Food and ingredient supplier Belazu has announced that it has become a certified B-corporation with a score of 83.5.
The accreditation, which awards companies that balance purpose and profit, comes as Belazu celebrates its 30th anniversary and highlights the company's past initiatives and progressive CSR programme.
Sustainability and social engagement have always been an integral part of Belazu's narrative, and the company works closely with its community of suppliers, customers, employees and wider partners.
The team has a goal-driven sustainability programme that's based on three core pillars, Product, Planet and People, as well as an established foundation that raises money for charities in the UK and abroad to support disadvantaged families, as well as encouraging healthy educational initiatives.
Belazu's new certification is underpinned by a host of initiatives including its status as a London Living Wage employer for eight years and its investment in a growing number of waste streams which maximise recycling to ensure nothing is sent to landfill.
Currently 94% of its packaging is recyclable or returnable and the aim is to make this 100% by 2025. Alongside this, the refrigeration in the new warehouse will be using CO2 for cooling, which is a more sustainable alternative to other refrigerants.
In addition, the team supports natural pollinators and trains colleagues as beekeepers to maintain their 20,000 bees. By 2022 the company aims to be a net-Zero business which means it will reduce its emissions through renewable energy, fleet optimisation and investing in sustainable projects.
Linde Stael, charity and CSR manager at Belazu, said: "We're all completely over the moon to have reached this milestone achievement. As a food business we are aware the food industry is responsible for 26% of overall global greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are part of the risk, but with this accreditation we also choose to be part of the solution. Becoming B-Corp will give us the tools and support to push forward innovative, sustainable projects and be part of a bold, positive movement. We have all worked so hard to get here and are excited to continue this journey surrounded by likeminded people and businesses."
David Balmer, managing director at Belazu, added: "CSR has always been an integral part of our history and how we behave now matters just as much as when George sourced our first bucket of olives back in 1991. This is the reason we still use tomatoes grown under the sun rather than in greenhouses, and why we see the people at Belazu as the most important asset.
"By joining we have made a commitment to continue to progress, develop, learn and do even more good. Being adventurous is one of the core values of Belazu and I look forward to taking that journey with you all, our customers, our suppliers and the communities in which we operate."
B-corp is a movement which unites companies' mission to tackle global issues by using their businesses as a force for good. Each B-corporation business takes part in a rigorous process and must continually prove they adhere to the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The legally bound certificate requires leaders to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders, not just shareholders, to drive change.