We consider ourselves a values-driven company. We love working with organizations who are doing good in the world, and have found opportunities to make a dent ourselves. So when we first heard about Benefit Corporations, or B Corps, we were hooked on the idea of becoming one.
B Corp is a certification granted to for-profit companies who meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. There are over 2,000 B corps worldwide, including some you may have heard of (Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing to start).
Why Become a B Corp?
We thought long and hard about becoming a B Corp. Why invest the time and money into a certification, when we could focus solely on making great animations and our bottom line? Here are some reasons we came up with:
- We care about being a responsible business and want to be better. B Corps provides a roadmap for how to get there.
- We want to join a global network of like-minded organizations who strive to use business as a means for social good.
- B Corp status will help differentiate us from competitors and attract the best talent for our staff.
- B Corp status makes tangible what we already know and value about ourselves: that we care about making the world a better place and believe businesses have a responsibility to create good in the world.
The more we thought about it, the more B Corp felt like a perfect fit for us. So last year, we started the journey of becoming a B Corp.
How Do You Become a B Corp?
To get certified, you take an assessment through B Labs, the governing organization. The test asks questions about policies and practices related to governance, staff, social engagement, and the environment. Your responses will determine a score, and only companies over a certain score are eligible to become a B Corp.
The first time we took the assessment, we didn’t quite make the cut. However, the test itself serves as an amazing roadmap for becoming our best, most socially and environmentally responsible selves. It also helped us acknowledge and celebrate the awesome things we were already doing, like providing wellness incentives to staff and offering pro bono work for nonprofits through our grant program.
And since first taking the assessment, we have upped our game in terms of social and environmental initiatives. Through a working group who meets monthly, we have set targets and created programs that are helping us get closer to our goal of becoming an official B Corp.
Some of these initiatives include:
- An environmental policy, which establishes norms for our offices that minimize our impact.
- A volunteer tracking and incentive program, in which we track volunteer hours as a team, set goals, and are rewarded if we meet our goals.
- A formal professional development policy, with which staff can apply for funding for professional development opportunities.
- A bike tune-up reimbursement program, as an incentive for staff biking to work rather than driving.
It’s so exciting to be on this journey of improvement, and to keep exploring ways to be better. We are inspired by all the B Corps out there who have made this journey before us, and who are leading the way for responsible and impactful businesses. We are in the thick of it, and will keep you posted!