Tag Archives: sustainability

Announcing the launch of Wilful

Across the globe we are witnessing an unprecedented push to find solutions to the climate emergency and more sustainable ways of living. Awards such as the recent Earthshot Prize provide a glimpse at some of the ingenious ideas worldwide which will help tackle climate change.

Through our merger with CherishPR, announced on October 19th, we have created Wilful, a new firm that works at the intersection of tech innovation and sustainability. We asked the team what most excited them about Wilful, and this is what they had to say:

Wilful quotes

Wilful Press Release

WILFUL AGENCY LAUNCHES WITH CLIMATE INNOVATION FOCUS

Communications taskforce to support low carbon, regenerative economy

19 October 2021, London

Wilful is a new agency that works at the intersection of tech innovation and sustainability to help clients amplify and scale solutions to the climate emergency.

The agency is built on the merger of its founding taskforce members, Cherish and Gong Communications. The agency works internationally from its London HQ with established partner networks in Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. Digital agency Loud and start-up specialist Little Bear join brand design agency Made With and Gong Creative in the launch taskforce line-up with the additional sustainability expertise of author and brand strategist, John Grant. Wilful’s Chair is Mike Rowe, founder of digital agency group 1000Heads.

The agency launch co-incides with an unprecedented global push to find solutions to the climate emergency and more sustainable ways of living. Investment capital is being funneled to fund climate innovation across all sectors with sustainable food and mobility overtaking renewable energy.
In the first half of 2021:

  • Private equity firms have raised more than $180 billion of climate finance
  • VC funding for climate tech topped $16bn
  • COP26 host Boris Johnson is redoubling efforts to secure £100bn a year in climate funding for developing countries.

 

And in October, the EU launched its first green bond, the world’s largest to date, raising €12bn to finance member nations’ environmental initiatives.

Wilful co-founders Rebecca Oatley and Narda Shirley navigated the last period of rapid innovation and disruption together in the early 2000s at PR agency Gnash, when the internet inspired a generation of entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo. Wilful is their new joint venture, drawing on their extensive combined experience working principally in digital disruption, finance, development and sustainability.

Commenting on the market, Rebecca noted, “We are in another phase of rapid technology innovation with capital chasing game changing ideas and visionary entrepreneurs. This time, the stakes are much higher, we need to help the most promising innovations to find their audiences to successfully make the leap to a sustainable low carbon future.”

Wilful Co-Founder, Narda Shirley added, “Organisations that are gearing up for the transition to a low carbon future need a communications partner that can keep pace with the speed of change and the ability to react quickly to opportunities without compromising on the quality of the advice. Reassuringly, we are seeing plenty of brilliant innovations out there already, from big corporates as well as from start-ups. The challenge now is to help the best ones get to scale, which is where we believe communications has a key role to play.”

Some of Wilful’s recent work includes support for carbon removal marketplace, Puro.earth, seaweed bio-refinery and industry catalyser Oceanium, and Unreasonable Group, building community between entrepreneurs, investors and institutions to solve pressing global problems.

ABOUT WILFUL
Wilful is a new kind of communications agency that works at the intersection of innovation and sustainability to amplify the ideas solving the world’s biggest problems. The Wilful team is on a mission to help clients in the transition to a low carbon, regenerative economy.

Wilful’s task force approach blends disciplines to deliver an agile and adaptable client service drawing on the expertise of two well established agencies with a complementary focus: Cherish with its track record of working with mass market digital disruptors and Gong with its focus on corporate and B2B, often in sustainable development.

Headquartered in London, Wilful has a global network of partners: in Africa it is anchored by Gong’s business in Kenya and in Europe and the US it is represented by Over There, the group of independent agencies that Cherish co-founded.

Contact:
Jo Hooke: Jo.Hooke@thewilful.com
Richa Kundnani: Richa.Kundnani@thewilful.com

GREENWISHING OR GREENWASHING? CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

By Hannah Hughes, Senior Account Director

The Race to Zero is on and with it, a global push to agree corporate financial reporting and transparency rules.  With more companies focused on declaring how their business plans are consistent with climate goals, the challenge now becomes how to see through the greenwashing – how to spot it, and how to stop it.

What is greenwashing, and what isn’t?

Greenwashing is defined as “the process of conveying the false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound”. In the corporate world, this often translates as embellishing business commitments to reaching net zero, with no credible action behind it. Something that alternative milk maker Oatly found out the hard way, when it was targeted by a short seller for overstating its ESG credentials.

The pursuit of net zero and corporate commitments to reduce carbon emissions is still relatively nascent. That means there is an absence of clear and universally adopted reporting guidelines. Work is well underway to improve this (organisations like CDP currently provide the gold standard for the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts), but in the meantime there is too much free rein for interpretation. Or more accurately, misinterpretation.

In a recent journalist briefing, our client Volans, the think tank and advisory firm at the cutting edge of sustainability, opined that while there is certainly no place for greenwashing within business – it is important that ambitious and optimistic targets are recognised and supported. These targets have a part to play in moving the sustainability agenda forward as long as the intentions behind this ‘greenwishing’ are earnest. “Businesses do need to make big, bold claims about going green,” CEO Louise Kjellerup Roper says, “in order to keep up with what is expected of them.” These targets ensure business leaders have to focus on coming up with a plan of action, and while few have all the answers they need to achieve these goals right now, open discussion and identifying challenges are key to make meaningful change at the scale and speed required.

Language analysis

As climate commitments become more widely reported, so too does analysis of the language used to detail them. Claims of being ‘net zero’ are currently under scrutiny by journalists like Jess Shankleman and Akshat Rathi at Bloomberg Green who ask: is it right for businesses that buy carbon offsets to claim ‘net zero’ or should they be called ‘carbon neutral’ or even ‘carbon responsible’ instead? The article goes so far as to state that if “companies really want to cancel out emissions with offsets, they would have to purchase more expensive carbon-removal credits that actually draw down greenhouse gases. Only when companies have achieved all the reductions they possibly can, and balanced the rest with carbon removals, would they achieve ‘carbon-neutrality’ or reach ‘net zero’.”.

The article points to a more deep-rooted problem of clarity in language. Besides false claims, vague wording and use of the passive voice is a strong indicator of lack of action. Phrases like “we are”, “we will” and “we have” are far more encouraging to see than “we believe” and “we expect”. In the table below, we’ve looked at the nuanced changes in language that reflect responsible and accurate communications around climate change commitments.

Looking past the language

The clearest way to identify if a company is greenwashing is to look beyond the language and understand what actions it is taking. BlackRock, for example, notable for CEO Larry Fink’s bold assertions that stakeholder capitalism must prevail, has, in the past, been picked up for not acting in line with his statements. We are now starting to see those words put into action in voting against 255 board directors that failed to act on climate issues.

Louise suggests looking at a company’s lobbying history. Companies that are really committed to putting their words into action are political activists, she notes. That means actively lobbying government and regulators for change and putting themselves forward as part of the solution. Not just getting in the way of progress and lobbying against. That is what the banks involved in Bankers for Net Zero, like Tide, Handelsbanken and Triodos, do. Rather than take the easy option of saying “no” to changes they don’t want to see, they are stepping up to be part of the positive change and ultimately, the solution.

Next steps

As a company focused on helping our clients communicate their positive impact, the correct use of language around climate commitments is high on our agenda. The drive towards greater responsibility and a tighter interpretation of terms will ultimately expel greenwashing and promote a better future for us all.

Let’s hope such scrutiny effects change fast enough to make a lasting difference to our planet. Until then, for our part, we will continue advising clients on responsible use of language and claims around climate and net zero.

A new language of commitment to climate change

ESG: MINIMAL RISK, MAXIMUM REWARD? 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-led investments have been thrust into the limelight over the last year. ESG-focused funds and impact investments delivered strong yields and gained additional investors, despite a broader pandemic-induced sell off. Conscious capitalism has shifted the focus for investment away from shareholders to the wider stakeholder community, reshaping the investment agenda towards one of sustainability and long-term gain. 

Is ESG enough?

Progressive policy is fuelling momentum for this trend, encouraging the private sector to Build Back Better and helping set legal precedents. With the race to achieve carbon neutrality at the top of many business agendas, leaders now have a better understanding of the scale of the challenge ahead. More businesses are now stepping up and addressing pressing issues like climate change, but is ESG enough to deliver the changes necessary? 

By 2025, a predicted third of global assets under management will have an ESG-led mandate. Should the forecast USD 53 trillion of institutional capital be allocated with ESG considerations, this will represent more than a doubling of such investment in the decade from 2016. Yet based on current investment and global indicators, social inequality is still on the rise – especially in developing markets – while the effects of climate change are worsening. 

Throwing more money at these problems isn’t enough on its own – there has to be a more considered approach. Standardising ESG measurements, for example, means capital can be deployed more effectively and efficiently. Innovative financing models, like green and social bonds, are building resilience in emerging markets – often worst hit by the neglect of global capital allocation. 

Lessons from Africa 

In Africa, every dollar of impact capital has a more profound effect than in the developed world. Access to social goods is limited. Over half of the continent does not have a reliable electricity connection, while around only a fifth of people use the internet and secondary school enrolment is a mere 43 per cent. This lays bare the level of development required, especially at a time when equality between the developed and developing world grows wider as a consequence of Covid-19.  

The continent is ahead of the curve when it comes to ESG and impact investing, being rooted in development finance. With adequate funding, it is well positioned to allocate capital to close the divide. Gong client, Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), is one of the continent’s leaders in this regard. Its investments are guided by the UN’s SDGs and assessed according to 90 separate impact measurements. As such, they are improving access to affordable education and housing, while also addressing gender and racial inequality. 

OMAI’s approach acknowledges the nuances of the investment environment, while shaping how best to generate social impact returns as well as above-market financial performance. This is evident in the infrastructure arm of OMAI’s business – African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM). The resilience of its portfolio, including renewable energy, has been proven through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Renewable energy plants stood strong and digital infrastructure remained robust as demand for their services increased. According to the UNDP, for every dollar spent on resilience-building infrastructure, like renewable energy, the economic return is fourfold. So where the conversation of Building Back Better in Europe and America is centred on climate change, in Africa it is equally about development.

The developed world’s perspective 

Across the world, the coronavirus pandemic has realigned investing priorities and funds are allocating a larger proportion of their portfolios to generating impact. Over a fifth of retail investors in the UK plan to dedicate capital to impact generation. That proportion is even larger among people under 35, as they are more willing to trade financial returns for social ones.  

Meanwhile, we have witnessed the formation of multiple financial alliances across the institutional investment space over the last five years, driven by the same goal: to achieve carbon neutrality. Our infographic demonstrates how this movement – which most recently has been given additional fuel by the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign – has gained momentum over time. 

In the UK, we continue to see the trend for institutional investment being deployed responsibly among pension funds. The Make My Money Matter campaign, which asks pension funds to halve the emissions of portfolios by 2030, has united over 50 employers, including Gong, in tackling the climate crisis. 

ESG really is starting to make a difference. Growing awareness, a generational shift and mounting investor pressure combined with more systematic carbon reporting is accelerating the move to improved global sustainability. As we move away from greenwashing and ESG as window-dressing, the demonstrable benefits of a concerted commitment to sustainability are reasons for optimism.  

 

EU Green Week 2021

“It is painfully clear that human activity has negative impacts on other forms of life. Pollution is threatening the survival of more than one million plant and animal species, on land and at sea. It is one of the five leading causes of biodiversity loss. We cannot be negligent any longer. Thus, we are determined to tackle this challenge through our European Green Deal,” were President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen’s opening remarks at EU Green Week 2021.

Dedicated to championing a ‘zero pollution ambition,’ EU Green Week took place from the 1st to 4th June to engage stakeholders and interested citizens on how we can all work together to make the ambition for a zero pollution and toxic-free environment a reality.

Highlights included a seminar from the European Environment Bureau exploring the hidden social and environmental costs as well as inherent limitations of Europe’s ongoing energy transition; a short documentary film ‘Trapped by Plastic’ by Mandy Barker on the unpalatable truths about marine plastic pollution which sparked a fierce discussion on challenging complacency, reconciling contradictions, and accelerating the pace of positive change. Alongside this was a co-hosted panel discussion with the European Policy Centre and Apple Europe on the role of partnerships and innovation in creating a healthier future for our planet.

To conclude the week, we wanted to spotlight just a handful of companies who are driving sustainably conscious, greener industries.

Quotes from clients about zero pollution ambition

Gong signs up to Green Pensions Charter

Today marks the launch of the Green Pensions Charter, led by Make My Money Matter in partnership with Count Us In. It’s a world first for pensions, uniting 50+ employers – Gong included – in a mission to “make our money matter”.

The Green Pension Charter seeks to ensure that all money invested by company pension schemes helps to tackle the climate crisis – an issue close to all of our hearts at Gong.

As organisations are increasingly supporting net zero strategies and making critical strides on sustainability, pensions are often overlooked. As a result, the £20 billion invested annually through company pension schemes continues to fund tobacco, fossil fuels and deforestation. The Green Pensions Charter seeks to bring an end to that.

To find out more, read the Make My Money Matter blog, and sign up your company to the Green Pensions Charter today.

The economic potential of Nature-based Solutions

Vinesh Parmar, Account Executive

While the world continues to struggle with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change issues remain critically important. Protecting and restoring nature are key to tackling climate change, yet taking stock of the impact of human-inflicted damage on biodiversity reveals an array of frightening statistics: an average of 60 per cent of vertebrates have been lost since 1970, 75 per cent of the earth’s land surface has been significantly altered by human action and two thirds of the ocean is reeling from human interference. Deforestation has caused the loss of a third of our forests and with it the earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide.

‘Building Back Better’ with Nature-based Solutions

There is increasing momentum to use the global recovery from Covid-19 to support climate change mitigation. As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said, “We have a responsibility to recover better” than after the 2008 global financial crisis. Nature-based Solutions (NbS), – defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits” – offer an opportunity to avoid accelerated deforestation and biodiversity loss in short-term recovery plans.

Nature-based Solutions can include:

Protecting and growing these natural solutions could provide 37 per cent of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation we require to keep global warming under 2°C over the next decade. But crucially they could also minimize the social and economic impact of Covid-19 by creating employment and economic opportunities.

Profiling Nature-based Solutions

Green shoots of optimism are sprouting with the help of innovation. The Mesoamerican reef in the Yucatan Peninsula, the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere, is an important attraction to driving the USD9bn tourism economy in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Of equal significance is its role in absorbing wave energy, which protects beachfront settlements. Global Parametrics led the renewal of the landmark Mexican Reef Protection Program – a USD1.9m parametric protection solution that enables immediate financial support to restore key parts of the reef, essential in safeguarding the livelihoods of the coastal communities and drawing in tourists, which over 150,000 jobs rely on.

Meanwhile, the Coastal Resources Group is helping countries all over the world to restore their mangroves and create carbon ‘sinks’ – for example, the world’s mangroves sequester about 24 million metric tons of carbon in soil per year – and Malawi has invested 1.5 per cent of its domestic budget to its Youth Forest Restoration Program, employing thousands of young people to grow trees across 50,000 hectares of land (and protecting the livelihoods of its farmers).

Closer to home, the United Kingdom government announced that future flood defense efforts would focus on nature-based approaches, including grassland restoration and allowing rivers to flow more freely across the landscape.

Next steps

Nature-based solutions have a significant socio-economic role to play in a global recovery from Covid-19. A potential USD10tn in additional business revenue could be generated by moving towards a nature-positive economy and could contribute 395 million new roles to the global job market by 2030. As the world rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic, reassessing its priorities, we don’t need to look beyond what’s already around us to catalyse this transition. Instead, we need to invest in decisions that move us towards a sustainable, nature-friendly approach to economic growth and development.

 

 

Showcasing sustainability around the world

President Biden’s virtual Climate Summit this week has seen important international negotiations on climate and sustainability, and the year ahead promises yet more. Although rescheduled once because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 is due to be held in Glasgow in November, with international leaders coming together to add detail to their pledges.

Arguably, rescheduling last year’s event may not have been a bad thing. As a result of the pandemic, we learnt the positive power of cutting emissions (albeit imposed on us) – with the biggest annual fall in CO2 emissions since World War II according to one study – not to mention our capability in responding to existential threats. Meanwhile, the past year has seen some of the strongest climate commitments ever made by governments and business leaders – the EU Green Deal, a greener-than-expected Brexit deal, net zero pledges by China, South Korea and Japan, Joe Biden’s election as US President, rejoining of the Paris Agreement and hosting of this week’s virtual Climate Summit, which has seen yet more ambitious pledges from international leaders. Climate action is becoming institutionalised.

We all wait in hope that November will bring further ambitious international carbon pledges, and more importantly, the necessary action to complete them. The narrative for COP26 includes the assertion that ‘each of us has a part to play’ and in the run up to the summit, the conversation is mounting around how businesses, society groups, schools and individuals are taking action to tackle climate change and encourage sustainability – working #TogetherForOurPlanet.

A cursory glance at some of the sustainability stories around the globe shows that this can mean different things in different regions, but all are making strides towards a better future. Here are some of those stories we find most inspirational:

The importance of carbon removal in reaching Net Zero

The growth in net zero pledges over the last year – including asset managers BlackRock and Vanguard in March 2021 – has created unprecedented interest in carbon removal strategies and carbon markets. And rightly so. This article by our Finland-based client Puro.earth explains the difference between carbon offsetting and carbon removal, and why the latter is so integral to reaching our net zero targets. Microsoft is on board – it has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030, partnering with Climeworks and Puro.earth (including using the latter’s suppliers Carbofex, ECHO2 and Carbon Cycle to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through production of biochar, allowing carbon to be stored in soil for centuries) to reach its goal.

Powering-up for a greener, brighter future

The European Union has committed 550 billion euros to climate protection and clean technologies over the next seven years, and these plans hinge on batteries to store renewable energy and to power electric vehicles. Analysts say the next generation of batteries must last longer, charge faster and be safer and greener than those on the market now, allowing for innovation. International technology firm Systems Sunlight, has announced a new R&D centre, at which the company will develop innovative lithium battery technologies for the industrial energy storage sector, focusing on new technologies that will usher in a clean energy future.

Chilling out for a cooler climate

Unreasonable Group-backed company Sure Chill has developed a unique cooling technology that allows cooling equipment to maintain a constant temperature without constant power. Rather like a rechargeable battery, the tech is entirely natural and can be linked with solar – perfect for areas of the world with intermittent power. Sure Chill is also working with some of the world’s largest brands to develop solutions within home refrigeration, food and drink, and logistics —all of which contributed to the government of Dubai’s decision to choose Sure Chill as “one of the technologies most likely to change the world in the next 20 years”.

Protecting East African heritage against the threat of climate change

Established in 2016, the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, offers financial backing for projects that tackle the threat from climate change to cultural heritage in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In November last year, the Fund awarded five global heritage projects including the development of disaster risk management strategies for preserving Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal heritage at risk due to rising sea levels, and protection against the impact of flood threats to communities and monuments in Uganda.

Constructing a more sustainable future

With cement production responsible for 8 - 12 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions, the race is on to find a sustainable alternative for the construction industry. As part of our African Net Zero series, we spoke to Wolfram Schmidt from Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) about his research into alternative materials like cassava and other agricultural residues as a source of ‘green’ African-made cement for future sustainable construction on the Continent. You can watch the full video here.

 

 

Female Leadership – insights on International Women’s Day

One of the good things about celebration days in the international calendar is that they give us the excuse to pause and think about important issues amidst the rush and clamour of busy schedules. Female leadership is still a big issue, particularly for those who subscribe to the belief that diversity in leadership enables better decision making – at a time when our business leaders are taking on so much responsibility for the wellbeing of society and the environment, alongside their usual stakeholders.

In the FTSE, where many international companies choose to list, The Hampton Alexander Review’s final report into female leadership was published on 24 February. Amidst the positive increase in the number of women overall in the last decade, it was noted that we need more women in executive positions to see sustained growth at the Board level. As we work towards gender parity and a more prosperous and sustainable world (SDG 5), International Women’s Day – this year themed #ChooseToChallenge – offers an opportunity to showcase our top picks of outstanding examples of female leadership, and how they stand out for challenging the status quo.

Here are ours – who would you add to the list?

Mayyada Abu Jaber, renowned female activist

Attendees at DiveIn’s festival in Amman in 2018 were treated to a speech by Mayyada Abu Jaber, the renowned female activist and inspirational leader who discussed her lifetime dedication to female empowerment.  As a Brookings Institution Global Scholar for Leaders in Girls Education, Ms Abu Jaber conducted research to evaluate gender bias in the national Jordanian curriculum. Armed with evidence of inequality, she founded JoWomenomics as an independent non-profit organization to foster mindset change towards greater women’s economic participation. This in turn influences labour law policies and provides job opportunities to more than 600 marginalized female communities in Jordan. In recognition of her #ChoicetoChallenge, she has been recognized by the World Bank as an inspirational leader in the Middle East and North Africa, among many more accolades.

Marianne Tikannen and Elba Horta, co-founders of Puro.earth

With backgrounds in engineering and geosciences, these two outstanding female founders of the world’s first marketplace for selling ‘carbon removal’, are united in their ambitions for protecting the planet. Unafraid to challenge traditional methods, the two entrepreneurs forged new career paths in their pursuit of sustainability, as outlined in this Forbes article. As Ms Tikannen reportedly says, “It’s really important to move from words to action… we only have one climate.”

Rashmy Chatterjee, CEO of ISTARI

Rashmy Chatterjee has made a habit of #ChoosingtoChallenge. As the first female engineer to join the Indian Navy, she was commended by the President of India for her work. After two decades at IBM, she is now the CEO of Istari – the global cybersecurity platform established by Temasek to help clients increase their cyber resilience, earn digital trust and secure their business growth in this time of rapid digital transformation. As an advocate for women in technology, Mrs Chatterjee is a prime candidate for mention on this International Women’s Day.

Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, CEO and co-founder, WEB Limited Group

Frequent viewers of our blog and video content will know about Elizabeth Chege – a true pioneer in the sustainable construction sector in Kenya and green building throughout Africa. In our #AfricaNetZero interview series, Ms Chege speaks openly about her initial decisions to focus not on box-ticking and meeting building standards, but in putting sustainability first in the construction sector. Coining herself as a ‘sustainable engineer’, she was told by her professors that “we’re not sure anything like that exists” – a true example of a #ChoosetoChallenge female leader.

Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng, Barrister

In 2018, Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng was recognised by the prestigious GUBA awards for work in criminal and human rights law. Speaking of her Professional of the Year award win, Mrs Boaitey-Kwarteng told of her bold decision (having come to the UK from Ghana) to “run her own Chambers in the middle of Lincoln’s Inn surrounded by a sea of all-white Chambers.” She is an exemplar of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Ms Ardern responded to the Covid-19 crisis with the strictest regulations in the world, closing New Zealand’s borders with the response that she would “make no apologies” for doing so, while other countries remained open. Her choice to challenge the practice of other nations was made from listening to scientific expertise, and her accomplishment was in uniting her country through communication and strong leadership. She had the self-confidence to stand by her conviction to act quickly and maintain her stance. Her success? A record-breaking victory resulting in re-election.

Shining a light on our Top 5 B Corps

As a long-established B Corp (Gong was among the first UK communications agencies to achieve certification in 2017), we have built a healthy network of B Corp ‘friends’. We’re even lucky enough to work with some of them. Here are our top five (though to be honest, we could have made this a much longer list!) in honour of B Corp month:

Volans

Volans is a think tank and advisory firm operating at the cutting edge of regenerative innovation to help catalyse systemic change. It was the first B Corp in the UK and incubated the movement here, so well-deserving of the #1 recommendation slot. It is a great pleasure to be able to work with them to amplify their client initiatives and partnerships in the media. A recent example is Bankers for Net Zero, an initiative that brings together banking leaders and other key stakeholders to accelerate the flow of finance towards net zero-aligned activities. Widespread media pickup, including Yahoo, Reuters and the New York Times, generated new enquiries from further potential collaborators – their network continues to grow.

Unreasonable Group

Unreasonable Group was created out of the desire to have the greatest impact possible on the world’s toughest challenges. They believe that entrepreneurs building scalable businesses are the best bet for solving such challenges, and support them in doing so. You can read for yourself the incredible effect Unreasonable Companies have had here – but the number of lives positively impacted by them – 549,000,000+ – gives you some idea. We’re talking drones positioned to plant billions of trees, converting elements in the air into meat protein, the future of fusion energy, hydroponic farms under the streets of London and so much more.

Danone

Danone needs no introduction, though not everyone may know the extent to which the company is involved in the B Corp movement. Its B Corp profile highlights their One Planet One Health commitment to inspire healthier eating and drinking habits, for example, but we know them best for their collaboration with B Lab.

In December 2015 Danone and B Lab announced a partnership which most recently has resulted in an e-learning and engagement tool to help Danone’s 100,000 employees feel motivated by the company’s commitment to certify its 130 subsidiaries around the world as B Corps. Gong was commissioned to create this tool.

The resulting six bite-size lessons (incorporating engaging video content and more) were rolled out globally in October 2020 and translated into five languages. B Lab is now launching a version of the e-learning tool to make it accessible for the wider B Corp community. Spreading the #BetterBusiness love!

EQ Investors

EQ Investors – another of the founding B Corps in the UK – creates change through the power of investments. In 2017 and 2018 they won a ‘Best for the World’ award for their work on impact investing and their EQ Positive Impact Portfolios allow individuals to invest in companies that are creating solutions to social and environmental problems. This is a pensions and investment firm that is really helping companies and individuals to ‘make (their) money matter’ – another campaign we’re wholly on board with.

ClimateCare

As you know, climate change is a topic very close to our hearts here at Gong. We admire ClimateCare – based (like us) in the UK and Kenya – for its work towards a sustainable future with climate neutral and net zero programmes, using both private and public finance. They even have a handy carbon calculator to help us work out how much carbon we need to offset, as well as 50 ideas for shrinking our carbon footprint.

 

Who would you add to this list?