The B Corp Story of Dille & Kamille

The B Corp Story of Dille & Kamille

Retail chain Dille & Kamille started their B Corp journey in 2021. It was, as Ed (project manager ESG) describes it, a choice ‘from the heart’. Sustainability is inherently part of D&K, and so becoming a B Corp felt like a natural process. Ed, and his fellow ESG project manager Michael, are happy to share their B Corp story with you.

Sharpened strategy and concrete manuals

Ed: ‘The B Corp process helped us sharpen our strategy. We started thinking about certain things in a different way. It also resulted in several concrete manuals, such as a green building manual, a code of conduct, and a code of ethics. However, at times during the process, I thought, ‘What’s all this about?’ There are 300 questions, and when you answer one question in a certain way, even more questions arise. Several times, we were on the phone with Dieuwertje from Rainbow Collection because we got stuck on certain points. For example, on the topic of ‘living wage’. She talked us through it – even sometimes at night.’

Scoring extra points

Ed: ‘When filling out the BIA (B Corp Impact Assessment), you end up with a certain amount of points. For example, 97 points. That is very positive, considering the minimum is 80 points. But then it gets nerve-wracking during the review sessions because you have to justify everything. Some points will be deducted, but sometimes points will be added again.’
Michael: ‘Rainbow Collection advised us to start the BIA with more than 90 points because there’s a good chance you’ll lose points along the way, due to interpretation of evidence. If we hadn’t followed that advice, we might have not ended up well. So, we started the review with more than 90 points. During the process, the score went up and down, and even  dropped to 81 points at one point. That was quite a shock. But, luckily, at the end we went back up to 87 points.

We’ve reached the finish line – but this is just a step in the process!

Ed: ‘It was really a tough assessment, you know. We had three review sessions.’
Michael: ‘Every review session was followed by a list of homework (data gathering) and often follow-up questions. Strict but fair. So once we made it, it was really like, ‘We’ve reached the finish line!’’

The benefits

Michael: ‘B Corp is a good motivator and compass. Through the process, goals and performance agreements took shape. This made our strategy more SMART. And the fact that we have to recertify in a few years keeps us going.The assessment is a measuring point, not the end point. There is always room to improve.
What I also like about B Corp is that it brings things to light that makes you think, ‘Hey, we’re actually doing quite well’. Some things we simply never measured before.’
Ed: ‘The fact that we now document everything better because of the B Corp process is also very beneficial for our sustainability report. Now we can have all the information we need ready within a month.’
Michael: ‘And young people also seem to find the B Corp certification interesting. We see that reflected in the job applications we receive. Applicants often mention in their emails that they appreciate that we are a B Corp.’

Tips for other companies

Michael: ‘My tip for other companies is: just get started and open that BIA. That’s the basis.’
Ed: ‘And don’t get frustrated. Just find out what you need.’
Michael: ‘And be aware that you can’t just have the intern fill out the questions and then become a B Corp. It’s not that easy. You need a lot of background information and experience. Also, you need direct lines with the highest authority within your organization. Filling out the assessment also goes hand in hand with adjusting a whole bunch of things, because that’s the way to make progress. Because of that, it’s vital to have the ability to make things happen within an organization.
And don’t forget: B Corp is more than just talking about sustainability; it’s about doing. We’re glad we have the certificate. It really helped us.’