Measuring Impact: 2019 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. We re-certify as a B Corp every three years.
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 B Corp community’s collective vision is to use the power of business to build a more inclusive and regenerative economy. The B Impact Assessment serves as an objective, third-party validation of our efforts in both these categories. Companies must achieve a BIA score of at least 80 to become a Certified B Corp. Our current score is 102. The BIA includes the following categories.
B Impact Assessment Score in this category: 22.2
We take our commitment to balancing purpose and profit 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, 2018, and 2019 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. Best for the World B Corps are considered global leaders creating the future of business.
In 2019, we were honored in two categories:
Changemakers: Honorees in this category have shown the greatest score improvement between B Corp certifications. In Mightybytes’ case, we jumped 18 points between certifications. We are recertifying again in 2020 and hope to jump at least another 10-15 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 is composed of 50% women and includes LGBTQ+ and employee representation.
LGBT-Certified Business Enterprise
In 2019, we were recognized by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as an LGBT-Certified Business Enterprise. We use this certification to better embrace our company identity, live our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and serve as a role model for other companies that either want to do the same or partner with companies owned by LGBTQ+ business leaders. We are also members of the Illinois chapter of this organization.
In addition to certifying, our President Tim co-facilitated the first ever B Proud affinity group session at the 2019 B Corp Champions Retreat in Los Angeles. This session brought together LGBTQ+-identifying business leaders within the B Corp community. For more information about what this means to Mightybytes, read our post, Mightybytes is an LGBT-Certified Business Enterprise.
Buying From B Corps
In order to build a more regenerative and inclusive 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 proactively 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.
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 commitment to educate communities about topics we have expertise in.
Educational Materials & Events
We produce educational materials as 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, Conscious Company, and other online publications.
In 2019, along with numerous blog posts, we added several significant additions to our content library:
- Tim’s book, Designing for Sustainability, was translated into Mandarin
- Our webinar on 30 accessibility tips for improving your website
- Our Design Thinking for Impact and Purpose collaboration with LimeRed, another B Corp agency up the street from us
- A research report on cross-sector contribution to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
We teamed up with an advisory committee member to produce the SDG report. For the report, we asked mission-driven companies of all sizes, nonprofits, and municipal and county government agencies how (or if) they address the SDGs in their work.
Participants filled out a survey, after which we interviewed ten people to learn more. During the process, we made some surprising discoveries. We shared the research findings in a report on our website and during a webinar.
In late 2019, Tim was invited to speak at the UN-sponsored World Eco-Design Conference in Guangzhou, China to educate a global audience about B Corps and sustainable digital design.
B Local & Community Activism
Mightybytes also engages local communities by participating in a number of economic development and community improvement programs.
- B Local Illinois: As co-chairs of B Local Illinois, we work to grow the community of B Corps using business for good in our region and help local B Corps thrive.
- Global Climate Strike: We participated in the September 2019 Global Climate Strike to show our solidarity with numerous youth-led movements on the need to solve the climate emergency. We offered employees paid time off to attend.
- Chicago Sustainability Task Force: Mightybytes is a member of the Chicago Sustainability Task Force. Our mission is to improve operational sustainability and environmental awareness in Chicago.
- Ravenswood Chamber: We are members of our local chamber of commerce, helping to improve community and economic development in 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. Becoming a Certified B Corp in 2011 helped us better align all our company policies with people and planet, and we’ve been improving on our efforts every year since.
We consider all stakeholders—including the planet—in every business decision we make. This includes the websites we build for our clients. In 2013, we created Ecograder, a free website sustainability tool to help people better understand the internet’s environmental impact and how their website contributes to one of the planet’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly thereafter, we created a 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
Recent figures reflect that approximately 3% of philanthropic giving in the U.S. goes to environmental causes. According to Charity Navigator’s latest data (2017), only 5% of all giving in the US comes from businesses.
In 2019, we donated 1% of our top-line revenue (not profit) to environmental nonprofits as part of our 1% for the Planet membership. These donations were split between the following organizations:
Read more about our 1% for the Planet membership in our post, How 1% for the Planet Helped us Rethink Philanthropy.
Each year, through our friends at fellow B Corp 3Degrees, we offset 100% of company business travel and purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) for 100% of our annual energy use. This year, the RECs were for wind power, certified under Green-e Energy National Standard v3.4.
In 2019, the carbon offsets for company business travel supported an Illinois-based landfill gas management system that captures and destroys methane that would be partially released to the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, methane is an 84x more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide in the short term.
Secure and Reliable Green Hosting
Thanks to Google Cloud’s deep commitment to renewable energy, we can proudly say that the websites we host are powered by 100% renewable energy. In 2018, we added Pantheon, a platform that sits atop Google Cloud, to our hosting mix. Adding Pantheon helps us reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase security, and offer 99.99% uptime and reliability as well. This is a growing area of our business.
Our emissions due to commuting are negligible. We all commute by public transportation, cycling, and walking. The rare exception is carpooling to client sites we cannot reach via public transportation, or short, quarterly trips to resupply the office.
As a small digital agency, we don’t generate much waste. Aside from snail mail and the occasional package, our waste is mostly generated in the kitchen. We use a local zero-emissions composting service, WasteNotCompost, to regularly pick up our organic waste.
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.
Mightybytes believes in equitable pay and equal opportunities for all who are employed by the company. To achieve this, some things we do include:
- Living Wage: We are committed to paying all employees a living wage.
- Compensation Ratio: We strive to keep our pay scale of lowest-to-highest paid employees at 1.5 times or lower. Our current ratio is 1.25.
- Paid Time-Off: We provide 20 annual paid time off (PTO) days per full-time employee (based on accrual). We also offer flextime and telecommuting as needed.
- Benefits: Full-time staff are eligible for health, dental, vision, long- and short-term disability, and life insurance policies. Full-time staff are also eligible for the company’s retirement savings program with an employer match.
- Professional Development: In 2019, our developers learned WordPress Gutenberg, and began using it for client projects. The entire team enrolled in Google Analytics training to ensure we can continue tracking and measuring progress against client goals.
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 clients have always been mission-driven organizations like other B Corps, conscious companies, social enterprises, nonprofits, associations, foundations, community trusts, and educational institutions.
In 2019, all but one of our clients had missions aligned with our focus areas, such as providing education, preserving the environment, or advocating for social justice. We have been working with the one outlying client for over ten years now and have an incredible relationship with them that is based on mutual trust and respect. We’re encouraged to see the continuing expansion of their CSR efforts.
Below is a summary of the impact we created with some of our clients:
Improving Beach Cleanups Around the Great Lakes
We conducted a pro-bono Design Sprint to help the Alliance for the Great Lakes improve its Adopt-a-Beach program, making it easier for more volunteers to easily create and manage beach cleanups across the entire region.
Increasing Access to Critical Disability Rights Information
We helped Access Living meet the highest level of accessibility standards and better manage their online communications to reach more people with important disability rights information.
Helping Patients Make More Educated Drug Decisions
We reorganized the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s consumer-facing content into an accessible, intuitive resource portal that helps users make more educated decisions about online pharmacies and how to dispose of drugs safely.
Preparing Students for 21st Century Learning
By partnering with the Susan Crown Exchange and the University of California, we created a comprehensive research portal that helps educators teach students important digital learning skills.
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 2019 was consistently profitable, enabling us to create the significant positive social and environmental impact outlined in this report. We are so grateful for clients who choose to do business with Mightybytes and support a more regenerative and inclusive economy. Thank you.
Thanks for reading our annual benefit report for 2019. If you have any questions about the material covered in this report, please feel free to contact us.
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