Ever since I founded Selesti in 2005, I’ve been trying to create more than just another digital agency. We’ve delivered award-winning results for our clients, but it’s also been really important to me that we contribute more to the world than mere profits.
I’ve been working hard with my team to ensure that Selesti is a force for good, so I was beyond delighted when we achieved our Certified B Corporation status!
What is a B Corp™?
Certified B Corporations (“B Corps™”) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Every one of the 3,500+ B Corps™ across the globe is dedicated to working towards reducing inequality, lowering levels of poverty, creating a healthier environment, stronger communities, and high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
And B Corp™ certification is more than just vision and a badge on a website. Part of the process involves adopting a legal requirement to the ‘triple bottom line’, a way of accounting that puts as much emphasis on people and the planet as it does on profits.
This doesn’t mean that B Corps™ no longer deliver profits to their stakeholders. But they pay as much attention to social and environmental issues as they do to money.
A business can only become a B Corp™ after it has been assessed and audited, and this is no small process! It involves being measured against a rigorous set of social and environmental standards, a process that took a full year to complete.
It was a lot of hard work to document everything we do to be a force for good, but it was worth it to be recognised and certified as a B Corp™. And it turned out that we were the first and only Google Premier Partner in the entire world to achieve B Corp™ status!
I’m delighted that Selesti has already worked with some B Corps™ such as ODDBOX and allplants, which has been a B Corp™ for two years now, and we’re hoping to work with even more B Corps™ in the future.
Why is Selesti a B Corp™?
Our journey towards B Corp status began when I watched the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which exposed me to the brutality of dolphin capture and slaughter in Japan.
It got me thinking about the world and whether I was comfortable with the way things were, or whether I wanted to do what I could to make things better.
The Cove inspired me to raise awareness for the issue, cycling solo and unsupported all over Japan in 2015, covering 3,300km in 20 days. I served as a cove monitor in Taiji, and got back on my bike again in 2016 for the Dolphin Project. This ride saw me cycling up Mt Fuji 15 times in seven days, with one ride topped with a climb on foot to the crater summit, and another ascending it three times in one day.
But while it felt good to support these causes, I knew that more could be done. I began to look for others like me, people who were running successful businesses and wanted to use that success as a force for good.
That’s what led me to B Corp™, also inspired by the journey allplants made.
Working towards our B Corp™ status has helped everyone at Selesti focus our efforts on doing more than delivering profit; it’s engaged the whole team on the topic of using our business to make the world a better place.
How is Selesti a force for good?
Some of our activities sound small, but they can make a big difference when added up. For instance, the cleaning products we use in our office aren’t tested on animals and don’t use any animal products either. And we use a recycling facility called TerraCycle that we’ve opened up to our employees so they can recycle things that aren’t handled by the regular kerbside collections.
We’re also proud to have made bigger commitments to making the world a better place. We started by accrediting as a Living Wage Employer, which means that everyone who works for us, whatever their capacity, receives a fair living wage.
Speaking of our staff, we also offer expanded benefits to our team:
- We offer mothers three months full pay on top of the statutory maternity pay, and we offer fathers receive three weeks fully paid paternity leave.
- We’re also supporting new mums on the team, setting aside time and a private space for anyone who needs to express.
- We’re holding our suppliers to a dedicated Code of Conduct to ensure that their businesses meet certain social and environmental standards.
- Our Employee Assistance Programme gives our team offers resources, advice, and experienced therapists to support their wellbeing
The impact that Selesti has on the environment was also something I wanted to focus on. The team agreed, and we felt it only right that we declare a climate emergency.
This spurred us to achieve Norfolk Carbon Charter certification for our environmental efforts, and I was especially delighted when we achieved our Carbon Footprint Standard as a carbon neutral organisation, meaning that we offset all of our carbon emissions as a business.
It was also really exciting to join the 1% for the Planet community, which will see Selesti donating 1% of its revenue to causes that benefit the environment. This is the sort of change that can add up and make a big difference, and it’s truly gratifying to be able to use Selesti’s success to help combat the climate emergency we find ourselves facing.
On top of that, I’ve set ambitious but achievable goals for the business, including becoming carbon negative by the end of 2021 (which means, in effect, removing more carbon from the environment than we put into it).
We’ll also be moving our clients to web hosting that’s powered by renewable energy, so their websites won’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Our team is also working hard on our Meaningful Manifesto. Once complete, this will set out some key principles, engaging the team with more educational and inspiring topics such as diversity and inclusivity.
What does this mean for Selesti’s clients?
Our clients will continue to enjoy the profitable and successful results we deliver. In fact, we anticipate that our increasing investment in people and planet, and the collaboration with other B Corps™ will help us to deliver even greater results than before!
But our B Corp™ status also means that our clients become a force for good too, just by working with us.
That’s because their partnership with us directly supports our initiatives to make the world a better place, and support new initiatives to build on that success.
We’ll also be able to share our experiences of securing our B Corp™ status, as well as our other accreditations, to help any of our clients who want to turn their businesses into forces for good too.
If you’re ready to start your own journey to B Corp™ status, or you just want to find out more about using business as a force for good, get in touch with us today; we’re happy to share any insights we’ve gained on our journey so far!