Over the last 12 months, we’ve taken stock of a whole range of areas in our business and asked ourselves some tough questions about how conscious we really are. It was all part of becoming a certified B Corp, which required us to assess and audit our business and think more holistically about our impact.
We always felt that we were a ‘good’ business, but achieving B Corp certification really made things official in our minds. It inspired us to commit to our values, hold our business accountable and challenged us to find ways to improve.
Changing how your business operates can seem like a really daunting task, but it’s not always the case. There were some little things we could change straight away, which helped us get certified, but also just made us feel good about the impact our business was having on people and planet.
Here are five of ‘em
1. We Greenified Our Energy.
Switching to greener energy was an easy win for us. There’s loads of resources and background info about the best providers.
Powershop is the company that regularly comes out on top, and who we ended up going with. We also spent a lot of time working with a client of ours on this topic. One Small Step is an app helping people make small behavioural changes to benefit the planet. It’s like a Fitbit for your carbon footprint. We’re super lucky to have them as one of our clients.
2. Assessed client impact
This one was already in place for us. Assessing clients against our mission and values was a core value of ours when we set up the business. We created a system to evaluate each company we work with, in line with the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).
It completely changed who we decided to take on. Basically rate each company against the 17 SDGs. If they are destructive in any way, we won't work with them. And if they have any negative qualities, they also need to have several positive ones, or be actively trying to improve.
3. Publicised Our Policies.
4. Evaluated Our Suppliers.
Something we hadn’t ever considered was the impact of our purchases as a business, and where possible buying from suppliers who benefit people and the planet, like the caterer we used for our launch event.
So we exported all our suppliers from Xero, and classified them as either local (near us), owned by discriminated/diverse/female people or standard. Then we actively change some of our higher expenses to be with local/diversely owned suppliers. We also now use this B Corp guide to sourcing good suppliers and updating our preferred supplier list.
5. Surveyed Our Customers.
We carry out a bi-annual client survey, asking for feedback on how we’re going, where we could be better - check it out here. We share those results with our clients and on our annual impact report. In our last survey we discovered that 100% of our clients would recommend us to others. They used words like trust, integrity, approachable, friendly and purpose to describe us. And we could improve around taking on too much work, managing/juggling our time effectively and concerns about our ability to scale to support our clients. As a result we reduced the number of clients we took on, built a course to educate clients on digital marketing and focused on the service areas that clients valued the most.
The great thing about small, incremental changes is that they all add up. Plus, you don’t have to do them all at once. We took it one step at a time, which for us, is always the best way. We then built up the courage to tackle 5 big changes, which weren’t easy, but seriously rewarding.
If you want to talk through any of these steps or find out more about how we did them, just drop us a line.