Ocean’s journey to becoming B Corp certified

Te oranga o te tāngata, he whenua, he moana
Our wellbeing is drawn from the land and the sea

At Ocean, we believe our work should create a positive impact. Mō te tāngata, mō te whenua, mō te taiao - For the people, for the land, for nature.

In 2022, we changed the constitution of our company and adopted a new purpose statement. Ocean’s constitution now reads “The purpose of the Company is to carry out the business of the Company and deliver returns to shareholders whilst:

  • Having an overall positive impact on society and the environment; 
  • And being committed to upholding the values and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Company recognises Māori as Tāngata Whenua and works in the spirit of cooperation and partnership as defined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Attaining B Corp certification was the next step in our ongoing sustainability journey. B Lab is known for its robust and lengthy certification process — which reflects the integrity of the programme. After 18 months, many meetings, many forms and information requests, we were delighted to receive Ocean’s B Corp certification in November 2023.

Our B Corp certification 

There are over 3,000 Certified B Corporations worldwide. The tool helps businesses assess their impact on various stakeholders, including our people, community, customers, and the environment.

Our B Corp percentage rating:


We recognise that this is the start of our B Corp journey and that we have work to do! This is an enduring commitment to continually improve our business. We are up for the challenge!

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A bit about B Lab and B Corps

B Lab began in 2006 with the idea that a different kind of economy was not only possible, but necessary — and that business could lead the way towards a new, stakeholder-driven model. B Lab became known for certifying B Corporations, which are companies that meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Unlike other certifications for businesses, B Lab measures a company’s entire social and environmental impact.

We are delighted to join other B Corp certified Aotearoa businesses including Ethique, EcoStore, Fix & Fogg and Method Recycling.

What B Corp certification means for Ocean

B Corp certification is a big deal for Ocean. It reflects our sustainable origins and cements our pathway for the future. As someone smart once said, ‘if you can change business, you can change the world’. We recognise that we have an obligation to improve our own  enterprise.

Our B Corp accreditation reflects and cements the principles that guide us in our everyday mahi.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi-based Approach

We wholeheartedly embrace Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the foundational document of Aotearoa New Zealand. We actively recognise and honour the rights of Māori as valued treaty partners, acknowledging colonisation’s historical and ongoing impacts.

Partnership and Collaboration

We deeply value working with Māori communities, wholeheartedly respecting their unique knowledge, skills, and experiences.

Cultural Responsiveness

We adapt our methods and practices to reflect Māori cultural values and ways of engagement. We integrate Māori language and cultural traditions into our organisational culture, ensuring our designs resonate with Māori communities.

Continuous Improvement

Ocean Design believes in constant improvement and self-reflection. We regularly review our processes and practices to ensure they are culturally responsive, equitable, and inclusive.


We respect the self-determination of all individuals, particularly Māori communities and actively involve Māori voices in decision-making and design approaches, valuing their perspectives and expertise.

Whakapapa and Connectedness

We acknowledge and celebrate the interconnections between people, places, and histories. We honour the whakapapa (genealogy) of the land and its people, recognising the richness and significance of cultural heritage.
We will continue to work with clients whose values complement and reflect our own. With clients whose mahi is having a positive impact on our world. And the way we work and the work we produce will continue to have integrity, mana and toitū.