When wandering in the woods, we are sometimes reminded by signs to “take only memories and leave no trace behind.” Heeding this simple philosophy allows us to protect our environment and the ecosystem that we are all a part of.
The alienation of people to other people (which leads to racism, ableism, homophobia, as well as destructive thoughts and behaviors), and the planet (which leads to the destruction of natural wonders, animals, and ecosystems that sustain life), has lead to us leaving traces in the world (physical and psychological) and marks in places where they should not be. We only need to look towards the plastic “Seventh Continent” in the Atlantic to literally see the representation of how destructive the economic and social systems that we have in place can be.
Humanity’s marks are everywhere, and they are not pretty; they are destroying the very world we live in. So, where do we stand in all this?
We wanted to become a B Corp, because we know that we can—and have to—do better.
As stated on the B Corporation website, certified B Corporations (B Corps) have to meet “the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”
In order to become a B Corp, ATÖLYE had to go through a rigorous assessment process where our impact on our workers, customers, community, and environment was analyzed thoroughly. In addition, our governance methods were also scrutinized. It is as a result of this assessment process that we are now proudly able to call ourselves a B Corp. However, this is only the very beginning of our commitment towards using our “business as a force for good.”
The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence “envisions a global economy that uses business as a force for good; an economy that comprises of new types of corporations that are purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.”
We believe, just as the “Declaration” further states, that as leaders of this emerging economy;
- We must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
Since ATÖLYE is a community-powered creative services organization that provides services to both clients and creative professionals globally, we also strive to be “purpose-driven” in our work. Furthermore, as a part of the kyu collective (kyu.com) that aims to be a source of creativity propelling the economy and society forward, we also hope to create as much positive impact as possible in all our undertakings.
Of course, this is not easy. Being a purpose-driven and human-centered organization that focuses on societal and environmental issues means that you have to turn the mirror to yourself, question the way you make decisions, and then make a commitment to do better.
So, here we are; making a commitment to face ourselves, accept our mistakes, and strive towards changing the way we work in a way that benefits the people and the planet. We believe this is no longer just a responsibility, but a necessity.
We all leave our mark on the world, why not make it a beautiful one?
Find out more about B Corps here.