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HelloPrint announces B Corp Certification

Rotterdam, February 28, 2024

HelloPrint announces its recent acclaimed B Corp certification. With this certification, the Rotterdam/Valencia-based European print and merchandise platform commits to high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability, to balance profit and purpose. It joins the movement of companies like WeTransfer, Tony's Chocolonely and Ben & Jerry’s - amongst many others. “But being certified is just the start”, says CEO and founder Hans Scheffer.

Changing an industry from within

"The print and merchandise market represents a significant industry, but also one that is not the most sustainable”, explains Hans Scheffer, CEO and founder of HelloPrint. “While it is true that not producing at all is of course better for the environment, the demand for printed materials remains substantial, given its widespread presence in a market valued at 800 billion euros. Print is still everywhere, from the label on your t-shirt to the sweater you wear, the packaging of your web order, the magazine you read or the water bottle you use. But with better choices in materials, production techniques, packaging and shipping, and by creating more awareness towards our customers, we can make the impact on the environment lower”.

Becoming a B Corp wasn't without its challenges for the international online print and merchandise platform. What initially began as a collaborative project with Impact Nation and ABN AMRO bank quickly became a journey of higher aspirations. CFO Lennaert Koch states, "As we progressed through the Impact Nation program, it became evident that project-based initiatives wouldn't lead to the change required and desired within our core business practices. We recognised the need to set high standards to make a meaningful impact, ultimately leading us to pursue B Corp certification.

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Business assessment and the route to B Corp

To kick off the journey, HelloPrint conducted a comprehensive review of the operations using the assessment developed by B Lab, the European authority overseeing the B Corp certification process. This evaluation gave the company valuable insights into its performance, including governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.

"Through this assessment, we discovered that we excelled in areas such as employee satisfaction, diversity, inclusion, equity, and our societal contributions. However, it also highlighted significant areas for improvement, particularly regarding our environmental impact," explains Isabelle de Wolf, Chief Sustainability Officer at HelloPrint. "Despite our unique network of over 300 local manufacturers and carriers in 31 countries, which significantly reduces carbon emissions, it became clear that we needed to do much more to align with B Corp's environmental standards."

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This initial assessment served as a foundation for HelloPrint's strategic initiatives for improvement. Collaborating with diverse employees from various departments, HelloPrint developed an action plan combining immediate, easily attainable goals and long-term, sustainable changes. Quickly afterwards, a dedicated sustainability team implemented clear sustainability goals across all teams at HelloPrint. “We quickly learned that you can only achieve impactful results when you take the whole company along in this process”, says Rinke Raven, Head of Data and Strategy of HelloPrint. “That’s why we implemented our sustainability strategy fully in our process of setting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in all teams. By doing this, we made every team - and so the whole company - accountable for the change”.

Having been a part of HelloPrint's journey, I can first hand testify to their authentic efforts to unearth and live more fully than ever their purpose. Very proud to celebrate their B Corp status achievement. Daniël Truran, B Corp Ambassador at B Lab Europe 
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Full review of the supply chain and product offering

To enhance the needed environmental standards based on the B Corp assessment, HelloPrint initiated a comprehensive evaluation of all manufacturers within its network. This assessment focused on the environmental, social, and governance performance, leading to the establishment of mandatory standards for these manufacturers through a new Code of Conduct. "This step was essential for us as a platform because our partners play a crucial role within the total value chain," says Nick Goudriaan, Head of Product and Supply at HelloPrint. “We discovered that many partners have already made significant steps towards making their production more sustainable, but there’s still a lot of work to be done regarding production methods, ink usage, renewable energy and use of materials. That’s why we will work on new standards for our network soon, aligning with B Lab's criteria to carry the B Corp certificate and aiming to instigate a fundamental shift within our valued network, inspiring to create a ripple effect within our industry."

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Also, the product offering plays an essential role in reducing CO2. “In the end, it all starts with what kind of products you want to sell and how you can inspire your customers to make more conscious choices”, says Rick Molenaar, Chief Marketing Officer at HelloPrint. “Due to the B Corp process, we’re more aware of the impact our offering has on the environment. Sometimes, that leads to replacing our current offering and even a full stop of offering certain products. It's a challenging process, but a necessary one as we also strive to meet the needs of our customers. For us, informing them as well as possible and inspiring them to make better choices is one of the primary goals in this transition”.

We are pleased to welcome HelloPrint to the B Corp community. Their commitment to responsibility and continuous growth sets an example for the print and merchandise industry. Hopefully this leads to more sustainable innovation within this sector.' -  Tessa van Soest, Director B Lab Benelux

And what’s next? “As said, the certification is only step one of our journey" says Hans Scheffer. “Our next goal is to concretely execute a plan around a more sustainable supply chain and a further change of product portfolio. But we also want to gain more insights into the impact of our industry as a whole so that we can work together with partners in the value chain on further change. An exciting future is ahead of us, and we’re determined to play our role”.  

About  HelloPrint

HelloPrint is Europe’s leading platform for customisable print and merchandise products. With a network of over 300 manufacturers and over 30 logistical partners in 31 countries, HelloPrint offers local production and delivery to creative entrepreneurs, SMEs, non-profit organisations and corporate clients to reduce speed of delivery, costs and carbon footprint. The company is headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Valencia, Spain and services over 800.000 customers around the whole of Europe.

About B Lab 

B Lab is transforming the economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business. Besides we certify companies -known as B Corps- who are leading the way. To date, our global community includes over 7,700 B Corps in 92 countries and 161 industries, and over 200,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment.

Read more here about HelloPrint's sustainability journey:

Favicon for helloprint.com Our Path to Bcorp: Leading the Sustainability Transformation with Purpose helloprint.com
Favicon for helloprint.com INSPIRE 2022: An Eye-Opening Festival Within Our Journey to more Sustainability helloprint.com
Favicon for helloprint.com It's here: HelloPrint's 2022 Impact Report helloprint.com

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