“The main area where we can improve is continuing to seek out great partners to work with.”
That’s the topic of this blog post. But it’ll take a couple of paragraphs to get there.
First, the Bullhorn story, in a nutshell. In 2008, two guys decided to start a creative agency. They founded Bullhorn with a mission of doing good work for good people, specializing in building confident brands with language and design. Making payroll and maintaining the mission of the branding agency was challenging, especially at the beginning. But, they were clearly onto something.
As we pushed our clients to stand out in their industries, we pushed ourselves to always be a responsible company doing rewarding work. We developed values to guide appropriate office behavior, hiring, and firing. We made these values core to every internal conversation we had, and it worked well, for a while. But it wasn’t enough.
In 2017, we became a B Corp. B Corps are certified businesses that “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” Patagonia is a B Corp, like so many other companies we admire. We were so damn proud of ourselves. We wrote, designed, and launched our first sustainability report (warning: pdf link). And we shot and launched a video (scroll all the way down) to accompany the announcement that we had become a B Corp. We asked everyone if we were doing enough. And everyone said no.
In an attempt to figure out what else we could be doing, I rewatched that video recently. Brad said something that seems a lot more important now than it did at the time, when we were proudly navel-gazing. “The main area where we can improve is continuing to seek out great partners to work with.” That’s part of it. But the other area for improvement comes by redirecting the question we were asking ourselves. Are we doing enough? Are you? Is your organization?
By becoming a B Corp, we joined a global community of nearly 3,000 businesses full of people using commerce as a force for good. In the past year, we’ve been lucky enough to help global brands accomplish their impactful goals. That’s where we want to go. Responsible companies, mission-driven organizations, B Corps, 1% for the Planet, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and the members of the Business Roundtable are working with hosts of others to enhance their missions, broaden the definition of corporate responsibility, and improve the planet.
Are we doing enough? No, of course not. But we can and want to do more. Our greatest impact comes through our clients’ work. Are you doing enough? Does your brand confidently reflect your values? We can help.