“Just like our founders, Roger Bornand and Bruno Gaeng – the first founded the agency after a forty-thousand-kilometer journey through America in 1966, and the second was a conscientious objector registered in the Swiss federal registry – the second generation of BG that we represent consists of passionate, creative, and critical entrepreneurs. We are economists, graphic designers, political scientists, business employees, and marketing specialists who benefited from the high-quality training provided by the neoliberal society of the eighties, nineties, and two thousand. We are aware of having fully benefited from the comfort and opportunities offered by this model. And we have fundamental and critical questions about the impact, role, and responsibility of our activity on our societal, economic, and natural environment.”
“These questions and the difficulty of managing the daily paradoxes resulting from the opposition between professional practice and ideal aspirations led us to rethink our model once again and to reorganize it, this time from the ground up, after fifty years of activities. In June 2017, we became aware of the concept of ‘Conscious Capitalism’ at a conference by Professor Rajendra Sisodia, as part of the congress of our international network of independent agencies AMIN. We clearly identified with the desire to promote a responsible and sustainable liberal economy that prioritizes the interests of all stakeholders over those of shareholders alone. This convinced us even more that we had to and could put into practice the changes we want for our world here and now.”
“We decided to take a concrete approach to assess the impact of our activities on our environment, to qualify our corporate social responsibility, and to help support and quantify the actual results of the purpose we defined for our SME, namely ‘Communicating for a Better World.’ In early 2019, after various research and contacts, we embarked on the ‘B Assessment’ evaluation, which is free. Then we took steps towards B Corp certification. It is a great satisfaction for us to see our efforts come to fruition and to announce that B+G is now part of the B Corp community, which includes around three thousand companies worldwide and about thirty in Switzerland.”
“In addition to the structural, organizational, and legal commitments we have made as part of the B Corp certification, BG intends to develop concrete actions on three levels:
– Seek, create, and recommend to our clients marketing and communication strategies and operational solutions that contribute to improving their social and environmental performance.
– Raise awareness among our business relationships, including our suppliers, about the benefits of undertaking a B Corp certification process and assist them concretely in this process through a consulting service that I will lead, as I have received specific training for this purpose.
– Finally, actively participate in the actions of the B Corp movement in Switzerland and internationally.”
The certification known as “B Corp” (or “B Corporation” certification) is a certification awarded to for-profit commercial companies that meet high societal and environmental, governance, and transparency requirements towards the public. The “B Corp” certification is based on the independent international standard “B Impact Assessment.” The certification covers the entirety of a company, all its departments, and all its business sectors.
To be granted certification, a company must obtain and maintain a minimum score of 80 points (out of 200) on the international “B Impact Assessment” standard. The initial assessment is done for free and online through the “B Impact Assessment” platform. Once the initial assessment is completed, it is submitted for verification to B Lab, the entity responsible for certification. During the certification process, the candidate company may be asked to modify or complete many of its processes, documents, and operating schemes, including its legal statutes. This last requirement typically involves convening a general meeting and obtaining approval from shareholders and directors for the adapted goals of the company, such as adding objectives of corporate responsibility towards its stakeholders, society, and the environment.
The results achieved by certified companies are publicly displayed, indicating performance on specific themes and points.
Certification is limited to for-profit entities, regardless of their legal form, with the aim of engaging the private sector on the path to sustainability and acting in the general interest.
Among the internationally certified B Corporation companies are Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Danone, and Fairphone. In Switzerland, certified companies include Opaline, Loyco, Serbeco, Lombard Odier, Baabuk, and now BG CO-CREATIVE STRATEGY.
In Switzerland, the certification process is conducted by B Lab Switzerland.