Our Code of Ethics
Mightybytes’ Code of Ethics provides ethical and responsible guidelines that we use to run our company and guide our work with clients, community, our team, and other stakeholders.
If you are a potential client researching our agency, this information might also help you better understand what working with Mightybytes is like.
We have pulled inspiration from organizations we admire and respect to create this Code of Ethics:
- W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and Web Sustainability Guidelines
- Association for Computing Machinery’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- The Sustainable Web Manifesto
- The Open Source Way
- Design Justice Network Principles
- UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles
- U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as a framework to ground our work and our agency overall
Please feel free to use or modify this Code of Ethics for your own organization.
How We Use Business for Good
As a Certified B Corp, Mightybytes is committed to using our business as a force for good. The B Impact Assessment is an objective, third-party toolkit that ensures our company meets the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
When we first became a Certified B Corp in 2011, we signed the community’s Declaration of Interdependence:
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation –
which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
That 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.
Corporate Digital Responsibility
As a digital-native organization, we understand that Mightybytes is in a unique position to influence how technology and design can be used for good. By adhering to emergent corporate digital responsibility principles, we can positively impact society and the planet in ways that are unique to our industry and business model.
Ethical corporate governance practices are the cornerstone of our company’s commitment to using business for good. To honor this commitment, Mightybytes will:
- Use our skills to benefit society and human well-being: we acknowledge that all people are stakeholders in technology
- Pursue returns for all stakeholders, not just shareholders: we will create multiple forms of value and share this value with our networks
- Support open source, peer-to-peer knowledge commons in our work
- Support regenerative and distributive design in our operations and in our work
- Avoid harm and negative consequences in our work, including unjust physical or mental injury, destruction or disclosure of information, or damage to property, reputation, and the environment
- Be honest, trustworthy, and transparent as well as fair and actionable
- Respect the work required to produce new ideas and give credit where it is due
- Respect privacy and honor confidentiality for all stakeholders
- Strive for the highest quality in everything we do
- Maintain high standards of professional competence, conduct, and ethical practice
- Prioritize collaboration: utilize peer and stakeholder review in our work, processes, and internal practices
- Embrace principles of continuous learning, organizational agility, and systems thinking
- Evaluate systems and their impacts for potential risks
- Articulate, encourage acceptance of, and evaluate fulfillment of environmental and social responsibilities by all team members
Benefit Corporation Governance
Additionally, Mightybytes has been an Illinois Public Benefit Corporation since 2013. We make good on our legal commitment to benefit society in the following ways:
- Ensure the public good remains at the heart of all professional work through B Corp certification, 1% for the Planet membership, and other means
- Produce an annual benefit report outlining our legal commitment to benefit society
Without a healthy environment, it is impossible to create a just society or shared prosperity for members of that society. Everyone has a responsibility to care for and nurture the planet we call home. This is not a responsibility we take lightly. To honor our ecological commitment, Mightybytes will:
- Apply sustainability principles to our work using framework’s like W3C’s Web Sustainability Guidelines
- Strive for net-zero emissions in our company operations and Scope 3 value chain emissions
- Power our products and services with renewable energy whenever possible
- Consider the systems-level implications of our work and, when possible, design ecologically-friendly solutions that include the planet as a stakeholder
- Promote positive systems change when possible
- Grow at an intentional pace: life creates conditions conducive to life
- When possible, apply regenerative and circular economy principles to our work: restore ecosystems rather than simply “do less harm”
We greatly value our customer relationships. Our clients are, after all, the reason we exist. We commit to working with clients who share our values as a Certified B Corp and mission-driven organization. The company seeks out projects that improve social and environmental standards, enhance quality of life, and actively contribute to a better future. We screen prospects on a case-by-case basis and regularly turn down projects that aren’t aligned with our values, including tobacco, firearms, fossil fuels, any project that promotes discrimination in any form, and so on.
Here is how we incorporate clear ethics into our customer relationships:
Mightybytes will prioritize open access to information on all projects and in all stakeholder interactions.
- As a member of the World Wide Web Consortium, Mightybytes commits to delivering projects that adhere to open web standards. This enables access to information across browsers, devices, and platforms, including for people using mobile and/or older devices and those in low bandwidth areas.
- Similarly, we target Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.x level ‘AA’ for all website launches. This is in line with our accessibility impact business model.
- We provide custom accessibility training to help clients maintain accessibility over time.
Privacy and Security
To honor stakeholder privacy and the security of systems we design and build, Mightybytes will:
- Respect the privacy of client and user data by adhering to guidelines set forth by GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and others
- Maintain a baseline hardening against security attacks by identifying potential risks, keeping software up-to-date, and alerting clients whenever we discover a known threat
- Access private computing and communication resources only when authorized or compelled by the public good
Collaboration and Transparency
To maintain great customer relationships that are mutually beneficial and based on trust and transparency, Mightybytes will:
- Prioritize honesty and transparency in all communications
- Value collaboration and co-creation to more efficiently execute projects
- Include customers and end users in our research, design, and testing processes
- Measure success and value: quantifiable solutions are easy to understand. We strive to create value across the spectrum
Systems Design & Risk
As a small company, we understand that some systems are outside our control. For those where we have agency, we commit to several important systems design practices to maintain adaptability:
- Continually assess risk and evaluate resilience in the face of ongoing disruption
- Support bottom-up, open source, peer-to-peer knowledge commons
- Include diverse stakeholders in our process to be certain we are designing the most inclusive and accessible systems, products, and services possible
- Release early and often, prototyping with real users whenever possible
- Use care when modifying or retiring systems; better yet, plan for end-of-life from the beginning
Our small team is Mightybytes’ most valuable asset. Without them, we would cease to exist. As an LGBT-certified business enterprise, we foster an inclusive environment where people can bring their whole selves to work. To prioritize team needs, we commit to the following practices:
Justice, equity, diversity, inclusion. We commit to incorporating these principles into all our work.
- We are an anti-racist organization. We also acknowledge that there is much work to do in this area.
- We will not tolerate discrimination in any form.
- We will support civil rights and JEDI-forward legislation and, when company resources allow, actively campaign against violations of these rights.
- Our shared values guide decision-making; stakeholder goals supersede individual interests and agendas.
Quality of Life
Quality-of-life is paramount to maintaining a productive, healthy environment and delivering high-quality work. We commit to:
- Create ongoing opportunities for learning and professional growth
- Pay everyone on our team a living wage and minimize the difference between lowest and highest paid employees
- Offer schedule flexibility and other practices to nurture wellbeing
- Support team interests outside of the workplace inasmuch as company resources will allow
Mightybytes was born from the city of big shoulders. Pixels are our currency, an equitable, regenerative, and inclusive future our motivation. We’re proud to hail from a city known for its grit and resilience. We also know that much work is needed for Chicago to live up to its potential. We’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and do the work.
We must also acknowledge that—in the age of the internet and COVID-19—we are part of a global community which offers unique opportunities beyond the geographical constraints of the city we call home. Mightybytes commits to ethical stakeholder community-building in the following ways:
- Foster education and public awareness of technology, design, digital marketing, sustainable business practices, and their potential consequences (unintended or otherwise)
- Provide equitable educational benefits through events, content, and public speaking
- Respect the privacy and confidentiality of community members
- Center marginalized voices in our work and communications
Ethical Marketing & Advertising
Honesty is our guide in all sales, marketing, and advertising. We will make only complete, factual, and truthful statements about our company and its services. We will also work with our clients to ensure information integrity in the communications and technology which we create on their behalf.
All advertising and marketing claims must be substantiated and must include all information and disclosures necessary to make them accurate and complete.
- We must take care to ensure all disclosures are written in a manner that is easily understood by the intended audience.
- We must never make disparaging remarks about our competitors or make unfair comparisons between a competitor’s services and our own.
- With new laws and regulations, as well as increased political and media focus, it is critical to know the latest requirements on disclosures, privacy, and other legal constraints in this area.
We will always assess the potential ethical, social, environmental, and legal challenges of all emerging technologies as they relate to our industry, our work with clients, and our business overall. This includes generative AI, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and any other technologies or practices that could potentially affect customers, communities, workers, or the environment in an adverse manner.
We will only recommend these tools and create practices for how best to use them when it is the interest of all organizational stakeholders. While we can’t predict the future, we can ground our emerging technology work with a strong ethical foundation.
Living Our Values Every Day
Mightybytes exists in an always evolving industry amidst a constantly shifting cultural and technological landscape. We are an intentionally small agency, committing to growth only when it makes sense for most stakeholders. As such, we can only do what our resources allow while also meeting financial and impact-related goals.
Grounding everything we do in strong ethical principles helps us navigate uncertainty and chart a clear course through disruption. Our B Corp certification and this Code of Ethics are the driving forces for how we accomplish this.
We welcome feedback or suggestions to improve this Code of Ethics. We also encourage others to pull from it what might be useful for your organization. Please share your thoughts via our contact form.