Kathmandu on Tuesday announced it has been certified as a B Corporation, becoming one of the largest outdoor apparel and gear brands globally to meet the B Corp standards of social and environmental impact.
The outdoor and adventure brand is the first publicly listed B Corp in New Zealand and the first outdoor apparel and equipment retailer in both Australia and New Zealand to become part of the global ethical business movement for a more sustainable and inclusive economy.
Through harnessing the power of business, Kathmandu and other certified B Corps aim to use profits as a means to a greater end and achieve positive impacts for their employees, communities, and the environment.
B Corp is an initiative from B Lab, a non-profit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. The B Corp assessment process measures a company’s performance in five categories: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment.
The idea of using business as a force for good is not a new concept for Kathmandu, who has been leading the way in positive environmental and social business practices since its inception over 30 years ago.
‘The B Corp certification is a milestone achievement for the company and reflects Kathmandu’s exceptional record in sustainability leadership which has been fundamental to our success,” said Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet.
“Sustainability is part of Kathmandu’s DNA and is integral to our entire operation, from our supply chain, to our materials and products and our operational footprint.”
In the B Corp certification Kathmandu was awarded high scores in the Workers, Environment and Community sections of the exhaustive certification, a direct result of Kathmandu’s ongoing work in preferred fibres and materials, as well as protecting the rights of employees in their supply chain.
Globally there are more than 3,000 companies who have become B Corps after completing the certification process. Per capita, Australia and New Zealand are growing B Corps faster than any other region, with nearly 300 B Corps.
“Kathmandu’s announcement as New Zealand’s first B Corp-certified multinational retail business, and Australasia’s biggest B Corp, is a significant milestone for Australia, New Zealand and the wider B Corp movement,” said B Lab Australia & New Zealand CEO, Andrew Davies.
“Certification is open to all sizes of business, and we are seeing increasing interest from large corporations across the world, Kathmandu’s certification sends an important signal for other big businesses to follow in their lead.”