The B Corp process of creative agency Gardeners

The B Corp process of creative agency Gardeners

The myths, the best tips, and how to score points.

Gardeners, the ‘creative agency where good things grow,’ has now been a B Corp for about a year. Nadine Marcar, client service director, shares how that process went and whether she would recommend it to other companies.

Almost all of our clients were already B Corps – we were the ones missing

Nadine: ‘We wanted it for a while. It actually felt strange that we weren’t a B Corp yet, considering almost all of our clients are B Corps. And we exclusively work with brands that make the world a little better. When we started the B Corp process, we were in a growth transition. Additionally, we had many ongoing projects, and it was challenging to free up people for the B Corp process. It’s quite a lot, and you can’t just have an intern to do it. You have to research a lot of company information, which sometimes even requires input from the founder.’

Hey Nadine, are you paying attention? Your deadline is approaching.

‘Nevertheless, we really wanted to become a B Corp. Fortunately, there was Dieuwertje, the founder of Rainbow Collection. Together with her colleague Koen, they simplified everything for us into clear steps. This helped us see the priorities  and it gave us the nudge we needed to get started.’

Oh, we should look at that as well!

‘The process gave us new insights. We thought we were already doing very well, but by filling out the assessment, we often thought, ‘Oh, we should look at that as well!’ This helped us sharpen our operations. I would say that almost every company should go for a B Corp certification because it forces you to critically examine yourself and how you run the company. And it shows you what you need to consider to make an even greater positive impact. The B Corp process also brings you simple tips, purely through the elements that are examined. I encountered many things in the process where I thought, ‘We could easily implement this in the company.’ As a result, we sometimes had to add some things to our ‘Holy Book,’ our handbook, but that was actually quite easily arranged.’

We scored a lot of points on ‘Workers’

‘During the B Corp process, you earn points on various topics. ‘Workers’ was our favorite impact domain. ‘Where good people grow’ is what Gardeners stands for, so this was right up our alley. Since we don’t really have a product, there was also a major chapter where we didn’t have much to fill in. For example, if you produce shampoo, there are very different things to consider. What did play a role is that our office is located in a church. Because of that, there is much more heating needed compared to other places. On the other hand, we don’t own a company car, so things balance each other out. And when we do need a car, we now opt for electric GreenWheels cars thanks to the B Corp assessment.’

Points for four women in the management team

‘I found it remarkable that we received many points because we have four women in the management team, and extra points because I am Armenian/Indonesian. It makes you realize again that this is quite unique.’

B Corp myths

‘There’s sometimes the perception that you just pay for a stamp and that B Corp doesn’t mean much. That’s really not the case. I understand where that thought comes from, because there are quite a few B Corp brands of which you might not immediately think they are sustainable. But B Corp is much more than that. However, I think it’s good that the B Corp criteria are going to be sharpened and that B Corp takes the criticism seriously.’

The Golden B Corp tip

‘Would you like to become a B Corp too? My tip is to call Dieuwertje from Rainbow Collection. I always connect everyone to her, because you don’t have to do it alone, and it makes the process so much more efficient for yourself. It’s a small but very valuable investment. Additionally, make sure to assemble a dedicated team to work on the B Corp certification. Plan fixed moments with your team to ensure you make real progress.’