This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years since Conscious PR became a certified B Corporation®. Time flies fast, and although 2017 was a bit of a transition year, that didn’t mean we still didn’t have impact. And it was enough impact to increase our 85 score to 10 points. We’re now just five away from triple digits, baby!
In all honesty, I have been grinding so much – recruiting Cynnamon Schreinert as our new Director of Good Media – and preparing for our transition that I didn’t focus on increasing our score. In fact I was fully prepared to not make the 80 minimum score required as a B Corp. So I was as surprised as you to find that upon taking the B Impact Assessment in late 2017-early 2018 that we actually seemed to do better over the past year, in terms of our impact.
This is what I love about the Assessment — though it changes, it’s not just about financial success. The two areas in which we jumped in points are Governance (6 points since 2016) and Clients (3 points since 2016).
B Lab is now considering Founders as the Board of Directors, so I earned more points here. In terms of Customers (clients), it’s not as easy to identify which factors increased those points because many of them were from bonus questions. So I have no one else to thank but our 2017 clients for doing what they do. So THANK YOU, Lonely Whale Foundation, KIMBO Design, G Day, and Community Grocer for just doing what you do in the world and engaging us to help you. THANK YOU.
I have never been to the B Champions Retreat which happens each Fall, but I have been to both BLD Conferences that have been held in Vancouver in Spring, and am honoured to have been asked as a speaker in 2017 and again at this year’s conference on May 24. I also attend as many monthly B Local BC breakfasts as possible to meet some of the other companies, and invite aspiring leaders to meet our community and to take the free Measure What Matters workshops to get familiar with the Assessment.
I can’t tell you how many people are afraid to pursue B Corp simply because they take one look at the Assessment and think how hard it is going to be to complete. If you have time to eat, you have time to go through the Assessment. You can always reserve questions to answer later, and if I can become a B Corp, I firmly believe that anyone that shares our values of positive social & environmental impact can. After all, I am unable to score in the Workers category since I am still the only full-time employee at Conscious PR.
One thing that fellow solopreneurs should know is that just because you may not score in Workers, when you submit your Assessment for analysis, they will re-allocate the 200 points among the other categories. So your impact score will be determined on the work you do (or don’t do!) in the other areas of Environment, Community, Customers, and Governance.
Also, B Corp has its own version of LinkedIn where we can all hang out online and send messages & announcements, called the B Hive. A couple of fantastic individuals have created a B2B Group in the Hive in which we get together monthly on Zoom to meet each other and share our work. After not being able to attend these calls in two years, I’m finally available (ideally, it’s the same day of the B Local breakfasts) and think it’s so cool to meet other agency and biz owners who are going through the same challenges I am.
One thing I have my sights set on after our transition is making more improvements in Diversity and Inclusion. Despite B Corp’s fantastic resources, I didn’t make it a priority because I don’t have employees, but there are a lot of things I can do as a leader to improve in this area, including making our website accessible and bias-free, looking more into Fair Trade suppliers for print materials, getting more training in cultural awareness competency, unconscious bias, Emotional Intelligence, and inter-cultural conflict, making sure I am paying myself (and future employees) more than living wage, and doing more to create economic opportunities to underserved groups, especially here in BC.
The number of B Corps has increased to nearly 2500 in these last two years, which is so inspiring, and I love seeing the announcements of companies I know about that become B Corps, like Natura (which acquired The Body Shop in Fall 2017) and Danone North America. For the first time, Vancouverites will get the chance to meet B Corps locally and hear from Danone Canada on May 24 – please join us! I’ll post the link on social when it’s available.