Together, design and digital technology have achieved great things. We can connect more easily, solve a multitude of problems more quickly and technology is becoming more and more human.
At the same time, technologies without the right foundation are a growing risk. What exactly is that basis?
Human-centered design ensures that we always keep a sharp eye on why we innovate: for ourselves. We now know that modern technology can also undermine democracies and even erode human rights – and it is becoming more and more complex, powerful and ubiquitous.
Especially because developments in our field are moving so fast, we must not only look to governments for this, but also take responsibility ourselves. That is why we are not only a Creative Digital Agency. But a Creative Digital Agency for Sensible Business. We choose to consider impact more important than profit. And we believe that this choice will more foundation if we have our sensible ambitions independently audited. That is why we are a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) since early 2020.
We like to share the reason why we became B Corp and encourage every company to join as well.
If you join, you will become part of a global movement of more than 3,235 companies – including WeTransfer, Patagonia, Triodos and Auping – that are committed to making the United Nations SDGs concrete. The B Corp movement originated in America in 2006 and has now been active in the Netherlands for more than five years.
Purpose above promises
Many companies are already commited to a public importance, but there are also many trying to hitch a ride on the trend by making vague promises without doing te work. The B Corp changes that. To become a B Corp, you as a company go through a very extensive accreditation, in which you, in collaboration with the B Corp Assessment Team, carefully examine your company in five areas:
Every B Corp will be fully screened every three years. Based on this assessment you will receive an overall score that will be published. In this way everyone knows how well you really do it and where you can improve things.
The B Corp certification ensures that you really substantiate every part of your ideals with hard figures.
The world as a shareholder
In the past, companies put a heading with “CSR” in their annual report. Corporate social responsibility was served as an after-dinner dessert. According to B Corps, that is too slow. The entire dinner must be well organized from guest composition to purchase. It is time for an integrated approach. This is only possible if you see the world as a shareholder itself, besides customers and shareholders.
From our mission to business ambitions and employee diversity. From energy consumption to waste processing. And of course the impact we make with the work we do for customers. Every part counts. The B Corp certification ensures that you really substantiate every part with hard figures.
- We have vegan lunch and toast with beer made from rainwater
- Of course our office runs on real green energy
- We purchase locally or do so from purpose companies such as Moyee, Seepje and Alpro
- We are founding members of Dutch Marketing Creativity Diversity Fund with which we are committed to more diversity in our sector. 16% of our team has a migration background and we are doing our best to increase this number
- Our office furnishings are cradle-to-cradle and installed by people with a distance to the labor market
- Instead of a dusty painted Christmas card, we look for creative interpretations in which we involve the neighborhood and which we really think is Christmas
Impact trough customers:
- We help The Ocean Cleanup raise millions and recruit specialists to clear oceans and rivers from plastic
- With design and content, we took care of 163% growth in donations to Artsen Zonder Grenzen
- Design and digital engineering helped Fastned achieve 150% sales growth in a year
- Within four years we reached 100% of the Amsterdam parents with Schoolwijzer
- We helped KLM and Coolblue at the beginning of the Covid crisis with the digital tools to provide 40% of the healthcare workers with much needed mouth masks by Hulptroepen.nu
An ongoing process
Only companies that have a score above 80 points (out of 200) are officially certified. Every three years, like every B-Corp, we go through this process again to keep our certification. To give context: Patagonia, the “mothership” of the B-Corp movement, has 151.5 points, while Tony Cholonely is 100.9 and WeTransfer is 80.4. With our score of 85.3, we are convinced that we are on the right track, but above all we see a lot of space for improvement.
Beyond the B.V. or foundation
Part of becoming a B-Corp is that you adjust your statutes at the Kamer van Koophandel.In which we declare that from now on we serve a public interest as well as a business interest. We believe this legal anchoring can go a step further. There is now a rigid division between the legal form of B.V., which is purely aimed at making a profit for shareholders, and the foundation, which is not allowed to make a profit at all. What B corps show is that making a profit and serving public interests can go very well together. Purpose legal forms already exist in the EU, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and 29 of the United States. In the Netherlands, the government is currently investigating the options for this. A development that we think is very welcome.
4 reasons to become a B Corp too
- It is really inspiring to have your company screened by someone with this view. It has taught us a lot about what we do well and where we can improve ourself.
- It is a community of companies that enjoy working together. And therefore a perfect way to find partners and customers that suit your well
- It is a good way to show new talent that you have things organized internally. More and more people primarily want to work for a company that pursues a social mission
- There is no plan(et) B. We have another
10 years9.5 years to make our economy more fair and sustainable. Now that we can still adjust it.
B Corp assesment help
We are happy to help other organizations with the certification process to become B Corp. The bigger we make this movement together, the more impact it will have on Meaningful Matters. Contact Jim Driesen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020-32 077 08.
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