B Corp month has come to an end. But this should only be the beginning of a wider conversation about how business can keep moving towards a sustainable future in an ever-changing and challenging world.
The overall B Corp mission is to ‘accelerate a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy’ and all certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
It’s a pretty solid benchmark for the values we need to be adopting as entire business communities, since our ability to transition to more sustainable and equitable models will be pivotal to our ability to transition to a more regenerative economy.
As we continue our journey beyond B Corp month, we wanted to dive deeper into why this journey has been (and still is) such a valuable one for Space Doctors in particular – why we’ve done it, how it serves us, and why now is a more critical time than ever for businesses to advance with sustainable metrics in mind.
- For a sound supply chain
With consumers starting to engage more and more consciously with brands, and with financial and corporate bodies beginning to turn their backs on those that don’t score well against ESG criteria, choosing not to take social and environmental sustainability seriously is making less and less business sense for all categories.
To become B Corp certified, a company has to demonstrate high social and environmental performance; make a legal commitment by making their corporate governance structure accountable to all stakeholders, and demonstrate transparency by making their performance information public. In short, we’re now wearing our heart and business on our sleeve, and have voluntarily given ourselves absolutely nowhere to hide.
Why? Because the level of transparency that B Corp enables us to show up with is vital for us to stay relevant as our networks and stakeholders clean up their supply chains for a new economy that hinges less on purely financial performance. To the stakeholders of the regenerative corporate world, the B Corp stamp is quickly becoming as equivalently recognised as the Fairtrade or Leaping Bunny emblems are to conscious consumers, so now was definitely the right time for us to join the club.
- For a more efficient machine
But to really shift our corporate culture, these standards have to be practised and projected from the inside-out – which is why the B Corp process also worked to turn our attention to and tidy up our internal operations to be fit for better, more sustainable efficiencies.
Achieving and maintaining our B Corp status encourages us to think in detail about the ways we operate in all aspects of our business. We’re constantly identifying inefficiencies, waste and ways of working that don’t strengthen the business for a sustainable or equitable future.
While we’ve always championed positive practices, the B Corp process gives us the opportunity to evaluate ourselves against rigorous and ever-rising external criteria, so our ability to adapt and grow through external challenges and contexts has also strengthened over time.
- To (really) realise our responsibility
Branding, insight, and creative experts have the influence, tools and reach to lead real cultural change. We have the means to encourage people to see things differently – to identify emerging needs and drive demand by telling stories that consumers want to play an active part in. Right now, it’s about choosing to tell the right stories to do the right thing for our business, for people, and for the planet.
But to speak with any kind of authority and authenticity, and for the messages we create to cut across the relentless box-tickers and greenwashers of the purpose-led commercial movement, we knew we had to get our own house in order first. Only then could we begin to help our clients adapt with similar rigour and commitment.
We’re an agency advising on future business and brand strategies, so we also need to be leading from a place of practical clarity in our understanding of the new economy and its progressive metrics for success. Our B Corp journey has cemented our focus as cultural leaders towards our responsibility to influence for the sake of a healthier, more sustainable future – not just for the sake of growth.
We’re reaping numerous benefits as a B Corp; we’re building trust with clients, communities, and mission-aligned partners while attracting and retaining a more diverse community of employees.
But this journey has also given us the vital vocabulary to have tough conversations with ourselves so that we can also have them with our clients, enabling them to have better, more meaningful interactions with their audiences. Essentially, being a B Corp helps us to do what we do best, better – for now and for the regenerative future we have to keep moving towards.