Swiss independent marketing communications agency B+G & Partners obtains the B CorpTM Certification. Certified B Corporations® are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As of 2019, there are some 3000 B Corps in 60 countries around the world.
B+G & Partners SA – Creative Strategic Design is an independent agency active since 1967 in marketing, advertising and communications. The company based in Montreux, Switzerland is currently managed by a group of five Partners, aged 33 to 72, who serve clients – mainly Swiss SMEs – active on a regional, national and international scale.
Discussion with the agency’s partners
Grégoire Ryncki, Creative Director: “Just like our founders, Roger Bornand and Bruno Gaeng – Roger created the agency after returning from a thousand five hundred miles journey across the America of 1966, Bruno was a conscientious objector to the Swiss army and he was jailed for that – the new generation of B+G leaders that we represent is made up of passionate, creative entrepreneurs with a critical mind. We are economist, graphic designers, political scientist, and marketing specialists and we have benefited from the highly qualitative education provided by the neo-liberal society of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. And we are very much aware of the fact that we have fully benefited from the comfort and opportunities offered by this model. Nevertheless, for several years now, fundamental and critical questions have arisen within our team regarding the impact, role and responsibility of our activity on our societal, economic and natural environment. »
Serge Rentsch, Head of Strategy and Consulting: “These questions and the difficulty of managing on a daily basis the paradoxes resulting from a conflict between professional practice and ideal aspirations, have led us to rethink our model once again and to reorganize it, this time from scratch, after fifty years of activity. In June 2017, we were made aware of the idea of “Conscious Capitalism” at a conference given by Professor Rajendra Sisodia, during the annual meeting of AMIN, our international network of independent agencies. In the ideas and movement presented by Pr. Sisodia, we have clearly recognized our desire to promote and implement a responsible and sustainable liberal economy that would place the interests of all stakeholders before those of just the shareholders alone. And it reinforced our belief that we must be the change we seek in the world.”
Sullivan Tronchet, Client Partner: “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 us quantify the actual output of the purpose we have defined for our small business, namely “Communicating for a Better World”. At the beginning of 2018, after various research and contacts, we started the “B Impact Assessment” process, which is free of charge. And then we began and completed the process leading to being a Certified B Corporation. It is a great satisfaction for us to see our approach succeed and to be able to announce that B+G is now part of the B Corp community, together with some three thousand companies worldwide and some thirty to-date in Switzerland. »
Sylvain Gaeng – COO: “In addition to the structural, organizational and legal commitments we have made as a Certified B Corporation, B+G & Partners intends to develop concrete actions on three specific levels:
– We will research, create and recommend our clients marketing and communications strategies as well as operational solutions aiming at positive social and environmental impacts.
– Within our business network, including clients, partners and suppliers, we will promote the idea of undertaking a B Corporation Assessment and Certification, and assist them in this process if they wish, through a consulting service that I will conduct, having followed a specific training for this.
– Finally, we will actively participate in the actions of the B Corp movement in Switzerland and internationally, including for example the promotion of the “Swiss Triple Impact” initiative and, in the short term, a participation in the COP25 conference in Madrid, as part of a delegation of companies that have committed to Net Zero Emissions by 2030. »
Certified B Corporations® are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The B Corp Certification (also known as “B Corporation” Certification) is a certification granted to (for-profit) commercial companies that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The B Corp Assessment process measures a company’s performance in five categories: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment.
To be granted certification and then maintain it, a company must obtain a minimum score of 80 points (out of 200) on the international standard “B Impact Assessment”. Once the social and environmental impact assessment has been carried out, it is submitted to B Lab for verification. The company may need to amend its legal statutes, this step requiring a general assembly meeting and therefore requesting the shareholders and directors validate the company’s adapted goals as well as new articles that add accountability to the company, its stakeholders and the environment.
The results are publicly displayed, indicating the company’s performance on specific topics. The certification covers the entire company, all its departments and all its sectors of activity.
Certification is limited to “for-profit” entities, regardless of their legal form, with the objective of engaging the private sector on the path to sustainability and acting in the public interest.
Among B Corp Certified companies are Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Danone and Fairphone. In Switzerland, certified companies include Opaline, Loyco, Serbeco, Lombard Odier, Baabuk and now B+G & Partners.
In Switzerland, the certification process is conducted by B Lab Switzerland.