NewAge Industries has received B Corp certification from B Lab, a nonprofit that serves a global network of companies that use business as a force to help others. NewAge joins more than 3,800 B Corps in 74 countries serving 150 industries.
Since NewAge was founded as a supplier of plastic tubing in 1954, the company has endeavored to act as good neighbors, including through donations to worthy non-profit organizations and measures to ensure proper waste treatment and recycling. As the company grew, so did its reach.
Sustainability and environmental projects became central priorities and support from the local community became more important in many ways. NewAge began hosting Red Cross blood drives, which made 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 on the roof was installed to provide renewable energy to the company’s headquarters. Retired laptops were delivered to a rural school overseas along with donations for solar panels. Local schoolchildren and students were invited to take part in internships and cooperative education opportunities. 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.
However, the owners of NewAge didn’t just care about other people and organizations. They focused on helping the company’s employees and their physical, mental, and financial wellbeing. Retirement plans helped raise money for life after NewAge, and a bonus plan was introduced. 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 a 30% stake in NewAge Industries through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). In August 2019, the company and its AdvantaPure, Verigenics, and BrewSavor businesses became wholly owned by its employees.
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. “Look at Ben and Jerry, Patagonia, Bombas, King Arthur Flour, 7th generation, Leesa, Cabot. NewAge is in very good company. “
According to B Lab, these organizations meet “the highest standards for verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability”. B Corps like NewAge focus on their people, their environment, and their 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 just looking at the bottom line. We are independent, owned by our employees and are committed to ensuring that it stays that way. “