BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS
5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO MARTIJN BOS, FOUNDER BOSKA FOOD TOOLS
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 our weekly 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 Martijn Bos, founder of Boska Food Tools.
What was your wake-up call for contributing to a better world?
It wasn’t one call; more like several conversations.
At home my wife was an Olympic sailor and has been confronted with very polluted oceans so she wanted to make a change there and started making me more and more conscious over the last decade. She is mayor of the north sea now, as well at the sustainability chair for the Olympic committee and co-owns a non-profit for clean oceans (wavemakersunited) so I am brainwashed daily.
Internally at Boska we try to make good stuff, but also used to make private label food tools where price was more a driver than product. This started to bother us. Also I am a member of the global entrepreneurs organization (eo-network) and young presidents organization (ypo). Several trendwatchers and speakers on sustainability made me more aware we had to act. The real wake up was when we organized an event in Amsterdam on sustainability and awareness with dr Yunus (microcredit) and Kofi Annan speaking. This led to several cradle to cradle and circular business modelling sessions at Boska but we never found the holy grail. Until we realized that if we would just make products that last a lifetime, that would be the whole solution. We use stone, steel and wood. Wood is ok, but stone and steel is still the capital of this world. So if we use it, we better make the products so good that they don’t break down. That combined with timeless design was the solution to have better conversations at home with my vegan and activistic wife and mother of my kids that we want to bring up in a world with potential. So this all led to the fact that we believe that ‘quality = sustainability’. Having the heart, soul and spirit to contribute to a better world, in 2020 we decided to set off on our B Corp journey to improve our business and to be able to strike the right ethical balance between profit and purpose. And more than 2 years later, in November 2022, we announced we became B Corp certified! Becoming B Corp certified became a great ‘label’ and ‘accountability’ tool to keep us sharp every day on the Sustainable Development Goals and thus have a more positive impact on the planet and its people.
What is your call to action for companies around the globe?
To find their own way of making this world a better instead of a worse place with every dollar they make. B Corp is one of the great certifications and initiatives to raise the bar and create a new standard together, so it would be great if more people/companies join the movement. Only together we can really make a difference. And we need to get this snowball rolling and that takes some more hands and energy in the beginning.
Which SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) calls you most and why?
Life below water (SDG 14), which is about conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources. I am a wind- and kitesurfer and realise that most us of don’t have a clue what’s happening below the water and what the enormous impact is of a healthy versus polluted sea.
Life on Land (SDG 15) For Boska we can make impact on reducing our emissions, but also on regreening the planet. Not just for reforestation to cut carbon, but also regreening to cool down the planet (Justdiggit) and helping biodiversity.
Reducing inequalities (SDG 10) For myself the Ukraine confronted me, so we took 5 Ukrainians in house and set up a matchmaking website for refugees to meet hosts. We hosted 712 people at these hosts and that feels good to be honost. It also kept our feet on the ground and we made new friends for life.
Call me a changemaker – your company in 2030…(biggest dreams, wishes, plans?)
Changemaker? That doesn’t exist anymore. My biggest dream is that consumers value more ethical practices in the products and services they buy, and that thanks to that, we will find Boska’s food tools for life in every household house or professional environment. At that time, we will have met our goal as well to offer a 100% lifetime guarantee and timeless design!
As B Corps, we have a dream: That one day all companies will compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. I would love see our industry making steps towards a sustainable journey, where we redefine success in business and where lifetime guarantee and timeless design become the new standard. So it’s not just about us as Boska, but us as a community that will make the difference.
If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why?
Probably our biggest colleagues / competition would make the biggest impact in our industry. We are a global company, but a niche small family company. So it would be awesome when companies like Ikea and Action would become a B corp, because their impact is much bigger. It might be a hard one but the same counts for energy companies like Shell or airlines like KLM. They could become frontrunners in real change.