Meet 5 Certified B-Corporations making a positive impact from Denmark
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
As a result of a thorough assessment ensuring our practices meet some of the highest social, environmental and transparency standards, Kaffe Bueno has finally been registered as a certified B Corporation. This comes just in time for B Corp month, during which companies that take their social and environmental impact and responsibility seriously are celebrated.
We’re proud to be part of this community of companies that redefines the way business is done. To celebrate our certification, we wanted to share with you the stories of other B corporations in Denmark. Here is how 5 of our neighbour B Corps are using business as a force for good:
Denmark has long been well-known for its iconic furniture designers that master the perfect balance between minimalism and function. Wehlers combines all that with sustainability.
Wehlers creates sustainable design and high-quality furniture for conscious consumers and is the first European furniture brand to have become a certified B corporation. The company’s business model is circular to its very core.
First, the furniture materials are recycled, and if new, they are sustainably and locally sourced. Their RUM (which stands for Re-Used Materials) chair is entirely made of ocean plastic, such as fishing nets, and recycled steel. Second, the furniture pieces are produced in Denmark, and during and after their life cycles, they are repaired, reused and recycled, therefore disrupting the traditional “take, make, dispose” model.
By transforming plastic waste into furniture, Wehlers contributes to democratizing sustainable interiors, while reducing oceans’ plastic pollution.
Baisikeli's first shop is located only streets away from Kaffe Bueno’s office in Copenhagen. Baisikeli means bicycle in Swahili - But if you think Baisikeli is similar to any other Copenhagen bike shop, you’re mistaken. Yes, they sell new and second-hand bikes, they provide bike rental and repairing services, but the comparison stops here.
Founded in 2003, Baisikeli aims to develop the cycling culture in Africa. As economic means of transpiration, bicycles allow the population living in remote rural areas of the continent to be mobile, thus facilitating their access to infrastructures such as schools or hospitals and creating more business opportunities for farmers and artisans. As they realized the bicycle’s huge potential for improving the lives of the rural populations and for boosting development, the founders, Niels Bonefeld and Henrik Smedegaard Mortensen, opened a bicycle workshop in Mozambique.
On top of providing traditional bike rental, repairing and selling services, Baisikeli collects the thousands of bikes abandoned in Copenhagen every year, which would otherwise have been thrown away. These bikes are then restored in the bicycle workshops in Denmark and Mozambique, and then sold as second-hand bikes in both locations. The company’s profits go to further developing the bicycle workshops and a bicycle mechanics training program in Africa.
By preventing abandoned bikes from being discarded, Baisikeli turns waste into resources and promotes sustainable transportation, all that while improving the lives of rural populations in Africa. What’s not to love?
Goodwings’ business model is a great illustration of how rethinking traditional ways of doing business combined to cross-sector partnerships can make a positive impact. Created in 2015, Goodwings is an online hotel-booking portal enabling businesses to book hotels at wholesale prices for their travelling employees. Thanks to its original business model, Goodwings aims to turn the hotel industry into a driving force for positive change.
What makes Goodwings truly unique is the way it uses its impressive network of charities and NGOs. The company now has partnerships with over 60 NGOs globally, which include among others DanChruchAid, WWF Denmark, Reach for Change, Freeland, Planbørnefonden and the World Organisation Against Torture. Instead of spending its marketing budget on advertising through mass media, Goodwings spreads its message on social media and through its partners NGOs.
The money saved on marketing is then used to fund these charities’ projects: for every hotel booking made, at least a third of the commission fees are donated, thus making travels a little more conscious, one booking at a time.
Another great Danish design furniture brand caring about sustainability is Skagerak. The family-owned company was created in 1976 and became a certified B corporation in 2016.
Skagerak sells high quality design indoor and outdoor furniture, made of sustainably sourced materials, such as FSC-certified wood. As many other furniture firms, they have a global supply chain, but that does not prevent them from producing responsibly, quite the contrary.
Because the company conceives sustainability as a precondition for the furniture’s quality, Skagerak has implemented a comprehensive Code of Conduct from the Amfori’s Business Social Compliance Initiative. In that way, the company can guarantee that its suppliers apply proper labor rights and environmentally responsible policies.
Better World Fashion
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting ones in the world, and the Aalborg-based Better World Fashion sets the tone as to how this can be changed.
Better World Fashion fundamentally redefines the way people interact with fashion. Its business model is built around the idea of leasing clothes rather than owning them. This comes in revolutionary and has a potential for making a great impact as many clothes end up being thrown out and in landfills. When leasing from Better World Fashion, customers pay a monthly fee and can choose to return the clothing item as soon as they do not want to wear it anymore.
The clothing items they rent are great too. The brand focuses mostly on leather jackets fully made out of recycled leather and of recycled metal components. This is aligned with their vision that as many of the world’s resources are overexploited, the future lies in utilizing already existing resources.
Through their circular business model, Better World Fashion empowers consumers to be fashionable while being sustainable, thus solving some of the biggest challenges the fashion industry is facing. So far, their activities have avoided the emission of to 8000 kg CO2, the use of 170000 L of water and of 1875kg of chemicals, and prevented the creation of 3000 kg of waste.
Amazing, isn't it? As of now, Denmark is the Scandinavian country with the most B-Corps. Even though the number of certified B-Corporations is still limited in the region, new companies are becoming part of the B-corp movement every year, joining us in the mission to make a positive impact.
You can learn more about Kaffe Bueno's certification as a B-Corporation here.