Why The Bulb became a B Corp

02/11/2017 By The Bulb

On 18 April 2017, The Bulb became the first UK B Corp certified events agency. To put it mildly, we’re feeling pretty good about that.

B Corp is a movement created by businesses for business to be a force for good, to redefine success with a focus on three P’s: People, Purpose and Profit.  B Corp certification is like a Fairtrade stamp for businesses: B Lab, who are the independent certifying body, assess everything a business does from top to bottom – from how they treat employees and how transparent they are about financial performance to how they operate their supply chains and produce goods and services. As an independent certification, it’s become a highly respected quality mark over the decade since its establishment in the US, and includes well-known brands like Patagonia, Etsy, Kickstarter, Ben and Jerry’s and Pukka Tea.

The Bulb was set up to produce creative and meaningful events that educate and empower audiences, inspire change and leave a positive mark on our planet and on people. We’ve worked in and learned from traditional events practice and, believe it or not, there are still a lot of events that don’t take those elements into account. We knew we could do things better, so here we are, a fully fledged B Corp and working with clients who like what we do and how we do it.

Despite what certain people in positions of power might say, climate change is real.  2016 was the warmest year on record, and we are set to top that again in 2017. We know that fossil fuel use warms the environment, ice caps melt, seas rise, coastlines get flooded and people lose their homes. In spite of this evidence, we’re (pretty stupidly) increasing our dependence on fossil fuel by investing in further infrastructure that locks us in: fracking is coming to the UK, new runways are being built and I’m going to stop there with the headlines. If we continue as we are, hugely populated areas from Miami to New York to Singapore will be under water by 2050, leaving over 750 million people looking for a dry place to live. On top of today’s 20 million refugees, we’ll be seeing climate refugees from some of the world’s most developed countries. By the time climate change is too gruesome to ignore, it will be too late.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.  We still have the opportunity to turn things around. And B Corp is a pretty brilliant way to be part of that. Patagonia’s CEO Rose Marcario stated; ‘The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders – it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.’

One of the deciding factors for us in becoming a B Corp was the focus on community.  We’re a start-up who want to change the world one event at a time, and we’ve found our people. We know we’re small, but we also know that doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact. The B Corp community brings strength in numbers. It’s a forum for businesses to share ideas and learning, support each other and bring people together to not just be the ‘best in the world, but to be the best for the world.’ It’s a pretty cool gang to belong to.

Becoming a certified B Corp hasn’t been easy, and it’s far from being a tick list you can whizz through and stick on your shelf to gather dust. B Corps is about who you are and what you do and continue to do as a company. It requires transparency and accountability, takes a holistic view of a company’s performance and its impact on staff, suppliers, community and the environment. And it’s a moving target: certification has to be renewed every two years, and it’s not enough just to keep doing the same thing. To remain a B Corp, a company has to demonstrate that they’ve made progress since their last certification.

We saw B Corp as a challenge and we thought ‘bring it on!’ because that’s how we approach everything. Not only can we tell our clients that we are a brilliant and creative events agency, but we produce events that are good for people and the planet too. B Corp means our clients, suppliers and peers can be confident that we’re not just all talk – it shows we live and breathe our values every day and in everything we do.

At The Bulb, we are on a mission to deliver great events that make a difference.  We might just make just one little splash in the ocean, but we’re not alone. The splashes and waves made by our fellow B Corps and others on the same path is going to create an almighty ripple that changes the world. And that is truly exciting.

Selina Donald – Co-Founder of The Bulb