State of the B case study: Australian Ethical
Australian Ethical Investments are all about investing in a way that creates financial security for you and positive change for society and the environment.
Why did your business become a Certified B Corporation?
At Australian Ethical, we want to redefine how people invest their money – not just for financial gain, but for the good of society and the environment – and we believe that our success proves that money can make a positive impact in the world. Becoming a Certified B Corporation in 2014 was a natural progression that sent an important signal of our commitment to use business as a force for good. We were one of Australia’s first B Corps, the first listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and in terms of revenue we’re one of the largest in Australia.
What are the positive impacts your business has on environment, workers, and/or community?
As Australia’s leading ethical wealth manager, we have been providing a growing number of Australians with wealth management products that offer strong returns without compromising on values for more than 30 years. We do this by going
beyond simply avoiding companies that have a negative impact and proactively seeking out those that are doing good. This means investing in clean energy, innovation and sustainable products in pursuit of a better future for everyone as well as actively advocating for more ethical corporate behaviours and more transparent climate change impact reporting. In addition, each year we donate 10% of our profits (after tax and before bonuses) to support organisations building strong and vibrant communities around the world, donating more than $3.5 million since 2000.
Do you have impact improvements planned?
Like all Certified B Corps, we are committed to not compromising planet and people for profit. We are actively working to embed diversity and inclusion best practice throughout the employee journey including recruitment and also into procurement.
What benefits have you experienced from being a Certified B Corporation?
[B Corp] Certification was an opportunity to align our values with our business practices, validating our efforts and encouraging us to look for ways to raise our standards. It cemented our commitment to the way we had been running our business since 1986 and connected us with a larger movement of businesses dedicated to a triple bottom line and working to create long-term positive change.
Becoming a B Corp has helped us grow our business by attracting customers who know about the B Corp movement. It has enhanced our license to operate where we attract and retain top talent, work with values-driven vendors, and benefit from a deeper level of trust with our communities. Certification has helped tell the story of our positive impact in a way that is easily recognisable while differentiating our company and advancing the move towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
It has enhanced our license to operate where we attract and retain top talent, work with values-driven vendors, and benefit from a deeper level of trust with our communities.
Allyson Lowbridge, Chief Customer Officer and B Keeper, Australian Ethical Investment
This case study is featured in B Lab's State of the B Report 2019.