Measuring Impact: 2018 Benefit Report
To fulfill the legal requirements of a Public Benefit Corporation, Mightybytes creates an annual report showing how our company benefited society alongside pursuing profit. To achieve this, we align company policies with a “triple bottom line” that supports people, planet, and shared prosperity. This report details our efforts.
Our Company’s Mission
Mightybytes uses the power of business for good, helping purpose-driven companies, social enterprises, and large nonprofits solve problems, amplify their impact, and drive measurable results.
Certified B Corp
Our company uses a third-party assessment, the B Impact Assessment (BIA), operated by the nonprofit B Lab, to achieve the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The B Corp community’s collective vision is to use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
In addition to being a Certified B Corp, Mightybytes has operated as an Illinois Public Benefit Corporation since January 2013. We changed our legal structure to support a public commitment to benefitting society alongside our need to generate profit. The BIA serves as an objective, third-party validation of our efforts. It is broken into the categories below.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 22.2
We take our commitment to balancing purpose and profit very seriously. Success depends on implementing clear company policies and procedures, then communicating those efforts to necessary stakeholders to help us become a better company over time.
Best for the World
B Lab saw fit to honor Mightybytes in their 2017 and 2018 Best for the World lists. Companies on this list score in the top 10% of all businesses using the BIA to track and measure their social and environmental impact and are considered global leaders creating the future of business.
In 2018, we were honored in two categories:
Changemakers: Honorees in this category have shown the greatest score improvement between B Corp certifications. In our case, we jumped 18.1 points between certifying in 2015 and late 2017, our fourth certification and highest score yet: 102 points!
Governance: Honorees in this category are evaluated on their overall mission, ethics, accountability, and transparency. It measures whether the company has adopted a social or environmental mission, and how it engages its employees, board members, and the community to achieve that mission.
Mightybytes’ advisory committee guides the company’s long-term strategy and keeps us focused on our mission. With seasoned experts in sales, tech, design, HR, as well as other B Corp and agency owners, the committee includes women business leaders and LGBTQ+ representation.
Buying From B Corps
In order to build an inclusive and more sustainable economy, it is important that our company’s purchasing decisions reflect our values. Supporting other B Corps is an important part of how we do this. Mightybytes has a purchasing policy that requires the use of B Corporation vendors whenever possible.
Policies and Procedures
Mightybytes continues to update its employee handbook, training manuals, and other corporate documentation to ensure that employees have real-time access to the most recent information about changing policies and practices. We communicate these changes through digital channels and during regular company meetings which also include information on company financial health, new clients, changing services, and so on.
Rethinking Philanthropy at Mightybytes
A new policy for 2018, Mightybytes revamped our philanthropy initiatives and became a 1% for the Planet member, earmarking 1% of our top-line sales each year for environmental nonprofits. Read more about our 1% for the Planet commitment in our post How 1% for the Planet Helped us Rethink Philanthropy.
According to the folks at 1% for the Planet, corporate giving to environmental nonprofits has much room for improvement:
Only 3% of philanthropic giving in the U.S. goes to environmental causes, and only three percent of this giving comes from the business community.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 28.4
As a digital agency, the biggest benefit we can provide to our community is through education. To this end, Mightybytes has made a long-term, ongoing commitment to educating communities about a variety of topics within our wheelhouse.
Educational Materials & Events
We produce educational materials whenever time and resources allow. Whether it’s a blog post about when to redesign your website, a webinar on digital accessibility practices, a workshop about digital marketing, or a book about sustainable design, educational materials help our company fulfill its mission. This also includes guest posts and articles on external networks like B The Change, the B Corp community media platform, and other online publications.
In 2018, our CEO spoke at the ICT for Sustainability conference, helping academics in computer science better understand how tech companies and digital agencies use B Corp certification to improve their products, processes, and services while also pursuing profit.
B Local & Community Activism
Mightybytes also engages local communities by participating in a number of economic development and community improvement programs.
- B Local: We co-host quarterly B Corp meetups that showcase local companies using business as a force for good in Illinois and engage the broader business community in these efforts.
- Chicago Thought Leaders: Our CEO was on City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers’ “Thought Leaders” team during the treasurer’s tenure in office.
- CASE: Mightybytes is a member of Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE), a program of World Business Chicago meant to improve local economies by facilitating strong business-to-business supplier networks.
- Ravenswood Chamber: We are also members of our local neighborhood chamber of commerce, helping to improve the Ravenswood business corridor.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 12.1
Preserving the planet for future generations has been our champion cause for many years at Mightybytes. We are passionate about sustainability. We became a Certified B Corp in 2011. During that process and over the following years, we redesigned most of our company practices and processes to make the things we do better for people and planet.
This includes everything from our office, which has living green walls, to the websites we build for clients. Our B Corp certification resulted in the creation of Ecograder, our free website sustainability tool, our Sustainable Web Design microsite, a slew of blog posts, and eventually the book Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services.
Here are some of the other things we do to promote a better future for the planet and its people:
1% for the Planet
In 2018, we donated $10,785.09 to environmental nonprofits as part of our 1% for the Planet membership. These donations were split between the following organizations:
Renewable Energy & Offsets
Each year, through our friends at fellow B Corp 3Degrees, we offset all company travel and purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) for our annual energy use. In 2018, these efforts amounted to the equivalent of:
- Growing 1,459 trees per year for 10 years, or…
- Taking 12 cars off the road for one year, or…
- Not using 133 barrels of oil.
100% of the websites we host are powered by renewable energy. In 2018, we added Pantheon to our hosting mix, helping us reduce costs and improve efficiency as well.
We continue to maintain and support our website sustainability tool, Ecograder. By Earth Day 2018, Ecograder had crawled nearly 1.7 million URLs, giving Mightybytes the largest known collection of internet sustainability data available. For a full report, check out our post Internet Sustainability in 2018.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 23.2
As a digital agency providing skilled services to clients, our small team is the company’s most valuable asset. We make concentrated efforts to provide employees with rewarding work, growth opportunities, and well-balanced lives.
Here are some of the things we do:
- Living Wage: We are committed to paying all employees a living wage.
- Compensation Ratio: We strive to ensure that the highest paid full-time employees at Mightybytes never make more than 3X the lowest paid full-time employees.
- Paid Time-Off: We provide 20 annual paid time off (PTO) days per full-time employee (based on accrual) plus holidays. We also offer flex time and telecommuting as needed.
- Benefits: Full-time staff are eligible for health, dental, vision, long- and short-term disability, and life insurance policies. They are also eligible for the company’s retirement savings program.
- Professional Development: Our team uses allotted time each year to collectively improve processes and learn new skills. In 2018, we achieved Hubspot’s Growth-Driven Design certification and began learning WordPress Gutenberg.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 15.8
The company you keep is a reflection of who you are. It represents how you live your values. In Mightybytes’ case, the majority of our client base has always been comprised of mission-driven, values-aligned organizations like other B Corps, conscious companies, nonprofits, associations, foundations, community trusts, and educational institutions.
2018 was no exception. Here are just a few examples:
- We helped National Geographic Learning transform from a traditional publisher to digital-first with UX at the heart of its organization.
- We helped fellow B Corp Dharma Merchant Services improve website conversions by more than four times, resulting in a significant rise in qualified leads for their business.
- We helped the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy develop and execute an annual digital strategy, which included building a drug disposal locator that helps people find nearby locations to safely dispose of their pharmaceuticals.
- We improved rankings on 80% of DePaul University’s target SEO keywords. 62% of these terms ended up on page one of Google.
In addition to this, during summer 2018 our CEO recruited ten other riders for a Climate Ride team that pedaled 300 miles through Michigan and raised nearly $50,000.00 for our client the Alliance for The Great Lakes and other beneficiaries. Learn more about this and how we help our customers create collective impact in our post How We Help Our Clients Make a Difference.
Joel Brammeier, CEO of The Alliance:
We have learned much more from Mightybytes than we would expect from a conventional vendor. The company challenges us to think differently about what actions we want our supporters to take, how we raise money, and what our relationships with the for-profit sector could and should become.
Profit + Purpose = Shared Prosperity
Like any successful company, Certified B Corps make profit. It’s what we do with that profit that differentiates us from traditional companies. At Mightybytes, that’s a badge we wear with honor.
Our work throughout 2018 was consistently profitable, enabling us to create the significant positive social and environmental impact outlined in this report. We are grateful for clients who choose to do business with Mightybytes and support a more sustainable and inclusive economy.
Thank you for reading our annual benefit report for 2018. If you have any questions about the material covered in this report, please feel free to contact us. If you would like to read more about our approach to running a purpose-driven business, read our Agencies of Change series on B the Change.
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.
Jeff Yurkanin, Benefits Director & Officer
Mightybytes, 4001 N. Ravenswood, Suite 404, Chicago, IL 60613