Becoming B Corp


A few years ago, I discovered a fantastic community of business leaders that had a shared sense of purpose for doing good and putting their people and the planet on an equal level of importance to the business with profit. It was lightbulb moment for me that running a successful business isn’t just measured on profit, and other business leaders shared the d19 DNA of doing the right thing for staff, partners and the planet. The group were all leaders of B Corp certified companies.  

On further investigation it was clear that there was a close alignment of what B Corp stood for and how december19 had been run since its initial inception 12 years ago. 

Having spent years in large network agencies, we knew there had to be a better practice. A fairer, more transparent business model than that which we had experienced in our early agency careers and so sprung the idea for our own agency, december19. An agency based on values we hold in high regard. We created a media agency bound by ‘business karma’, believing in growth not greed and fostering a shared sense of purpose with our clients. 

Discovering the B Corp community was very comforting; knowing that a group of global business leaders existed that are putting people, planet and profit on an equal level of importance, and then having a stamp of approval – B Corp certified.  

To help us start our journey, we appointed the help of Planet Shine – a sustainability communications company – who assisted us in our application process and advising on improvements we could make on the way; putting in place the checks and balances that supported the good habits already in place. Thank you, Rachel and Laura, for educating us on many areas and making us more mindful business owners.  

Working alongside an internal team who were already proactive on making decisions that are not just for profit, we changed our Articles of Associated and submitted our B Impact Assessment within six months (beating our target of 12 months). This involved implementing a range of new processes, policies and documentation such as a code of ethics, complaints procedures, monitoring our environmental impact and supplier screening. We even had to say goodbye to a fee-paying client!   

Our company values (which we bring to life each day) made the process a lot easier than I imagine most companies; we haven’t had to make fundamental behavioural changes, but we are now much more accountable to doing the right thing more often and committed to continually improving. 

I’m so proud to have achieved this goal for december19 and couldn’t have done it without the help and support of the d19 crew being so onboard. 

Written by Dave Barnett, Managing Director / Co-Founder, december19