It's hard to believe that it's already been one year since we officially made a commitment to use our business as a force for good by becoming a B Corp 💪😇
In honour of that, and the fact that March is B Corp month, we've been doing a bit of planning – looking ahead to what we want to achieve and how we plan to evolve ourselves as a B Corp into the future. We've also taken a bit of time for reflection, thinking about what it means to us to be a B Corp, and some of the things we've achieved since our journey to become a B Corp began.
When we actually took the time to sit down and think about it, our list of accomplishments was longer than we'd realised... Across the five B Corp pillars of Environment, Community, Employees, Customers and Governance, we've ticked quite a few boxes. There are too many to mention them all here, but we wanted to share some of the highlights with you. Of course our journey began well before March 2021...
Caring for our environment
One of the aspects of our B Corp journey that we're most proud of is our carbon neutrality. In recognition of the fact that the work we do impacts the environment, Luminary became certified carbon neutral in July 2018. We have continued to offset our carbon since that date, and we’ve made a commitment to continue to do so. We have primarily offset our carbon footprint through a large-scale tree planting program in Western Australia. We have also invested in carbon sequestration at Bimbadeen Farm on Phillip Island.
In addition to that, we've hosted a number of tree planting days in both Australia and Bali. Last year we also renovated our office in Melbourne, which resulted in a number of sustainability improvements including more power efficient lighting throughout, and we introduced soft plastic and battery recycling facilities.
Supporting our community
Giving back to the communities we work in plays a really important part in our company ethos.
Since we established our Bali office in 2016, we've partnered with a children's refuge in Denpasar called Jodie O'Shea House. Our support for the Jodie O’Shea House allows us to make a difference in a way that brings our Australian and Bali alliances together. Like many sponsors of Jodie O’Shea House, our main avenue of support comes in the form of donations of food, toys and essential items. We also provide them with our old computers to support the kids’ ongoing education. But it’s not all about material goods. There’s also an element of companionship. “The connection with the kids comes easily to most people who visit Jodie O'Shea House, as the children are so happy and engaging,” says Luminary CEO Marty Drill. “They love having new friends to kick a soccer ball or shoot some hoops with. Equally, our team members walk away with a profound sense of gratitude for the fact that these kids are so willing to share their lives with them. Everyone comes away feeling a little bit richer for the experience.”
In Australia, we've nurtured young talent in digital since 2020 through our sponsorship of the Victorian Young Achiever Awards. The Luminary Tech Visionary category of the awards is a celebration of the next wave of digital innovators – young people harnessing technology to create ground-breaking ideas that positively impact the way we live. Through this award we’re able to support young people demonstrating creative thinking and making a significant contribution and social impact through the use of digital.
Over the past year, we've also formally introduced a policy to support paid volunteer leave, which has already been taken up by a number of our team members – including a group who spent a day packing meals at hunger relief charity Foodbank, and two team members who were involved in assisting people affected by the recent flood crisis in NSW.
Looking after our team
Despite the obvious rise in remote work over the last couple of years, flexible working arrangements have been a hallmark of how we operate for quite a while. In fact, two out of three of our directors live in regional areas and work remotely. Even before Covid hit, our MD, Adam Griffith, was showing that leadership could be done successfully from afar. In more recent times, our CTO, Andy Thompson, has relocated to Geelong, a satellite city around 75km from Melbourne’s CBD. We now have a Work From Anywhere policy that sets out our ongoing commitment to remote work.
The pandemic presented obvious challenges over the last couple of years and we've made every effort to look after our team's cameraderie and wellbeing – from a range of online team events to delivery of care packs and allowances for purchasing home office furniture. We've also now introduced an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides confidential counselling and support for all team members and their families on an ongoing basis.
Standing with our purpose-driven clients
We’ve always had a philosophy of using technology to have a positive impact on the world around us, so it’s not surprising that a lot of our clients are in the charity and not-for-profit space. In fact, last year nearly 20 percent of our business was for purpose-driven clients. Our portfolio includes some of the biggest names in Australia’s NFP sector, including Cancer Council, Heart Foundation, Fred Hollows Foundation, Vision Australia, Save the Children, The Salvation Army, Unicef and World Vision.
We not only love working with clients who are making a difference but we also try to get behind their fundraising initiatives too, like Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea and the Fred Hollows Foundation’s Fred’s Big Run. Last year we also supported Unicef's Cook for Syria appeal, and sponsored vaccinations in at-risk countries through the charity's Vaccinaid program.
Working with other B Corps
Part of becoming a B Corp has not only been about striving to uphold the highest standards in terms of our impact on people and the planet, but also seeking to work with other companies that are driven to do the same. We have recently transitioned our banking to fellow B Corp Bank Australia, as well as moving our Brisbane office to The Hub (also a B Corp).
Having been through the process of becoming B Corp certified ourselves, we know it's not an easy bar to reach. So knowing how rigorous the accreditation process is offers a quick way to validate the values and approach of a potential partner or supplier. We'll certainly be keeping our eyes open for more opportunities to work with other B Corps as we continue along this path.
What does the future hold?
A big focus for us this year is getting more of our team actively involved in shaping the kind of B Corp we want to be into the future. We recognise that being a B Corp is not just a one-off milestone, but an ongoing pledge to continue to grow, improve and find better ways to balance profit with the needs our people, our customers, our community and the planet. There are plenty more ideas in the pipeline for Luminary's journey as a B Corp – so watch this space!
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