After a year-long process, we are proud to announce that in March 2023, the former advertising agency, now Impact Agency Fabrik, has become the fourth Finnish company to receive the B Corporation certificate, which indicates that the company operates responsibly.
It is a valued and hard-earned international accolade, the key to earning it is comprehensive and verifiable accountability. Our own experience shows that, at its best, sustainability is a journey that reshapes an entire business.
Why B Corp?
Years ago, we realised the importance of aspirational and meaningful storytelling for companies. But credible communication needs to be backed up by real action. We believed that there was a desire for change in business, but that uncertainty about the most impactful changes was slowing it down.
As a result of our active search, we were introduced to the B Corp certification and impressed: finally a credible community and international standards for sustainability development. Amidst the promises of sustainability, B Corp focuses on real impact and is therefore a reliable basis for corporate sustainability work.
In practice, obtaining the certificate requires answering around 200 questions, in which the entire business of the company is examined against the five pillars of sustainability and a certain score is sought. All answers must be verifiable with documentation.
It is estimated that the use of the tool and the associated increase in knowledge and understanding will give participating companies a 5-10 year head start over their competitors, as the process will develop their own business in the direction that the legislation will guide them in the future.
What does holistic responsibility mean?
Our own transformation process started just over a year ago when our ownership changed – Fabrik is now owned by four employees and we have the freedom to develop our company in the direction we want. Along the way, the name also changed, as the word ‘advertising agency’ no longer describes our business.
Today, we also help others to make the same journey and the necessary changes – so that sustainability is truly at the heart of business. Our own strategy is based on, and our own success is now measured against, B Corp’s five pillars of sustainability: environment, community, customers, employees and governance.
As a concrete example, we have a new environmental programme, customer impact indicators, a skills development plan, a pro bono programme and a cultural handbook. Above all, it is about managing sustainability in a long-term, planned and measurable way – not by hunches.
We are already helping three partner companies to meet the requirements for B Corp certification. We are also working on sustainability reports, materiality analyses, designing and implementing external and internal sustainability communication and developing a responsible employer culture. Sustainability development work will ultimately translate into communication and communication efforts. These are Fabrik’s core competences, so there is no need to change partners along the way.
What matters most?
The scale of accountability work is often challenging, but also inspiring for us. So many companies, especially in the SME sector, wrestle with sustainability issues, wondering what is essential or where to start. B Corp helps you focus on the essentials and on a truly impactful and profitable business. However, the certification itself is not the most important goal, but the professional approaches, metrics and tools that the whole process brings to support continuous improvement.
As the leader of B Corp, I believe we must be the change we seek in the world. At Fabrik, we work with the understanding that we are all interdependent and therefore responsible for each other and future generations. All business must be conducted in a way that does not cause unnecessary harm and that allows the results of our activities to be used for the common good in a variety of ways. B Corp is a good way to bring about this kind of change. It is also easier to communicate real change without fear of greenwashing.
More information: CEO Perttu Kouvalainen, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 040 057 0270