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“We can all make a difference”: UCA Funds Management becomes B Corp

Australia’s first ethical funds manager has been awarded B Corp status and will increase its commitment to addressing community issues

Australia’s first ethical funds manager has been awarded B Corporation certification, allowing it to increase its positive impact in the community.

B Corporation, the global accreditation recognising businesses and organisations with sustainable and ethical practices, will see UCA Funds Management join the more than 2,500 companies addressing social and environmental issues.

CEO, Matthew Browning, said he was proud of the opportunity to work alongside like-minded Australian companies who are contributing to positive change.

“We are one of a select few ethical financial and investment institutions in Australia to become a certified B Corporation. We’re now in the company of a community of leading change makers and companies with a unifying goal of making a difference.”

Certified B Corporations are committed to upholding the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, legal accountability and using the power of various markets to address global community problems.

The Head of Community Building at B Lab Australia & New Zealand, Mindy Leow, said Australians are more discerning with their selection of financial institutions and that certified associations have an advantage in the community and in the market.

“B Corps embody the way business should be done, creating extraordinary positive impact as businesses and looking after all of their stakeholders,” Leow said. “As trust in businesses in Australia continues to decline, consumers will seek out B Corp certification to differentiate the do-ers from the pretenders.”

Browning added: “This certification aligns perfectly with our mission to serve both society and our investors as we contribute to community wellbeing.”

Since 1995, UCA Funds Management has given $58 million to programs improving community wellbeing and social justice. In 2017, it gave $3.9 million of operating surplus to Victorian and Tasmanian community service groups.

Browning said the certification would provide more opportunities for collaborations with like-minded businesses who are addressing social issues.

“We may come from different industries, but we are all inspired by the same end goal,” Browning said. “Together we are helping to shape socially just and sustainable communities for prosperity beyond the dollar value.”

In addition to becoming a Certified B Corporation, employees at the ethical funds management organisation signed the Banking and Financial Oath, effectively working towards its purpose of being an authentic and transparent organisation.

This move represents the intention to be a positive example of how financial service businesses should operate, “illustrating that we can all make a difference”.

Browning added that the organisation is devoted to seeing through this commitment, adding: “As ethical investors take the Banking and Finance Oath is a natural progression in our vision for better investments and a better world.

“With our entire team taking the oath, we are delighted to be standing together helping to create a sustainable and just future, speaking out against wrongdoing and being a leader in our industry as it strives to meet community needs and expectations.”

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