“The values at the heart of Liven Creative – the ones we hold ourselves to – are to be mindful, considered, and measured.” Those are the words of our co-founder Andrew Myles, speaking about the ethos driving our pursuit of B Corp certification.
And he’s spot on; it’s those values that define our attitude and practices – from client relationships to our place on the planet. After all, we can’t be true to our values if we’re not also seeing ourselves as one part of a much bigger whole.
But let’s take a step back: how exactly does B Corp certification work? And how do we, as a brand-building agency, fit into the B Corp vision for the future? Here’s everything you need to know…
B Corp’s goal is “to make business a force for good.” Since its inception in 2006, B Corp has since accredited more than 5,000 companies – big and small – as having passed muster when it comes to both environmental and social commitments.
In other words, B Corp accepts companies that put their money where their mouth is on global issues – rather than just putting it where their shareholders are.
Gaining B Corp status involves taking a 200-question impact assessment and scoring at 80 or above. Sounds simple, but this is about making real, impactful changes instead of tokenistic promises.
B Corp by the numbers
• 800+ UK-based B Corps
• 85 Countries worldwide
• 185 industries
• 450,000+ onboard employees
B Corps are:
• 47% more likely to use onsite renewable energy
• 27% more likely to have women and minorities in management
• 68% more likely to donate 10% of their profits
And now it’s our turn. We’re working towards B Corp certification because doing so aligns perfectly with the values at the core of Liven Creative as a business, but also because it makes sense from whichever way you slice it.
We see this as a mutually beneficial challenge for us, our people, and the planet – one where there’s everything to gain and nothing to lose, except maybe a few percentage points off of the old P&L. But then, there’s much more to business than just profit, right?
Here’s our thinking:
B Corp for our business
A big part of B Corp certification centres on accountability. In real terms, that means building a set of policies and procedures that make us more transparent. Naturally, we’d hope that that will make us a more appealing partner for like-minded businesses, but it’ll also help us do work that facilitates change – whether that’s a change in how people think about sustainable materials (as with Marhsalls), or changing how your local environment is built (as with Collida).
Ultimately, we want to live and breathe B Corp’s mission, and be “a force for good,” both in terms of the way we help businesses now, but also in terms of our legacy.
B Corp for our people
We want to work with people who share our values, but sometimes the best talent is hiding in plain sight. Part of our mission to become that force for good, then, is to actively give back to our community in such a way that people who might otherwise slip through the net can be given the chance to grow into talented thinkers and creators. Because those are exactly the kind of people we want to attract and retain.
On top of this, implementing airtight workplace policies is the only way to ensure that everyone can do their best work while staying physically and mentally healthy, as part of a culture that champions work-life balance and continual improvement.
B Corp for the planet
None of those goals matter much if there’s no planet left on which to see them through. So minimising our environmental impact across the business is hugely important. For us, this is about ensuring our footprint is as small as can be, and being able to deliver our best work while remaining carbon neutral.
Technology, pioneering workstyles, and smart use of resources all come into play here. Essentially, it’s all about trying to leave the world in a better state than how we found it.
Naming no names, but imagine for a minute that you’re the world’s biggest soft drinks brand, or that you make really-quite-popular smartphones that begin with the letter ‘i’. If you’re manufacturing and shipping billions of physical products around the world every year, it’s easy to imagine the kinds of changes you’d need to make to pledge your support to the B Corp cause.
But when, as with us at Liven Creative, you offer strategic consultancy, brand-building services and activation communications, things are less obvious.
Well, let’s start with some of the more pragmatic, nuts and bolts stuff. “Right now we’re finalising new documentation,” says Andrew, “which will help set our practices in stone. That includes an employee handbook that covers remote working, equality and diversity, data protection, and family policies.
“But alongside this, we’re building a company shares scheme, a modern slavery statement, renewed health and safety guidelines, and a policy for pro-bono work.”
“This is an ongoing journey, and it’s one that doesn’t
start and stop with B Corp certification.”
In terms of environmental impact, we’re currently writing a guide to environmental stewardship that, at its core, includes a mission to focus on environmentally preferred products and practices.
“We’ve always been very conscious about sustainability and our impact,” Andrew explains. “As a company, we’ve supported Ecologi for over two years, and in that time we’ve planted just over 2,500 trees and have helped remove more than 100 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. So for us, B Corp is the icing on the cake – but this is an ongoing journey,” he says in closing. “And it’s one that doesn’t start and stop with B Corp certification.”
Continuous improvement is the name of the game, and – for us – that has to be improvements that actually mean something. Watch this space.