Content AND Business with Purpose: Why Our Content Marketing Agency Became a B Corp
In August 2022, Forge & Spark Media learned that we’d achieved the requisite score to become a certified B Corp. We were thrilled, relieved, and a little overwhelmed. To us, the certification affirmed our choice to commit ourselves to not only premium service, content, and care for our clients, but also to greater social, environmental, and economic conditions for our team, partners, and community—and ultimately to placing the greatest value in our business on the human bottom line.
As we note now in our mission statement, which we refined during our journey to B Corp-dom:
We’re in business to enable people doing good work to thrive and feel pride. Our work balances effective marketing, genuine connection, premium standards of quality, and compelling storytelling—aiming to create true value for all those with whom we work.
We’d spent more than a year on the journey to join the B Corp community, after being inspired by the integrity and clear ‘we-walk-the-walk’ approach of one of our favorite clients, Genus Capital Management. What we saw in working with them, and in learning more about B Corps in general, was a clear commitment to using business as a force for good and as a way to activate a community or a network around the things that matter – purpose as well as profit.
We also see in so many B Corps, businesses that truly consider their teams and their families, as well as their communities and the environment, never settling for surface appearances, or just doing ‘good enough’.
To get to that place, we completed a training program with the remarkable Decade Impact, guided by their excellent consultants and joined by 10 other businesses working toward becoming B Corps themselves. It was revelatory experience, not only to learn all that’s involved in becoming a certified B Corp, but also to hear from so many like-minded leaders about how their businesses worked – and sometimes didn’t work so well – and to see everyone so honestly and transparently striving to become better across a range of categories including: Governance,Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers.
OK great, but what the heck IS a B Corp?
B Corp businesses, of which there are only about 4,000 around the globe, are clearly sources of great inspiration to us. But so is the B Corp movement, which has made this inspiration possible.
Formally, a B Corp is a for-profit company that commits to balancing purpose with profit, which is not as easy as it sounds. In order to become a certified B Corporation, a company has to attain a minimum score on a comprehensive B Impact Assessment that’s focused on the company’s relationships with their teams/employees, customers, environment and community.
And it’s not over once certification/designation happens, either. Following certification, a B Corp needs to measure every business decision according to its environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact in order to be considered for re-certification—which is reviewed every three years.
What being a B Corp means to us
Becoming a B Corp was a surprisingly emotional achievement for me. I am proud to be included in the ranks of companies like Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia, TOMS, and Warby Parker — companies committed to aligning with the United Nations’ SDGs (sustainable development goals).
I also feel pride, every day, in helping our clients to thrive: producing quality work for companies that are also creating positive impact, and giving talented and dedicated team members a way to make a living doing it. Becoming a B Corp just feels right, like we’re now officially using our business to do a little more good in the world.
1. HOLDING OURSELVES TO ACCOUNT
For Forge & Spark, the B Corp certification means holding ourselves to higher standards.It requires the commitment of everyone on our team to aim for the highest level of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
2. BEING A LITTLE CHOOSY ABOUT OUR CLIENTS
It has always been important for us to work alongside amazing people who share our values and standards for quality. We’ll continue to seek out amazing clients and partners, with an eye to partnering with other B Corps, social ventures, and purpose-minded leaders and organizations: people who care about people, and bettering the planet.
3. MAINTAINING VERY HIGH STANDARDS FOR OUR WORK AND TEAM
One of our core values is creative excellence.We have always aspired to provide premium content, thinking, and service for our clients—and will continue to do so, with an additional eye on ensuring premium levels of governance, and high standards for ethical behavior, social contribution, and fairness.
4. REDEFINING SUCCESS
Being a certified B Corp means becoming a part of the new economy where profit is not the only success metric for business. Joining the ranks of B Corps around the world means, for us, mapping out new ways to define our work and achievements.
5. GROWING AND EVOLVING
We’re pretty excited about this certification, as you might have noted. But it’s just a starting point. We see this as a foundation from which to grow and evolve, using our business to create positive impact for our team members, our clients, our partners, our communities, and for the planet, too.
If you’re interested in learning more about our journey, or are considering becoming a B Corp yourself, we’ve got plenty of stories, information, and advice to share. Reach out. We’d love to support you.