Applying for B-Corporation certification in 2017 wasn't a matter of changing our business to meet the requirements but a union of values and an invitation into a community of similar-minded enterprises. Our focus has always been on making a positive impact in the world, not just earning a profit. We utilise our business as a force for good, prioritising people, communities and the planet.
As pioneers in our industry, we are the first furniture and homewares company in Australia to receive B-Corp certification.
Our dedication to the B-Corp mission and values is not simply for certification's sake; it is a natural extension of our core principles. We believe that business can be a powerful instrument for social change, and we strive to lead by example. Our commitment to B-Corporation standards has allowed us to engage with a network of like-minded businesses and individuals, amplifying our impact and driving progress toward a more equitable and sustainable future.
We are part of a global movement of more than 6000 Certified B Corporations and counting who are all actively trying to make the world a better place through the way they treat their staff; help the community; are governed; improve the environment; and make customers’ lives better.
The theme for this year, "We Go Beyond," is an opportunity to showcase how our business surpasses expectations, why we have chosen this path, and to encourage other businesses to follow suit. We want to inspire businesses to make a positive impact in the world and to take action toward transforming the economic system.
So why do B-Corporations matter?
To achieve certification as a B Corporation®, an independent non-profit organization called B-Lab conducts an assessment to ensure that companies meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
B-Lab uses the power of business to make a positive impact on companies worldwide, helping them balance profit with purpose. By promoting innovative and empathetic business models, the community of B-Corporations aims to redefine how businesses can create positive change for the planet and its people.
Ways we have made Koskela better for people, planet, and communities
The beauty of being a B-Corp is that there is always room for growth. We’ve spent the last three years working on ways to improve our business for communities, people and planet and are proud to announce that we were re-certified in 2021 with an improved score of 96.2 from 82. Check out our Impact Score card here.
This overall B Impact Score is measured across 5 pillars: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment & Customers.
Our certification reaffirms our position as a force for good in transforming the communal and collaborative spaces where we live, work and learn.
As a B Corporation, our governance structure extends beyond being accountable solely to shareholders. We are responsible for the well-being of all our stakeholders, including our employees, customers, community, and the environment. Our commitments to these values are ingrained in our Company Constitution and will remain in place even if management changes.
Since joining the B Corp movement in 2017, we are pleased to share some of the steps we have taken to benefit our team and customers:
- To support the wellness of our staff, Koskela has implemented a 9-day fortnight program, which allows our team members to have more time for weekend adventures, personal projects, volunteering, and spending time with loved ones. This program is offered at full pay and is a key component of our wellness program.
- Our team has the opportunity to participate in free Pilates classes led by a certified physiotherapist.
- We provide an Employee Assistance Program that is funded by Koskela and can be accessed by our team members and their families if they require it.
- Our commitment to local manufacturing is largely driven by our desire to witness firsthand who is producing our products and the working conditions they are subjected to.
- Koskela has implemented a standardised system of processes, procedures, and policies for managing our supply chain and company operations, which has allowed us to obtain ISO 9001:2015 Quality Assurance and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management certifications.
At Koskela, we prioritise the environmental impact of our products and business on the planet. As the first Australian furniture company to receive BCorp certification in 2017, we continuously take actions to improve our environmental performance. Here are some insights into our initiatives:
We have been supporting local makers and industries for 23 years by designing and making all of our furniture products in Australia.
We provide a Repair and Renew service, along with removable covers, to prolong the life of our furniture and reduce waste.
For all online orders, we use recycled "ugly" packaging and for our local delivery service, we avoid packaging altogether.
As a company, we continuously measure and strive to improve our carbon footprint year over year.
As a company, we uphold strict certification processes including BCorp, ISO, and GECA, and are committed to Science Based Targets (SBT's).
Koskela's 'Ugly' Packaging
Koskela's packaging-free local delivery service
At Koskela, we recognise that our business has a far-reaching impact beyond our own operations. As a B Corp, we are committed to going above and beyond to support our local communities. We undertake various initiatives aimed at strengthening our foundations and providing us with valuable opportunities to learn and grow within our community. Some of the initiatives we have taken include:
We are proud to report the progress we have made in our pathway to reconciliation through our RAP at Koskela. Our second Innovative Reconciliation Action Plan has recently been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. The RAP is aimed at enhancing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, engaging our staff and stakeholders in reconciliation, and implementing innovative strategies that empower these communities. Our focus is on developing and piloting these initiatives to ensure a lasting and positive impact on these communities.
Koskela takes pride in our work on First Nations design facilitation projects and social impact collaborations. We have a dedicated gallery space that showcases the work of talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Our Dali Dyalgala fabric range is a testament to our commitment to collaborating with First Nations communities. To date, we have successfully collaborated with 71 First Nations artists and art centre partners, generating an income of over $1.4 million. Our goal is to continue building these relationships, promoting First Nations art and design, and creating sustainable economic opportunities for these communities.
For the past 23 years, Koskela has been dedicated to designing and manufacturing all of our furniture products in Australia. This commitment allows us to support local makers and industries, creating sustainable economic opportunities in our communities. By keeping our production within Australia, we can ensure that our products are of the highest quality and that we are doing our part in promoting a sustainable future for the Australian design industry.
Dali Dyalgala First Nations fabric range First Nations design facilitation: AMP Tables
Dali Dyalgala First Nations fabric range
First Nations design facilitation: AMP Tables
Our dedication to producing high-quality, Australian-made furniture is at the forefront of our operations, and we plan to expand our product line to encompass more sustainable and eco-friendly options.
Additionally, Koskela aims to grow its presence in the Australian design industry through innovative and impactful collaborations with local artists and designers. With a focus on ethical and sustainable practices, Koskela is poised to make a positive impact on both the local and global community for years to come.
If you would like to learn more about the B Corp Movement or how you could get involved, visit bcorporation.com.au.