BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS
5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO WOUTER STAAL, FOUNDER & CEO YOGHURT BARN.
The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that improving human lives and taking care of the environment are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.
At Blyde we believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In the wake-up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and businesses speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ today: changemaker Wouter Staal, founder and CEO of Yoghurt Barn.
What was your wake-up call for contributing to a better world?
Directly when we came up with the idea of our new company; we wanted to make healthy food more available and accessible, while also promoting organic dairy vs “regular” dairy. As time passed we found out more about climate impact and how we could address this. We had an intrinsic motivation to do good for people, animals and our planet. Since plantbased alternatives came up more and more and at the same time greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements became more easily available, we felt we had the opportunity to work even harder in making a positive impact by reducing as much GHG as possible and compensate as long as we couldn’t get to net zero. Growth (and profit) is fun, but only when it’s not at the cost of people and our planet.
What is your call to action for companies around the globe?
Climate action has long been a “nice to have” and it’s been on the annual calendar for long. For most companies it stays only on this piece of paper and never comes to action. Yet, not so long from now it will become a “must have” and a right for any business. That’s why I call upon everybody to start – no matter how small – by for example separating waste, reducing all plastics from production, or by purchasing locally. It’s a matter of awareness and willingness within a company’s management or founder(s), but also more importantly within all of its employees, customers and other stakeholders. You can’t do it alone but you have to start somewhere and we have to stop pointing at our governments. We can make a giant leap ourselves by simply moving into action and learning along the way. At first you will see it takes time and a lot of effort. However, if you do it from your own or your company’s own (intrinsic) motivation to do good, in the end it will result in a positive impact for all stakeholders and even more on turnover, and profits. Making money by going green (if you’re serious about the green part), goes hand in hand.
The Sustainable Development Goals might be a way for companies to formulate that ‘why’. It gives them direction to make an impact and achieve a sustainable future for all. Which of these goals calls you most and why?
SDG 13, climate action. We feel that all are very important but this one particularly is most urgent for us and our company. That’s why we’ve embraced it fully and want to set the tone by going climate positive. We share our learnings along the way by being as transparent as possible, so not only YB but many more companies can follow suit and make a positive impact on a large scale! The time to act is NOW!
Call me a changemaker – your company in 2030…(biggest dreams, wishes, plans?)
In the future I picture YB as a sustainability leader in “feel good food” in the whole of Europe, where guests stop by, people are working and the brand puts a smile on everybody’s face. Guests are able to enjoy an authentic food experience through lovely and healthy food in our Barns in city centers, travel– and university locations. Moreover, YB is available at home and on the go through major food-retail and foodservice partners.
If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why?
Hutten. A beautiful company where creativity meets social responsibility and everything is done from the heart.