Dept is a Certified B Corporation
We aspire to be the best agency we can be, for the world. We are honoured to take a big step forward in a journey that is only just beginning. Today, Dept becomes a Certified B Corporation®.
B Corp’s balance purpose and profit. We are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, clients, governance, community and the environment. We are proud to join a community of leaders like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Allbirds that are driving a global movement of using business as a force for good.
And we are proud to lead the way for the digital community. Personally, I believe that we must find more ways to use digital technologies as a key enabler for some of the biggest challenges of our times – from climate change to inequality. By using digital technology, we can help our clients to do better, build smarter and greener.
Driven from the inside
Mostly, we are proud of this achievement because it was brought forth and carried out by Depsters. Because what started as a suggestion from a few Depsters turned into more than a year’s worth of work by a team of over 40 colleagues. While we’ve always tried to operate as a good company, we had lots of work to do and improvements to make in order to become certified. And the B Corp™ process is no joke! It’s as rigorous as a financial audit, and you better damn well be transparent. There’s no cheating the system.
B Corp™ looks at everything your company is doing and assesses it across a number of categories, like sustainability, energy consumption, diversity, labor conditions, etc. This requires pulling together tons of information from across the organisation and then outlining changes and improvements that need to be made.
But our B Corp™ team came together, on top of their normal responsibilities, to lead the way, create what eventually became our Dept Impact strategy, and complete the certification process.
Outside our agency borders
In addition to our people, we also chose to pursue B Corp™ certification for the brands that we work with. We are lucky to work with a number of impact brands and non-profits who are focused on important issues, like Patagonia, the United Nations, Terra Neutra, Indigo Ag and Justdiggit, to name a few. Brands today are serving consumers who want to do business with companies that serve a purpose and are environmentally conscious. They need their agency partners to have more defined policies in these areas. B Corp™ provides us with an independent auditor and a framework to manage, assess and improve our impact and ensure we are accountable to the brands that we work with.
It’s just the beginning
Becoming certified is not the end goal of our journey. The minimum B Corp™ assessment score to achieve certification is an 80, and we scored 10% above that. Although we are proud of that score, it leaves plenty of room for improvement. But, together with our team and with the B Corp™ organization, we will keep finding ways to increase our positive impact and use our business as a force for good. We believe this is our responsibility. Therefore, with our new journey as a certified B Corp, we are focused on the following initiatives for next year:
- We will protect the climate: we are carbon neutral today and want to be carbon negative by the end of 2023. We’re actively working on reducing our CO2 emissions, and we compensate for the footprint that is left. We offset our carbon footprint via partner Terra Neutra by investing in one of their projects in Kenya: the Hifadhi Livelihoods Cookstoves projects in Embu and Tharaka Nithi Counties.
- We will accelerate responsible production & consumption via the work we do for our clients: in 2023, projects with a positive social or environmental impact will compose more than 15% of our total revenue. In 2020, nearly 9% of our revenue came from more impact projects, including work with sustainable fashion brand hessnatur, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) COVID-19 tracker app, Honig’s charitable Live Eet virtual event to support the Dutch Foodbank, Justdiggit’s digital marketplace linking donors to African farmers, and Terra Neutra’s ClearSky carbon positivity app.
- We will be a diverse, equal and inclusive organization: by 2023 our workforce will be a solid representation of society at large and more than 40% of our managers will be female or nonbinary. As part of our DE&I efforts in 2020, we piloted two new initiatives that we rolled out globally in 2021: faceless recruitment and adding more demographic information to our employee satisfaction monitoring that will help us measure our progress in achieving our DE&I goals. Other focus areas include reviewing our equal pay policies to lessen our gender pay gap and the launch of a global diversity calendar.
Over the last year, so many Depsters have worked hard to champion this cause, strongly driven by the combination of creating great work for clients and making a positive impact on the world. I’d like to thank everyone on our B Corp™ team as we reach this milestone, and invite all Depsters to celebrate that we are part of a company helping, one small step at a time, to build a more inclusive, sustainable economy.
Together we will reduce our footprint, create impactful work for and with our clients, and create a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion: a place where everybody feels welcome. Because, in the end, a sustainable future is ours to create.