, this is perhaps not surprising.

With 2020 thus far being dominated by the COVID-19 challenges and the increase in job uncertainty, 49% of all entrants in the future economies section felt that Social Mobility and Job Creation was the most important issue to address into the next 12 months.

Where do we go from here?

This information is gold dust for us as a business and is helping to shape how we are responding to key social and environmental concerns as we move into the second part of 2020.

Our sustainability strategy for the next 12 months will see us continue to focus on producing high quality, organic kombucha with as low an environmental footprint as possible. This will mean applying continual focus to the local provenance of our ingredients, reviewing our packaging on an ongoing basis and reducing our carbon footprint as we continue to grow. This will involve a variety of regenerative business strategies that we will use to engage our partners and supply chain into shared positive impact.

Mental and physical health will continue to be a focus and with the continuing impact of COVID, these challenges are more important to address than ever before. We will continue to engage our customers and our community over social media and leverage our ongoing community investment in Calderdale to leverage cross-sector learning and story sharing as mechanisms to drive health and wellbeing throughout the local system.

Of course all of this will be continually shaped by the events of the coming months as we move into winter and see how the pandemic plays out across the UK and our global ecosystems. Resilience and respons-ability will be key, as will connecting to the wider B Corp community across the world and learning from each other how to thrive in times of uncertainty and unrest.

There truly never has been a better time to put ethics at the core of business practice and really walk our talk. This is challenging at times but exceptionally rewarding as we start to evolve into the next stage of our vision as a challenger brand. Good things rarely come easily but they are so worth it in the long run! And at Equinox we are certainly all about the long game of ethical business.



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