Benelux B Corp Community Spotlight
How Pending B Corp BDeals harnesses the power of collaboration for impactful business gifts
With the holiday season coming closer, many companies are looking for ways to show appreciation to their employees. However, when it comes to corporate gifting, the impact a product has on people and the planet is often overlooked. One way to gift more meaningfully is to look beyond just the gift itself and make sure to support and buy from companies that are committed to using business as a force for good. From reducing their environmental footprint, addressing inequalities in the supply chain, empowering marginalized communities, diversifying the workplace and promoting interdependence and collaboration, certifications like B Corp help indicate that a company is working towards all of the above.
BDeals, a start-up on its journey to becoming a Certified B Corporation itself, based its whole business model on the collaborative spirit of the B Corp community. Partnering with B Corps for sustainable business gift ideas, they provide a more impactful alternative to conventional gifting and support companies that are committed to a better way of doing business. The B Lab Benelux team sat down with BDeals co-founders Floris Zevenbergen and Jonas van West and discussed the idea of corporate gifting, their journey towards B Corp certification and the many inspiring B Corps they partner with.
It’s fantastic to have BDeals in our Pending B Corp Community. Tell us a bit more about BDeals!
With our sustainable business gifts, we want to spread the impactful stories of our B Corp partners among the business community. We hope to inspire these companies and further spread the word about the B Corp movement.
B Deal is a Pending B Corp. What does that mean?
Pending B Corp is a status designed for companies that are at an early stage but want to embed purpose and the interests of their stakeholders into the way they operate from the beginning. They stand behind the B Corp principles and philosophy, and measure and manage their social and environmental performance. The status also demonstrates strong governance as those companies must adopt a legal framework to protect their mission and brand equity. Only companies that have been in operation for at least 1 month and less than one year can apply for the Pending B Corp status by submitting a prospective B Impact Assessment with B Lab. Once a company has been in operation for over a year, they need to officially go through the certification process to become a B Corp. Learn how to become a Pending B Corp.
What is your view on the current market of corporate gifting and Christmas boxes? It sometimes feels a bit old-fashioned, giving away things people don’t really need…
We believe that the idea behind corporate gifting — showing appreciation to your team and/or customers — is great. At the same time, we think that the current gifting market can be made more sustainable. Through our partnerships with existing B Corps, we give companies the opportunity to purchase truly unique gifts from businesses that are committed to accountability, transparency and continuous improvement.
For your corporate gift boxes, you are only partnering with B Corps. What does this partnership look like?
We work closely together with 25+ B Corps in the Benelux and the UK. Together with our partners, we are constantly thinking of new ways to make our gifts more unique and to increase our positive impact. In addition, we feel a great level of support from the various B Corps, ranging from advice to cost benefits.
Tell us some of the areas where you believe you can have the biggest impact or some of the little changes you’ve made to make a difference.
We believe that by bundling the unique missions and stories of our partners, we are able to spread the word about the B Corp Community and inspire other companies and people to also use business as a force for good.
In addition to the B Corp certification as a criterion for all our brands, we as a company also want to actively contribute to a better world. By donating 1% of our revenues to the Bridge Schools Project in India every year, we help to combat child labor in Indian factories and contribute to better wages and education for young children. There is a huge demand for cheap labor in India’s polluting clothing industry and it is mainly children from poor families in India who are recruited to work in the dirty factories under harsh conditions. The Bridge Schools Project helps these children get out of the factory and go back to school so that they too have a future. A child at Bridge School can be a child again and that is very important to us.
You are currently still on your journey toward B Corp certification. Is there a B Corp that you look to for inspiration?
All of our partners are very supportive of our journey toward certification and we look to all of them for inspiration. As a startup, we are most inspired by relatively new and fast-growing B Corps, such as Farm Brothers, Naïf Care, Seepje, and Paper On The Rocks.
To finish off, do you have any tips for aspiring Bs out there?
We would advise you to ask existing B Corps for help. B Corps are usually very engaged with the B Corp Community and are willing to help out.