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B Corp: Being more transparent

Trust and transparency are at the core of what we do here at Milk & Honey PR. We have an open and honest agency culture – sharing everything from five-year business planning to company cashflow with the whole team. The B Corp theme for March was trust and transparency and, as the month draws to a close, we thought it would be fitting to share a little about our B Corp journey.

Making measurable commitments

When we passed the B Corp certification with a score of 87.3, seven points above the certification pass score of 80, we knew we had a lot to do. But we were proud to be only the fifth PR agency in the country to achieve accreditation.

Going into this journey we knew we weren’t perfect. Becoming a B Corp is our way of committing and holding ourselves accountable. It’s been an opportunity for us to strive towards higher social and environmental standards. We’re now asking tougher questions about how we function and how we can be better. And we made significant changes almost immediately, including onboarding a non-executive director to improve governance.

In order to take this journey in our stride we have set ourselves targets. Every quarter we are adding three to five points to steadily build our score before our reassessment in 2022 to continuously work to better our business. Governance, mission and engagement, and workforce are areas we perform well in. Scoring especially high on financial security.

One area for improvement is environmental management. Working in a co-working space has worked in our favour as most facilities are shared, lowering our individual impact. However, it has also meant we haven’t had access to information on what our individual impact is. This is something we continue to work closely with the building owners on to make a positive impact, not only for our own business, but the building itself and other companies that work within it.

We live in a society that is becoming ever more concerned and engaged in the social issues and struggles around us. It can be all too easy to make a claim to fit in with this movement that can’t be backed up in practice. However, being a certified B Corp allows us to be less talk and more action.

Through the Creative Climate Disclosure, we have committed to disclosing the percentage of turnover from high carbon clients by the end of 2020. And, by signing up to the B Corp Climate initiative, we have committed to be net zero by 2030. We are using the SDG Action Manager (developed by B Lab and the UN Global Compact) to help us take action and track progress. We are already doing pretty well on this front.

Upholding internal transparency

Since becoming B Corp in summer 2019, we’ve made enhancements to our carer policies, significantly upweighted our mental health programme and we are now building out our B Corp impact report. It’s important to remember that B Corp is about ongoing improvement and always will be. Standards will rise and agencies like ours will need to adapt or, indeed, lead.

With transparency comes accountability. To show our team, clients and partners that we are transparent, we need to be held accountable. We are PRCA CMS certified and B Corp certified, and the next frontier will be Investors in People. All our processes are clearly structured in our team handbook.

Transparency goes a long way in ensuring team happiness. No file is locked away or question too difficult to ask. All client information can be accessed by any team member, at any time. Insight into all corners of the business gives team members opportunity to share ideas, learn from each other, and become more well-rounded professionals.

The current climate

Now more than ever we are being reminded that it is crucially important to be open and transparent with those around us and who we work with. As we navigate through this uncertain time, we must work together to create a positive force. This period can be used as the extra motivation to work even closer with our colleagues, clients, partners and suppliers. We must support each other to put our health and the health of those in our communities at the forefront.

We hope being transparent about our journey helps open up the conversation and drives momentum towards a society in which businesses are a force of good. That ethos will continue to serve our people, the environment and communities around us.

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