Last month we shared that we applied to become a B Corp. Our certification happened sooner than we expected and we are thrilled to join the 1,800-plus global companies that use their B Corp status as a way of doing social and environmental good.
Quick Refresher: What is B Corp?
Certified B Corporations complete a rigorous certification, granted by the nonprofit B Lab. They assess the social and environmental impact of the company, ensuring we have the accountability structures to uphold and improve our social and environmental commitments. Mangrove already has a track record of working with socially responsible clients, such as nonprofits and purpose-driven companies. But becoming a B Corp increases our interactions with like-minded businesses and provides a structure for transparency as we grow.
The B Impact Assessment is a score-based model. Companies receive points in different categories, and the assessment questions vary depending on industry, market, and company size. Our report is based on a virtual company in the services industry with fewer than five employees. You can see a brief review of our Impact Assessment or check out our online profile to learn more about how we scored. Below, we break down how we scored and what it means for our business, our community, and our clients.
*Median scores are calculated from all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment. 80 out of 200 is eligible for certification.
Environment (Mangrove 15 points, median score 7)
Mangrove is a virtual company. Our written policies encourage and support good environmental practices in our respective virtual offices and we ensure our contractors know how to properly dispose of e-waste and purchase supplies from environmentally-friendly vendors. We calculate energy via the virtual home office of our founder, Maiya Holliday, as the standard by which we will calculate reductions in future assessments.
Workers (Mangrove 0 points, median score 18)
Traditionally this section looks at work environment, worker ownership, and human resources topics such as compensation, benefits, and training. We didn’t score any points here, but don’t be alarmed. Our team is made up of contractors, and currently the B Corp only tracks employee-based infrastructure. The good news is that since we are a small business, we can tailor the experience with each of our contractors to create mutually beneficial work experiences. Our contractors enjoy the freedom of setting their own schedules and working from anywhere in the world. Even though they’re not official employees, we consider our team members to be like family, and consider their happiness and wellbeing to be one of our highest priorities.
Customers (Mangrove 12 points, median score N/A)
Mangrove’s services allow organizations to further their missions, market their services, and collect donations. We empower our customers to manage their own content over time and create a backend structure that requires little to no ongoing development costs. We love working with purpose-driven companies and provide our services on a sliding scale with reduced rates for nonprofits.
Community (Mangrove 46 points, median score 17)
We are proud to have scored the highest in the community section due to the fact that we:
- Donate a percentage of pro bono hours to local charities
- Bank with Beneficial State Bank, a local, mission-driven Certified B Corp
- Conduct a formal screening process to evaluate the practices of our major suppliers
- Prioritize and offer sliding scales to clients who are categorized as purpose-driven, minority- or female-owned, or nonprofit organizations
- Donate 2 percent of annual profits to various social justice charities
- Donate 3 percent of our web maintenance program profits to environmental conservation initiatives and the preservation of mangrove trees
Governance (Mangrove 8 points, median score 6)
Some of our socially responsible business practices have grown organically out of our company culture. But B Corps are asked to create formal written policies to ensure that the company continues to be governed in a manner that aligns with its intention to grow responsibly. We’ve documented our best practices and company policies to make sure who we are remains who we become.
After taking a break to celebrate our certification, it’s back to the drawing board to figure out how to uphold and improve upon our current score. The Impact Assessment provided us with a great snapshot of what we are currently doing and ideas for where we can improve. One of our main takeaways from the assessment was seeing the opportunity for creating accountability structures, like a Board of Directors. We are also looking into becoming a Benefit Corp which is essentially the legal adoption of B Corp practices to ensure our mission and values are upheld for the long haul.
Want to learn more about our B Corp Certification? Drop us a line! We would love to chat about the certification process and share our experience with anyone interested.
A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.
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