Here’s how Mightybytes created positive social and environmental impact in 2022.
Mightybytes 2022 Impact Report
As an Illinois Benefit Corporation, Mightybytes produces an impact report every year. This report outlines how Mightybytes made progress on key social and environmental impact goals in 2022.
How We Use 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
Mightybytes is on a mission to use our business—and, specifically, the internet—as a force for good in the world. We strive to help purpose-driven organizations make ethical and more sustainable technology choices so they can thrive in an often complicated and sometimes confusing digital landscape.
B Corp Reporting
As an Illinois Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, 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.
Impact Business Models
In 2022, we launched three Impact Business Models (IBMs) as a core part of our business. IBMs align a company’s ability to create impact with how it generates revenue. This enables us to weave positive social and environmental impact into the DNA of our business. It also helps us align our work with specific U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Each IBM has its own Theory of Change that outlines how we will achieve our goals and the desired outcomes we seek from our efforts:
- Sustainability: The Sustainability Theory of Change drives all our digital sustainability efforts, most notably the sustainable web design work we employ for clients.
SDG 13: Climate Action
- Education: The Education Theory of Change enables us to help others create ethical, responsible, and more sustainable digital practices within their organizations. Books, webinars, speaking engagements, and workshops fall under this IBM.
SDG 4: Quality Education
- Digital Accessibility: The Digital Accessibility Theory of Change helps us better support the disability community by creating digital products that adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
These Impact Business Models are core to how Mightybytes balances purpose and profit as a Certified B Corp. Most of our impact work falls into at least one of these categories.
Prioritizing the Environment
A systemic approach to change is fundamental. The industrial revolution saw a tenfold increase in humanity’s mechanical and energy capacity, but brought with it an environmental sacrifice that has taken us centuries to fully comprehend. The digital revolution will bring about equally fundamental changes – be they ecological, social, economic, democratic or geopolitical. We need to ensure that we do not usher in a similar Trojan horse.— David Cormand & Kim van Sparrentak, Digital Technologies In Europe: An Environmental Life Cycle Approach
Mightybytes prioritizes the environment as a key stakeholder in our business practices. Whether it’s digital projects we execute for clients or emissions and waste reductions in our own operations, planetary ecosystems are top-of-mind.
A newly redesigned Ecograder launched on Earth Day 2022. With more performance-related metrics and carbon emissions estimates, the 2022 overhaul offers better ways for organizations to reduce website emissions and improve performance goals.
Ecograder produced nearly 25,000 website sustainability reports in 2022.
Defining Environmental Guidelines for the Web
The Sustainable Web Design community group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was created in 2013 to promote then emerging practices for reducing the environmental impact of the web.
In 2022—inspired by W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)—a global group of UX designers, web developers, tech startups, and other agencies began collaborating on a set of environmental guidelines for the web to help people create high-impact, low-carbon websites.
The guidelines fall into five categories:
- User Experience (UX) Design
- Web Development
- Hosting & Infrastructure
- Analytics, Measurement, & Reporting
- Business Strategy & Product Management
Drafts can be found on the group’s wiki. After broader review by W3C members, they will live on the Sustainable Web Design site we built with our friends at Wholegrain Digital. Longer term, we aim to follow in WAI’s footsteps to create more universally accepted sustainability guidelines. We are excited to co-chair this group and collaborate with so many experts around the world on this project.
HTTP Archive’s Web Almanac
Each year, the HTTP Archive—which tracks how the web is built—produces a Web Almanac chronicling the “state of the web”. 2022 marked the almanac’s first-ever chapter on sustainability. As one of the co-authors we might be a little biased, but anyone involved with websites or digital marketing should read the entire almanac. It is chock full of important statistics on how to build a better internet.
1% for the Planet
As part of our 1% for the Planet commitment, Mightybytes donates 1% of our annual gross revenue every year to beneficiary partners such as Chicago’s Growing Home, B Lab, National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF), and others.
Our 1% for the Planet membership is part of a larger corporate philanthropy strategy. In 2022, Mightybytes President Tim Frick also became a board member at the Alliance for the Great Lakes. The Climate Ride team Tim helped organize in 2022 raised over $20,000.00 for the Alliance.
In March 2022, we closed down the space Mightybytes called home since 2013. It marked our first time without a physical office since the year 2000. While bittersweet, transitioning to a virtual company helped us reduce company emissions by more than 65%.
Scope 3 Emissions
We also worked to reduce the company’s Scope 3 emissions in 2022, including:
- Emissions generated via client website hosting
- Third-party digital products and services Mightybytes uses to design more sustainable websites and run digital marketing campaigns
- Vetting suppliers and other partners to create collective impact
Finally, using SME Climate Hub, we offset remaining estimated company emissions through fellow B Corp Tradewater.
Creating Positive Social Impact
The earth shouldn’t be taken for granted, nor should its people, and the drivers of this exploitation—greed, racism, capitalism, and other systems of oppression—should be rejected and dismantled. If we combine social justice efforts with environmental awareness efforts, we will harness enough power, representation, and momentum to have a shot at protecting our planet and creating equity at the same time.— Leah Thomas, The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet
Businesses have a critical role to play in designing a more inclusive and equitable future. As a digital agency, folding Corporate Digital Responsibility principles into the heart of our business is key to how we make progress.
Code of Ethics
Our company Code of Ethics includes unique considerations for social justice under a digital-specific business model. We encourage others to copy it outright or use it to inspire your own ethical guidelines and governance.
Certified LGBT Business Enterprise
Mightybytes is an LGBT Certified Business Enterprise via 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.
In 2022, Nicole Hunter produced a Pridewashing guide to help organizations create authentic policies that support the LGBTQ+ community all year long, not just during Pride Month.
B Corp Networks
B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps, supports a variety of networks within the community focused on creating collective impact around various issues. In 2022, we co-chaired the U.S. and Canada B Corp Marketers Network.
The network produces regular virtual educational events meant to help marketers create more impact in their day-to-day work. Topics include ethical marketing, impact storytelling, data privacy, the role of AI, and so on.
Where relevant, all client projects delivered in 2022 adhered to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines v2.2, level “AA” as part of our Impact Business Model for digital accessibility (see above).
Dismantling systems of oppression and inequity requires engaging in various forms of political advocacy:
- We signed dozens of petitions in 2022 on issues ranging from fair living wages and climate justice to abortion and gender-affirming healthcare access.
- We began participating in B Lab’s monthly policy calls to share knowledge and resources about state-specific laws important to B Corps and their stakeholders.
- We participated in calls with local lawmakers on important legislative issues.
- We supported our team on Election Days so everyone has an opportunity to vote.
These efforts represent yet another step toward aligning our entire stakeholder ecosystem with interdependence and creating shared value.
Best for the World
Finally, it is worth acknowledging the recognition we get for these efforts. Mightybytes has made B Lab’s Best for the World list every time the list was released since 2017.
Best for the World B Corps score in the top 5% of all companies worldwide that use the B Impact Assessment to measure impact. Given the assessment’s rigor, this is no small feat.
The Governance Impact Area evaluates your company’s overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency through topics such as integration of social and environmental goals in employees’ performance evaluation, impact reporting and transparency, stakeholder engagement, and more.— B Impact Assessment, Governance Impact Area
In 2022, Mightybytes was included in this category for the governing policies and practices we use to run an impact-focused business.
Companies can make a large impact on the lives of their workers well beyond work hours. The Best For The World B Corps in the Workers impact area achieved a top 5% score by putting in place exemplary employee-friendly practices, such as ownership opportunities, job flexibility, and fair-chance hiring policies.— B Lab’s Best for the World list, Workers Impact Area
We were included in this category for how we prioritize a collaborative and inclusive work environment and strive to offer the best benefits our resources will allow.
Achieving this recognition validates that we are on the right track in how we run an impact-focused business. We are very grateful.
Building a Better Digital Economy
Mightybytes wants to help the players in our business ecosystem thrive—clients, communities, our team, the environment, and so on. Adopting business practices to accomplish this helps us become a better company and contribute to a better world.
If you have any questions about this impact report 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