An interview with fellow B Corp, Climpson & Sons.

An interview with fellow B Corp, Climpson & Sons.

As part of B Corp Month, we’re looking ‘beyond the cup’ - including some of our wonderful customers. Climpson & Sons is one customer, coffee shop, and coffee roaster that is also a part of the B Corp community.

We spoke to Nicole Ferris, Managing Director of Climpson & Sons, about their motivation to become B Corp Certified, some tips & learnings made along the way, and where to, from here.

What was the motivation for Climpson & Sons becoming B Corp certified?

The motivation for becoming a B Corp was taking the opportunity to actually look at the business through a lens that considers not just environmental sustainability, but our role and impact as a business. I was able to thoroughly review our business practices - from our considerations of our supply chain and our sourcing principles, to how our team is treated and can do their work in a positive working climate and culture, our community involvement, through to monitoring our carbon emissions.

What does it mean to Climpson & Sons to be a B Corp?

It is a great achievement - not only are we now B Corp Certified, we received 110.4 points (80 points is the minimum required to certify). The key to B Corp actually being meaningful is to be able to build what being a sustainable business means into the company culture. There is no question that we want a diverse pool of people supported equitably in the business, or that the coffee we source comes from traceable, long standing partnerships. It is part of the fabric and having B Corp is just a way for us to communicate that.

What have been the biggest learnings you’ve had on the road to becoming B Corp Certified?

As a business we always wanted to ‘do good’ and be sustainably minded, but having a more deliberate and holistic approach is important. Making decisions when balancing the three pillars of sustainability (considering economic viability and financial performance as well as social and environmental impacts), has encouraged us to integrate this thinking across the business.

B Corp emphasises the value of engaging with various stakeholders - from the Climpsons team, customers, suppliers and the community. We could recognise the power of some of our long term relationships are built on trust and mutual benefit, for example we realised that 90% of our coffee was from return producer relationships and the average relationship is minimum 5 years.

Achieving the certification isn't a one time accomplishment, it means an ongoing commitment to continually improve.

What areas in particular are you continuing to work on?

We have been working with Ecofye on an industry first of calculating our carbon emissions in real time. We have sensors plugged into our cafe, roastery and office and we can see every hour/day/week what power we are using. But we also have real time emissions per cup of coffee and per kg of coffee roasted. We are about to submit our total carbon emissions from 2023 so we will be able to do direct comparisons with 2021 and 2022.

When it comes to the Climpsons team and community, we are always focused on learning from the past and to forge better opportunities and relationships for the people in the business. Everyone in our business is different - from backgrounds, to work history, to health. Taking into consideration our recruitment process, and how we create opportunity and development for the team, is always a work in progress.

What would be your advice to those looking to become B Corp Certified?

Make the most of the process. There are ways you can make impact in your business easily and some that take a cultural shift, which takes time. Sticking with it will mean that it's more than just a stamp of B Corp approval.

When you go through the process, make sure you write notes about where you find the information and how you calculate it! The application can take up to a year so not only do you need to be patient, you need to make sure the information you work from is relevant and makes sense.

Check out Climpson & Sons here.

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