There are a few things that I truly love.
Nutella, my wife and children and a great gathering of smart and inquisitive people focused on doing good things.
While Nutella and my family were tucked up at home, the evening of 23rd January 2020 certainly hit all the great gathering notes.
It was the launch of the PRCA B Corp Group which I am delighted to chair. On the agenda was a deep dive into B Corp Certification from the outstanding James Ghaffari, a fireside chat with the exquisite Amy Clarke from Tribe Impact Capital and a whistle-stop tour of key learnings from Jess Ballinger at Milk and Honey PR, the catalyst behind their B Corp Certification.
What became apparent early on was that the people in the room were on multiple journeys, but all with the same goal – marry great work and provable purpose together. Sure, the event and the group is rooted in B Corp principles, but that didn’t make it inaccessible to those looking for inspiration on how they can start measuring and improving their impact more generally.
Indeed, James from B Corp UK made it clear that the impact assessment tool is free to anyone wanting to understand their impact score. That’s a staggeringly useful starting point that costs nothing other than some spare time. In fact, just understanding where you net out when it comes to social and environmental impact is perhaps the most important step anyone can take.
That was echoed by Amy Clarke who co-founded Tribe Impact Capital and is hacking the financial services world from within, in a bid to make sure we all take a bit more responsibility for our financial decisions. Amy clearly articulated that the investment community is largely shrouded in obscurity, and no one minds so long as they’re making money. But that is just no longer going to wash. As we become savvier with our impact in the world, more wealth managers are going to need to lift the lid on where cash is going. That transparency allows us to make greener, more ethical decisions.
Without wanting to sound like a life guru, knowing is half the issue. The other half is taking action. Here Jess Ballinger was disarmingly honest about the ups and downs of B Corp certification. She outlined that yes, B Corp gets you asking lots of great questions about the impact you have. But, coming up with the answers and the solutions to improve, measure and improve again are time-consuming dedicated tasks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, if it was an easy box-ticking exercise then it wouldn’t be a rigorous verification process. One distinct positive from Jess’ experience was the fact that the PRCA’s own accreditation, CMS, has a good chunk of B Corp friendly processes within it. So agencies with CMS under their belt are a step ahead.
So why are we not all B Corp certified or measuring our purpose against the UN SDGs? Because we haven’t got a clue where to start.
That gives our new group some purpose. Using B Corp principles to help any PR firm or wider business the opportunity to start measuring and improving.
Our next event will be crowdsourced from the community as will our project for the year (yes, just one project, not hundreds).
If you’re up for being a part of this community, why not join us on Slack by using this link and we can all support one another as we head in this exciting direction.
Who’s up for it?