We consider it our responsibility as a business – and a B Corp – to build and action a sustainability strategy that really means something. That focuses efforts where they are needed most, and makes the most difficult and impactful changes happen.
Identifying how and where to channel our sustainability efforts should not be decided by us alone. Our work – like that of any business – impacts others in the world. It helps our clients and it speaks to society, it draws on natural resources, and it demands the daily time and effort of a brilliant team of creatives.
So, we asked those people – employees, clients, peers, members of the public – to tell us what they think is important for a business like ours to focus on. This document shares their answers.
Who we spoke to
78 people participated in our survey during June-August 2023. Most work at other B Corps, are clients, or are freelancers who work with us.
What we asked
We showed everyone a list of 22 sustainability factors, across six categories:
Environment and climate
People and culture
Services and products
Financial security and stability
We asked two questions:
How important is this factor? (On a scale from not important to very important)
Which five factors are most important to you? (Ranked 1-5)
This tells us how people feel about each of the listed factors, and also reveals which are important enough to be a priority.
When we asked people to rank their top five, a broadly similar pattern emerged:
Overall, the findings reveal that ...
... Factors linked to ‘services and products’ and ‘people and work’ are considered most important.
... ‘Environment’ and ‘financial security’ factors fell in the middle.
... Offering money and time to charities is not considered as important as taking action on sustainability through our work. And when people prioritised the factors, the factors that focus on the specific nature of our work, and how we can build sustainability into the very heart of it, leapt to the top.
... We were surprised to find that transparency on our finances scored lowest, with just 51% considering it important.
Here’s a summary of what we have taken away from these results and how they will inform our sustainability action planning in 2023-24.
1. Factors linked to ‘services and products’ and ‘people and work’ are considered most important.
> We are already working on integrating sustainability considerations into our services and products, so these results confirm that we’re on the right path and should double down on this work. A recent example in the area of ‘people and work’ has been our introduction of an Employee Assistance Program, and also the integration of our freelancers into our decision-making processes.
2. ‘Environment’ and ‘financial security’ factors fell in the middle.
> Although these topics are not our stakeholders’ top priority, they play an important role for us. We will focus on the prioritised topics, while also not neglecting improvements relating to both environment and financial security.
3. Offering money and time to charities is not considered as important as taking action on sustainability through our work. And when people prioritised the factors, the factors that focus on the specific nature of our work, and how we can build sustainability into the very heart of it, leapt to the top.
> We plan to build sustainability into the very fabric of everything we do. Sustainability must become part of our product and service offering – it must be ‘what’ we do, not just ‘how’ we do it. We will continue to donate to charities and work pro-bono for a small number of causes – however, on the basis of the survey results, we will focus more heavily on adapting our services to integrate sustainability into all our work.
4. We were surprised to find that transparency on our finances scored lowest, with just 51% considering it important.
> Transparency matters to us, and our hunch is that it is more important than the survey results indicate. We don’t want to abandon our transparency efforts without further investigations, so we will look to conduct further qualitative research on this topic in the coming months through conversations with our peers, partners, clients and team. If you have a view on this, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can already give you a small preview of our sustainability strategy for 2024 at this point. Namely, our materiality matrix, which also incorporates the results mentioned above:
The priority aspects identified in the matrix form the basis for our roadmap for 2024. More on this at a later date.
Thank you for reading!
We’re honoured to have you with us on this journey. If you’d like to stay up to date with our sustainability activities and receive invitations to future surveys, be sure to sign up here.