Maja Pawinska Sims 20 Jan 2020 // 7:01PM GMT
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — Freuds has become the largest PR agency to achieve B Corporation certification, joining the global movement to use profits and growth as a force for good and to have a positive impact on employees, communities, and the environment.
Certified B Corps have to meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. To certify as a B Corp, businesses are externally assessed across a range of criteria on benchmarks including governance and transparency, working standards, community impact and environmental impact.
The agency announced the news at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. CEO Arlo Brady – who is also chair of the Blue Marine Foundation and has a PhD in business sustainability – said: “I’m incredibly proud that we have officially been certified as a B Corporation, which marks a significant inflection point for us on our journey to maximise our positive impact on the world. 2020 has been described by world leaders as a Super Year – the start of a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development – and we intend to play a big part in that.”
Brady told the Holmes Report: “We’re not by any means perfect. We’re on a journey and it’s useful to know where you are on that journey, and actually quite difficult to get an external perspective on where we are and how we can improve.
“It was challenging but we have an interest in attracting like-minded clients who want to have significant impact on the UN Global Goals, and this is a way of signposting that, plus we need to recruit and retain the best talent, and the best people want to work on these issues.”
And Brady said he would like to see more PR agencies committing to meeting B Corp criteria: “I’m hoping this will engage our industry and I’m very happy to collaborate with competitors on this because PR is very powerful and if it’s used for society’s benefit it could have a hugely positive impact.”
The 35-year-old agency has a long commitment to social and environment impact, working on campaigns and initiatives including Band Aid, Live Aid, Live Earth & Live 8, Comic Relief and more recently the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Product (RED) and the BLUE Marine Foundation, as well as long-term work with Public Health England.
There are currently over 3,000 B Corp certified organisations worldwide in over 70 countries; other certified PR agencies include Don’t Cry Wolf and Milk & Honey.
B Corp UK executive director Chris Turner said: “We are thrilled to welcome Freuds to the B Corp movement. It’s more important than ever for business to make meaningful commitments to positive impact, and it’s vital that the PR and communications industry moves with us to do the same, while using its influence to make the case for business as a force for good.”