Each organization aims towards a more sustainable business from its own point of view, based on its own principles, competitive strengths and opportunities to influence. However, not everyone has to figure out for themselves what corporate responsibility means and how to take steps to improve.
Kekäle, Mediateko and Artlab chose the B Impact Assessment evaluation tool as a map and a driver for the development path and set their sights on the B Corp certificate. Why so and what has the journey taught me so far?
Kekäle: In favor of keeping
Kekäle has been moving against the current of the clothing store for a long time. The domestic family company has resolutely grown its chain while many traditional competitors have closed their doors under the pressure of fast fashion culture and multinational players. Belief in high-quality, long-lasting clothes, in taking care of them and, above all, in keeping them has only strengthened along the way.
The desire to do things better has been concretely reflected in the development direction of Kekäle’s selection, services and marketing, as well as in taking care of the staff, which is traditionally close to a family business. However, CEO Joonas Kekäle feels that his company has much more potential. There is enough to improve both in our own operations and in the entire clothing industry, and now the renewal has started at the level of the entire company.
“We’ve had the will to invest in responsibility for years. However, progress was put on the handbrake for a long time, because in front of a huge entity it seems impossible to know where it’s wisest to start. The theme is so big and meaningful that it’s scary to touch it unfinished.” Joonas tells, and continues:
“The B Impact Assessment was a good tool for us to switch to a bigger gear. Going through a comprehensive battery of questions gave us an idea of our current state and clarified the main themes we should focus on in the development of our operations. With the help of skilled sparring partners, our individual experiments have been refined into a clear responsibility program, measurable development projects and a concrete road map. As the cautious steps change for determined strides, the hunger also started to grow. We decided to raise the bar and aim for the B Corp certificate.”
Mediateko: Reinforcing the good
Boldly challenging multinational outdoor advertising giants both in urban marketplaces and in popular leisure destinations, the collaboration between Mediateo and Fabrik started with a single advertising concept a couple of years ago. Since then, the close partnership has evolved to the point where both Mediateko and its subsidiary Supervisual have been up to their armpits in clay on the fundamental issues.
Doing the right thing, taking responsibility and standing up for what is right have been an integral part of the media culture since its inception. However, as with so many other companies, the will to do more was there in the face of a sustainability crisis that was coming at us from every corner. What was missing was a red thread and a clear, crystallised goal on the horizon. They wanted to take positive impact from a one-off event to a guiding norm at the heart of Mediateko’s business and aim for B Corp certification.
“B Corp and its impact assessment tool has, from the very beginning, made the process clearer and more manageable. Literally the size of the planet, and our role in it, is structured in a tangible way, making it much easier to set goals and plan to achieve them.” Teemu Kontkanen, CEO of Mediateko, sums up.
“Of course it’s work. Just in terms of the English language version of the tool, to understand the nuances and how things relate to your business. Particularly when responding to the ever-increasing demands on development, you have to be able to look beyond the future. But that’s what fascinates us about the whole business. Going forward.”
Artlab: For the love of sound and the world
Artlab’s clientele includes a wide range of companies, associations, private individuals and public sector actors – from presidents to punk bands, the autographs on the studio’s wall are familiar. The team of creators behind countless podcasts, films, audiobooks, commercials, recordings and even events approach the voice with passion, curiosity and uncompromising professional pride. It is precisely because they believe that sound can change the world.
“For years, we wondered what the point was of producing funny beeps and hoots from speakers when the world around us is in a state of flux. The idea that we were feeding the very system that had created this mess in the first place, felt wrong.” Anttoni Palm, who runs Artlab with the title of headmaster, reflects.
Coming across the concept of net positivity got the Artlab people thinking about what makes audio good in itself. The world of thought fell into its current groove.
“Audio is already environmentally superior to video; it takes a fraction of the amount of electronics needed to produce a film and streaming audio uses only 1% of the data bandwidth used for video. Audio does not expose our brains to a tidal wave of flashing lights, but is a slower and more immersive medium. Audio also removes most of the pressure on appearance; the skin colour, body shape and facial symmetry of the speakers are no longer relevant, only the story matters.”
“Then there’s the handprint. We like to believe that where we have been inspired by Nirvana’s Nevermind, one of our dunes could be the electric shock that triggers change in future generations.”
As Artlab and Fabrik crossed paths on joint projects, the companies quickly found a soul mate. In discussions that dived deeper into the day’s work, it became clear that both shared a common interest in B Corp. Best of all, Fabrik was able to help Artlab in their long-planned pursuit of certification. The first steps on the path have now been taken and the benefits are already visible, according to Antton.
“Doing good has been ingrained in Artlab’s DNA since we started, but we had no idea where to start in the sustainability pie. The B Corp process has brought clarity to what we do: these things need to be addressed and those things are, on average, in place. When you don’t have to think about every parameter and threshold, you can focus on getting things done.”
Writer Timo Kupiainen, B Leader and Impact Strategist
Are you interested in joining Artlab, Mediateo and Kekäle in taking CSR forward? If so, find out more about our Corporate Responsibility and B Corp Certification products, or contact Fabrik’s Nelli or Tia: