Here’s how Mightybytes created positive social and environmental impact in 2021.
Mightybytes 2021 Benefit Report
Year two of a global pandemic continued to present business operations challenges in 2021. This report outlines how, despite these challenges, we met some key impact goals.
Using Our Business for Good
B Corporations legally expand their fiduciary duty of care to include care for people, care for communities, and care for the natural world on which all life depends. That is what makes B Corps more trusted and more attractive to people who want to work for, buy from, and invest in companies that reflect their values.— Jay Coen-Gilbert, Co-Founder, B Lab
As an Illinois Benefit Corporation, Mightybytes is legally required to create a public benefit to society alongside our need to pursue profit. This annual report is part of that legal requirement.
Certified B Corp: 10 Years
As a Certified B Corp, Mightybytes considers company stakeholders—workers, community, customers, the environment, etc.—in every business decision we make. We recertified as a B Corp for the fifth time in 2021, which was our ten year anniversary of joining this amazing global community of changemakers.
We focused on Impact Business Models (IBMs) as a core part of the certification process, which was completed in early 2022. This approach led to our highest B Corp score yet at 168.6 points.
For context, our score was 84 the first time we certified in 2011. Mightybytes has come a long way since then.
We also made B Lab’s Best for the World list for the sixth time in a row, scoring in the top 5% of all companies globally that use the assessment to measure impact.
Prioritizing the Environment
The planet is experiencing unprecedented climate change and the Internet is both part of the problem and the solution. From websites to cryptocurrencies, the Internet consumes large amounts of electricity in data centers, telecoms networks, and end user devices. If the Internet was a country, it would be the 7th largest polluter in the world and is expected to grow considerably by 2030.— Roya Sabri, It’s Time for the Internet to Become More Sustainable
Mightybytes prioritizes the environment as a key stakeholder in our business practices. We do so in the following ways:
In 2021, we began the process of redesigning our free web sustainability tool Ecograder. One primary goal of the redesign was to incorporate digital carbon calculation methods we collaborated on with fellow B Corp Wholegrain Digital, EcoPing, The Green Web Foundation, and others.
The new Ecograder launched on Earth Day 2022. Moving forward, we’ll use it to design high performing, low-carbon digital solutions for our clients.
Sustainable Web Design
As part of our fifth B Corp recertification, we created a Theory of Change (ToC) for an IBM based on Sustainable Web Design. This enables us to create high-impact, low-carbon digital solutions for all our clients. Websites built by Mightybytes are about 40-50% faster with lower relative emissions than industry averages.
The Sustainable Ecommerce Handbook
In 2021, we also contributed a chapter to The Ecomm Manager’s Sustainable Ecommerce Handbook, a six-chapter ebook on best practices for including the planet as a stakeholder in ecommerce-driven product design. This contracted work aligns with our education IBM (more on that below).
1% for the Planet
As part of our 1% for the Planet commitment, Mightybytes donated 1% of our annual gross revenue to beneficiary partners such as the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Climate Ride, Growing Home, FLOW (For Love of Water), B Lab, Environmental Working Group, and others.
Our 1% for the Planet membership is part of a larger corporate philanthropy strategy.
Going permanently virtual helped us significantly reduce emissions associated with office operations. We offset remaining company emissions through our ongoing partnership with 3Degrees, including annual data transmission for hosted client sites.
Though the office move occurred in early 2022, we started planning for it in 2021. Our goal was to ensure that the move itself was as low-waste as possible:
- Books and old equipment were donated to local charities such as Books4Cause and Chicago Filmmakers.
- E-waste was recycled through Genesis Electronics Recycling or sold to extend lifespan.
- Furniture, dishes, artwork, and other office items were donated to The Brown Elephant.
- Where possible, we used recyclable or compostable packing materials.
Creating Positive Social Impact
The biggest way to ensure that we are making everything we do more accessible to the disability community is having people with disabilities at every table, where every conversation is happening…If you’re not asking yourself who’s missing, you’re not really doing your job as an ally.— Emily Ladau, Author of Demystifying Disability, What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally
Businesses have a critical role to play in designing a more inclusive and equitable future. As a digital agency, baking these concepts into the heart of our processes is key to how we make progress.
In 2021, Mightybytes created positive social impact through company practices in the following ways:
Code of Ethics
New in 2021, we created a Code of Ethics that includes unique considerations for our digital-specific business model. Grounded in our research on Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) and its seven core principles, we use these ethical guidelines to run our business.
Theories of Change
In addition to those mentioned above, we also created ToC’s for digital accessibility and education IBMs in 2021.
- Digital Accessibility: The Digital Accessibility ToC helps us better support the disability community by creating digital products that adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
- Education: The Education ToC enables us to help company stakeholders create ethical, responsible, and more sustainable digital practices within their organizations. Books, webinars, speaking engagements, workshops, and other media fall under this IBM.
Certified LGBT Business Enterprise
Mightybytes renewed our LGBT Business Enterprise certification through the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. This is an important part of our identity as a company that prioritizes equity and inclusion and encourages employees, clients, and other stakeholders to fully engage in the work we’re doing.
Our business development practices have focused on working with mission-aligned organizations since the company was founded in 1998. Helping social enterprises, Certified B Corps, nonprofits, and other purpose-fueled organizations achieve their missions is key to how we achieve our own.
In 2021, we signed the Clean Creatives pledge, vowing not to partner with fossil fuel companies as clients. While this isn’t a stretch for Mightybytes—we’ve turned down fossil fuel projects in the past—it does represent yet another step toward aligning our entire stakeholder ecosystem with interdependence and creating shared value.
Notable 2021 Projects:
- Mightybytes redesigned and launched a new corporate website for KeHE, the second largest Certified B Corp in North America.
- We helped the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy research methods to more quickly identify and shut down rogue illegal online pharmacies.
- Ongoing improvements to the Disability Philanthropy Forum website help the organization increase funding to the disability community.
Doing Good is in Our DNA
Mightybytes always wants to help our stakeholders thrive. We take our role in building a more regenerative, equitable, and inclusive economy quite seriously. Adopting business practices to accomplish this helps us become a better company and contribute to a better world.
If you have any questions about our impact or how we balance purpose and profit, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.
It is my opinion that Mightybytes has acted in accordance with its general public benefit purpose under the Illinois Benefit Corporation Act and that the directors and officers of Mightybytes have complied with their duties under Sections 4.01(a) and 4.10(a) of the Act, respectively. I have received no compensation for Benefit Director tasks. The board’s powers or discretion have not been restricted or dispensed with in any way.
Benefits Director & Officer