We caught up with Mr Green Africa, the first recycling company in Africa to be Certified B Corporation, who are changing the perception of plastic waste.
In an interview by email, B Lab Africa spoke with Mr Green Africa whose B Corp mission is to trade recyclable materials while achieving tangible social and environmental impact in Africa.
Please tell us about your journey to becoming a B Corp. What motivated you to get certified?
Mr Green Africa (MGA): From inception of Mr Green Africa, a core part of our vision has always been to not only have a socially and environmentally impactful business for our external stakeholders, but also for our staff. So with the ambitious goal to be one of the best places to work in Africa, we set out on a journey to sustainably achieve this. With this in mind B Corp certification was a perfect way to benchmark our current performance against other sustainable businesses, and also show continuous improvement – positively impacting our people and planet.
What is your ambition as a B Corp and what are your future commitments?
MGA: With our alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and internal vision and mission, our goal is to grow a sustainable business in the circular economy space that will inspire others and also improve our impact in the regions where we work.
What advice would you give to other companies that want to achieve B Corp certification?
MGA: We would encourage them because this is an avenue where People, Planet and Profit is not a slogan or buzzword, but a (gradual) step-by-step process to being a better employer, a better business and a better part of the society.
MGA’s current B Impact Score is 80.9 out of 200. What do you think are the major contributing factors to these improvements since becoming certified?
MGA: Getting B Corp certified was a monumental milestone for MGA, being that we are currently the first recycling entity in Africa to be B Corp Certified. It was also a validation that our business model is sustainable. Some contributing factors to this include the fact that we recycle plastic that has a direct impact on the environment, and also integrate waste pickers and other socially disadvantaged people to enable them earn a decent wage. Another key factor is Mr Green’s leadership commitment to providing a safe and innovative space for employees.
What plans does MGA have in place to improve the B Impact Score even further, and how do you think this will impact business, employees, customers, and the planet?
MGA’s vision and goals are fully aligned with the B Corp certification standards. We have aligned a lot of our internal processes and KPIs to B Corp metrics, and we believe this will leapfrog our score to the mid if not higher 100’s in the upcoming years. Since being certified we have also invested quite a lot in our talent pool to bring our sustainability activities to the next level. We have also developed partnerships with other key organizations and businesses that we believe will help us increase both our impact footprint and visibility on sustainability matters.
Increasing our score will move us that much closer to our goal to be the best employer in Africa and to help other businesses benchmark.
Check out Mr Green’s B Impact Report here.