As a purpose-driven social enterprise, our values focus heavily on delivering best practices for our local community, ensuring we’re acting sustainably in all areas of our business and always looking after our internal team. These all sit under the umbrella of 3 major focuses of our floral and gifting business; Community, People and Planet. We’ve outlined a few initiatives we have implemented in each area of focus, as well as our goals for the future to both inspire fellow B Corps and keep us accountable!
Our mission and ultimate goal is to close the poverty gap in Australia. Since day dot, we have operated with a 100%-net-profit-to-charity model, contributing these profits to The Smith Family. The Smith Family empowers and enables Australian kids to stay and succeed in school, thus breaking the poverty cycle in our community.
All ongoing floral subscriptions with our corporate clients sponsor a child through the program, and all profits from our gifts, produce boxes, events & weddings support their Numeracy and Literacy programs. Over the last 5 years of our business lifespan, we have contributed approximately $45,000 to The Smith Family, and sponsored over 25 children.
Over the last few years, we have continued to partner with The Inclusion Foundation and their Impact 21 program. The Inclusion Foundation is a for-purpose charity that champions the inclusion of people with Down syndrome. We share their vision of an inclusive world, where people with Down syndrome are equal, active, and respected members of society. We’re proud to support this program, which provides work place experience and employment for individuals with Down syndrome. We offer 8 or 12-week programs, in which the individual can get hands-on floristry experience and potentially offer them a permanent place within our Miei family.
Through our gifting channel, we’re also proud to support small businesses who are trailblazers in innovation, design and quality-made products. We aim to never stock items that are easily available for purchase in mass-market (i.e. department stores) to ensure we’re acting as a visible and accessible platform for growing businesses to showcase their products. All our gifts must also be loved and advocated by our entire team, or else they don’t make it onto the shelves or into our gift hampers!
We believe that a good company must have a strong leader who believes in their mission, loves their people, creates effective processes and puts their team first. We believe in heart-counts, not head-counts. In turn, each member has the responsibility to protect this mission, and be accountable for maintaining this precious team dynamic as we continue to grow.
Effective leadership and teamwork is crucial to the success of every business, and is essential to achieving our goals to better our world. We’re incredibly proud of our internal processes and have seen the benefits evident in our business. At Miei, we fundamentally believe in the value of shared knowledge, therefore we’ve made all of our internal systems available for our B Corp community to download and share. Developing secure and effective processes has been our goal since Miei’s conception, and will continue to be our commitment as we grow our business and family.
We’re always looking for like-minded people who find purpose in service and want to leave their mark on the world. Setting agreed expectations is fundamental in attracting the right talent, therefore our Hiring Policy outlines the key areas of learning and development that future team members will partake in. These include:
- weekly 1:1 development sessions
- regular internal master classes
- quarterly reviews
- external training programs
We also have a unique process that ensures we have the team’s full support behind every new hire:
- The candidate has a preliminary interview with our co-founder
- They are then interviewed by each member of our team, including our second co-founder
- The team comes together to discuss whether the candidate is an ideal fit for our miei family!
As mentioned previously, each team member is expected to actively engage in all Professional and Personal Enhancement sessions, including weekly catch-ups and quarterly reviews. These differ from traditional performance reviews that tend to focus solely on output and KPI results. While weekly sessions are informal and focused on shorter term goal-tracking, the quarterly Professional and Personal Enhancement document outlines each individual’s goals for the quarter.
Professional goals are directions set forth by our team’s Annual Strategy Summit, while personal goals are drawn out from in-depth collaborative discussions between our co-founder and the individual, that centre around establishing a lifelong mission statement and self-developmental objectives.
The goals of the quarterly Professional and Personal Enhancement document are to:
- Provide a powerful guide for delivery of our annual company strategy by aligning everyone’s objectives with the organisation’s values and business objectives
- Enable us to maximise our performance–as individuals, teams and as an organisation.
As a floral and gift destination, we need to procure stock from across the globe, however our focus is always on reducing our environmental footprint. In order to achieve our goal of getting as close to zero-waste as possible, we’ve implemented a few initiatives to promote the reuse and repurpose of materials, partnered with like minded courier partners and are carefully tracking & troubleshooting new ways to limit our waste output.
In 2020, we implemented our waste tally that measures and tracks everything we dispose of and repurpose. Our goal is to limit the waste week-on-week (and ultimately year-on-year) by monitoring the weight of each material and comparing them to the previous results.
Some of these categories include:
- Green waste (83% of flowers currently repurposed)
- Soft plastics (to date, 82kg recycled)
- Cardboard/paper (to date, 700kg recycled)
- Water vials (to date, 10,089 water vials reused)
Selecting the right partners
It’s important for us to partner with like minded companies who share our goal to follow the best practices for the planet. From packaging to freight, some of our amazing partners include:
Packaging: The Better Packaging Co.
As a fellow B Corp and Aussie business, A Better Packaging Co. provides us with durable 100% compositible mailers for our online orders. They’re also able to be reused multiple times!
Sendle is a 100% carbon neutral delivery service that supports sustainability initiatives around the globe! We also utilise their cost-effective, 100% compositible mailers for small items.
EcoCart automatically calculates and eliminates the carbon footprint of our customer’s online orders at checkout and uses that cost to fund our chosen project (fuel-efficient cookstoves in Myanmar).
The Take Me Home Initiative
As a business that focuses on sustainability as a core principle, we enacted an initiative to further limit our green wastage from our weekly corporate flower arrangements. We began repurposing these flowers into our Take Me Home flower corner in our studio. Every flower in this corner is available to the public for a $ donation that supports a different The Big Issue Magazine vendor each month. We currently repurpose approximately 83% of our flowers from corporate arrangements through this initiative!
The Big Issue magazine is a fortnightly, independent magazine sold on the streets by people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage. The magazines are purchased by vendors for $4.50 and then sold for $9, helping vendors earn a meaningful income. The Take Me Home corner is open every weekday from 9am-5pm.
People, Community and Planet will continue to be areas of focus for our business as we continue on in our B Corp journey to better our world. We believe these pillars ground us and our values and form a compass to guide our next goals for the future.