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iBec Starts its B Corp Journey!

iBec Creative, Portland, Maine’s award-winning digital agency, is becoming a B Corporation to create meaningful change in our world.

By Becky McKinnell


iBec employees cleaning up trash in Downtown Portland

Raising the bar for meaningful change

We’ve always cared about being a good company, driven by purpose and meaningful change. As the owner of iBec, I feel a deep responsibility to create joy for our employees, our clients, and our community.

At the start of 2020 we wanted to impact the world in a more meaningful way.

We had no idea just how much this year was going to deepen our mission – leading us to today as we start our B Corporation Certification, the highest standard of social and environmental performance a business can achieve.

But first, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s head back to the new year – right before the world got rocked.

A year like no other

In January 2020, we decided to become carbon neutral by minimizing our company's negative impact on the environment. We calculated our total carbon impact by tallying up employees’ commutes to work, natural gas emissions, and the emissions from our web hosting servers to measure our progress and offset our carbon outflow. We changed over our electricity to 100% renewable energy, too. In using Terrapass, we offset 146,795 pounds of carbon emissions. We were riding high on our successful initiative and we were ready to rock this year without a cloud in the sky!

Then we met spring 2020.

We entered into a pandemic – changing life as we knew it quite literally overnight.

Our purpose has always been to help our clients thrive, and when they faced the tremendous challenge of succeeding in this new world, we jumped into action. We helped them pivot, regain their footing, and even flourish in a time when that seemed impossible. Specifically, we’ve been helping clients digitally transform their businesses since ecommerce will remain a make or break line of business for many companies even when the world “goes back to normal.” We feel it’s our responsibility to help companies thrive in what might come next.

iBec’s purpose is also to its employees – the heart of our company. Through the toughest times, we want employees to feel connected to iBec’s mission and feel that they always have a safe and happy place to be themselves and find joy in helping our clients reach their fullest potential.

Our purpose to the world also became clearer in the spring of 2020 as we found ourselves in a (long overdue) movement to work toward racial equity and transform “what’s always been” to make room for what should be. This mindset shift was profound. For me, I recognized that "thinking and feeling" positively about diversity, equity, and inclusion were no longer enough. I embraced an antiracist action-oriented mindset, recognizing true change only happens with action. (You can read more about iBec's diversity, equity, and inclusion changes here. It includes one of my favorite books that I’ve recently read, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi)

That spring, the need to do more fueled us like never before – because to us, it became a fundamental responsibility to our work and world. It shined a spotlight on who we are as a company, what we believe in, and the power of what we can do as a team.

The idea of applying for the B Corp Certification was a light bulb moment. We’ve been doing the right thing for the last 15 years. It was officially time to take our history – and our future – and put an official seal of approval on our mission.

What is a B Corp Certification?

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose – all verified through extensive requirements.

B Corp Certified companies are doing right by their employees, customers, suppliers, the environment, and social (i.e. equity, diversity) initiatives. It’s not a short-term accolade, but instead commits companies to long-term positive impact by building it into the company’s legal structure.

B Corps are shifting our global culture to become a more inclusive and sustainable economy, putting purpose and goodness back into the business world.

iBec’s first steps toward certification

The B Corp Certification (understandably!) requires a thorough assessment process to verify companies meet these rigorous standards and you need a score of 80 or above to move forward.

Right now, we’re working on our roadmap with these next steps:

  • First, understand all the questions and what we’ll need to answer
  • Outline what policies we already have in place
  • Outline the policies we need to make (these will take the bulk of time!)

We’re on a mission to score above 80 by June – and have our documentation ready for submission.

Follow our B Corp journey!

We’re so enthusiastic to take on this huge project, and we’d love to have you alongside us! We’re going to post monthly blogs on this adventure – so follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter. We can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!

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