Our Journey to B Corp: Why living, breathing ethics are now more important than ever
Our Ethical DNA Equinox was founded in 2012 in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, a beautiful valley that runs along the banks of the River Calder – the artery that flows through our local ecosystem. An ecosystem that is, unfortunately, increasingly prone to flash floods. These floods are in part due to the burning of heather on […]
Our Ethical DNA
Equinox was founded in 2012 in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, a beautiful valley that runs along the banks of the River Calder – the artery that flows through our local ecosystem. An ecosystem that is, unfortunately, increasingly prone to flash floods. These floods are in part due to the burning of heather on the hills in order to facilitate hunting, as well as the growing levels of pollution that tends to settle in the lower parts of the valley as the number of cars grows day by day.
In 2015, we experienced the impacts of these changes first hand when our brewery was flooded, a terrible disaster that almost put us out of business. In February 2020, the river flooded once again and we had to restore our warehouse back from waist deep floodwaters to fully operational BRC Food Safety Standards in 10 days.
Then in March, COVID-19 hit and we found ourselves in lockdown, able to continue operating but having to pay even more care and attention to the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our community and our customers. Fortunately, over a year ago in May 2019, we had already decided to begin the journey to certifying and becoming a B Corp.
As an ethical company founded in sustainable values, doing the right thing for all our stakeholders (social and environmental) is fundamental to our long-term vision and the values that govern how we do business. The events of 2020 so far, have only served to strengthen our beliefs in this journey and embrace the social and environmental practices that help us truly live our ethics on a day-to-day basis.
Why B Corp?
The B Corporation certification (B Corp for short) measures how a company is performing on a social and environmental level. The process involves the ‘B Impact Assessment’ that offers an evaluation of how a company impacts its governance, workers, community, environment and customers. The assessment is extremely robust and ensures that as a business you’re really walking your talk when it comes to important issues such as climate change, diversity, inclusion and customer education.
The journey over the last year towards our first ever B Corp certification has helped us to really listen to where we can make the most impact as a business, and we have already seen exciting transformations as a result. Sustainability, inclusion and ethics have become the foundation on which we base our core business decisions. Our people, our community in Calderdale and our customers are all adding their voices to our on-going conversations into our social and environmental strategy and impact and we intend to do more of this as we move into the rest of 2020 with the climate of uncertainty it has already brought across the world.
With this uncertainty and recent events in mind, we’ll be gathering information and listening so we can be sure that any community-based efforts we take on in the future actually reflect the needs of our local community. This is how we believe Equinox (in line with our B-Corp identity) can be a positive Changemaker.
Since the beginning of our B Corp adventure, just 12 months ago, we’ve made some significant progress:
- We’ve begun a journey to growing our business the right way. By this, we mean measuring our carbon footprint, reducing our environmental impact and enhancing local pieces of land to regenerate biodiversity.
- We’re focused on local recruitment to help build jobs for our community in a chronically under-employed and underprivileged part of the UK.
- We’ve been listening to the needs of our community and are starting to develop inclusive mental, emotional and physical health education programmes.
- We’ve begun co-operating with our long-term partners to visualise and over time develop a systematic approach to ethical, clean, organic manufacturing which will, hopefully, one day be shared and replicated in other parts of the world.
- Most of all, we have put the needs of our biggest stakeholder right at the centre of everything we do – it’s the SCOBY in our Kombucha that shows us how to create healthy, living, evolving cultures.
At Equinox, we have a vision of a future ecosystem where humanity and nature are in dynamic balance and prosper together.
We want a future where ‘health’ is fully understood to be a dynamic process, connecting mind, body and spirit.
We’re working towards a future where ‘ethics’ becomes a non-negotiable part of doing business and gives a return on imagination, integration and investment!
And we’re learning how to really listen and learn from our community and our environment so we can continue to explore how to do business in the right way for all our stakeholders.
Finally, if we think about Kombucha, it can only flourish when all the ingredients and the environment that it develops in are just right. Through the lens of permaculture, we can draw parallels with our local communities and society. Only when we have a balanced local ecosystem can we expect our communities to flourish.
In our view, this balance comes from clean air and water, healthy food and drink at affordable prices, clean rivers, fields and forests and a social communal framework that’s free from prejudice, hatred, assumption and fear. Getting there will take patience, effort, and most importantly an ability to listen, learn and change – together. By making these changes in our local communities we believe that this in turn will create changes on a larger scale that the world so desperately needs.