At FUEL10K, which is based in the Food Exchange at New Covent Garden Market, the mission is to “make FUEL for busy people”. Its great-tasting, nutritious breakfast range is designed to be easy to eat wherever you are and whatever you are up to. However you approach breakfast, FUEL10K aims to have it covered. Whether you’re a sit down and savour it, or grab-and-go merchant, the range aims to make your mornings easier, tastier and more nutritious.
FUEL10K’s mission looks beyond that though, as the business has built its foundations on a deep social conscience. Since its launch almost 12 years ago, it has put continuous self-improvement at the top of its agenda, twisting and turning to constantly evolve its products to improve their nutritional value, whilst never compromising on taste. The brand is fully committed too, to reducing its impact on the environment.
A constant thread throughout FUEL10K’s development is to reduce the use of sugar across the range. It wants to use increasingly less plastic too and to source other packaging and ingredients from the most sustainable sources available. Initiatives that drive down and offset carbon emissions are also high on the agenda.
These are fairly easy aspirational targets to have, but to truly live the dream, any business has to be prepared to fully immerse itself in the true meaning of its stated aims. To cement its ethos and values and strive towards the highest possible standards, transparency and accountability of verified social and environmental performance, the company’s founders decided to certify as a B Corporation.
Certified B Corporations™ (B Corps™) are companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. It’s all about using business as a force for good; every B Corp business has met the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. There are about 4,000 B Corp companies worldwide, and 1,200+ in the UK. FUEL10K is proud to now be one of them, achieving a score of 86.8 in its assessment, highlighting the positive impact it is having on the world, its team, and you.
Since gaining its status in March 2021 there has been no turning back. “We will balance purpose, quality and pride beyond just profit in everything that we do - and enjoy the journey wherever it may take us,” said co-founder Barney Mauleverer.
In March 2023, to celebrate B Corp Month and two years of being a B Corp, two of Fuel10K’s co-founders Jason Kerr and Barney decided to look back at the application journey, to remind themselves of the reasons that drove their process to certification and acknowledge how the movement has been impacting their business.
Why did you become a B Corp?
Barney: “During lockdown we came across the B Corp movement. On further analysis we realised that we were already acting very much like a B Corp but without the formal structure it could offer. We felt very aligned with the values behind the project and set out on a journey to take on the process of applying for our own certification. Fellow co-founder
Jason: I like to think that the B Corp way of working has been part of our DNA ever since the brand began. It felt like a natural progression to sign up and become a fully-fledged B Corp. The immensely positive and entrepreneurial spirit that our business promotes, coupled with a genuine desire to ‘do business’ in the right way is what makes us a great fit for the B Corp community. For us, It really isn’t just about making money but having a purpose too. It’s about being part of a journey that we can all be tremendously proud of.
What was the process like?
Barney: To become a B Corp is no easy feat; there are hundreds of questions, a lot of policies, questionnaires and detail, but crossing the finish line made it entirely worth it. You have to submit an in-depth audit of your company with evidence to back up each point. The idea is that the process is ongoing and centred around improvement. Every three years, you reapply. We’re currently just beginning our re-certification process with the hope to beat our previous score.
What is it that makes FUEL10K a B Corp?
Barney: Intertwined within our makeup is a people focused culture. Self development, individual expression and the health and wellbeing of our team is a priority. The ways we’ve implemented this include our WFH flexibility (which we had in place pre-pandemic), a ‘gym on our time’ scheme, as well as an annual health and wellbeing allowance. We’re committed to creating an enjoyable experience for everyone who works with and around us as well as anyone affected by what we do. We’ve also aligned ourselves to five of the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and the way we operate is very much linked to these. For example, aligning with the ‘life on land’ SDG, we work closely with Clunes Farm, supporting their ecology and biodiversity plan. Additionally, we have an ongoing partnership with Fareshare, in which we’ve donated over one million portions of porridge to help provide meals for vulnerable people.
Jason: From September 2021 our bestselling Granola has been 100% recyclable. We turned our attention to becoming a B Corp after wanting to do more to create a thriving planet and prosperous future for everyone. Together with other B Corps, we are on a mission to transform the role of business in society.
How does being a B Corp influence your day-to-day activities?
Barney: FUEL10K has always been committed to improvement and being a force for good. For example, leading the change on the reduction of plastic on porridge pots. We may have just done this and moved on, but becoming a B Corp provided us with a way to structure and measure the systems and processes behind how we action our values.
Jason: Being a B Corp brings much greater clarity to what we do and how we go about our daily business life. Whenever we have decisions to make on products, people or activities, our ‘B Corp’ badge ensures a commitment to make sure that those decisions are being made for the right reasons. I think that sums it up perfectly really. This doesn’t mean we think we’re perfect. It’s a recognition that we’re on a journey. We’re going to keep everyone updated too, both on what we’re doing well and what we need to work on.
Why are you based at the Food Exchange at New Covent Garden Market?
Jason: We chose to move into the Food Exchange because it was a shiny new development and already had a few other food businesses in the building… so it was exciting to be a part of this. When we moved, we were moving into a bigger office so this meant we could hold more stock in the office and have room for the team to grow.
The Food Exchange was also a good location for the team in London and because of the Vauxhall rail and tube link it was relatively handy for our wider team who occasionally commute from Dorset, the Wirral and Inverness via Gatwick. More recently Nine Elms opening and the tunnel to the posh side has really made a difference to accessibility and how much easier it now is for guests to find the office.
To join FUEL10K on this journey, you can find them on social media @FUEL10K or pop them a message at firstname.lastname@example.org