NewAge Industries has received B Corp certification from B Lab, a not-for-profit organization that serves a global network of companies that use their business as a force for the benefit of others. NewAge joins an additional 3,800 B Corps in 74 countries operating in 150 industries.
Since NewAge was founded as a supplier of plastic tubing in 1954, the company has made efforts to act as good corporate neighbors, in part through donations to worthy charities and efforts to ensure proper waste treatment and recycling. As the company grew, so did its reach.
Sustainability and green projects became central priorities and the support of the local community in many ways became more important. NewAge began running Red Cross blood drives to make it convenient for team members to donate blood. The company became a supporter of the US Marine Corps Reserves’ annual Toys for Tots program and organized food and clothing promotions. A solar system was installed on the roof to supply the company headquarters with renewable energy. Discarded laptops were delivered to a rural school overseas along with donations for solar power systems. Schoolchildren and students from the region were invited to take part in internships and cooperative educational programs. Team members were allocated an annual paid day for voluntary activities. And of course, charitable giving and recycling practices, including proper e-waste recycling, continued.
But the owners of NewAge didn’t just care about other people and organizations. They focused on supporting the company’s employees and their physical, mental, and financial well-being. Retirement plans helped raise funds for life after NewAge, and a bonus plan was put in place. A wellness committee was formed from volunteers with the aim of promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Next came employee ownership when then owner Ken Baker transferred 30% of the ownership of NewAge Industries through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). In August 2019, the company and its AdvantaPure, Verigenics and BrewSavor business units became fully owned by its employees.
So what led to the decision to apply for Certified B Corporation status?
“It was the next step in our development as a company. Companies that can do good for others and the environment while remaining profitable are held in high regard, ”said Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge. “Think Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia, Bombas, King Arthur Flour, Seventh Generation, Leesa, Cabot. NewAge is in very good company. “
According to B Lab, these organizations “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability”. B Corps like NewAge focus on their people, the environment, and the community while balancing their profits and purpose.
Baker continued, “We are being audited for finances and quality, but no one has examined us as to how we work or our environmental practices. The certification as B Corp distinguishes us from other providers, especially from the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. NewAge is not a large conglomerate created by buying a number of other companies, and we don’t have investors who just look at the bottom line. We are independent, owned by employees and we are committed to staying that way. “