The World Economic Forum has heralded profit with purpose as the future of business.
It’s the theory – driven by social enterprise and impact investment – which calls on businesses to not only be profitable, but also be forces for good.
It’s a concept that has resonated with PR company Milk & Honey.
“There’s no rule that says if you make money you can’t also do good in the world,” Milk & Honey managing director Caroline Addy told B&T. “We believe companies, including ourselves, can use their business as a force for good because they have the financial stability to do so.”
“This doesn’t simply mean giving a fraction of your profit to charity. Having worked with not-for-profit clients in the past I know the value charitable donations hold – but this goes deeper. It requires us to analyse our levels of awareness, our behaviour and the choices we make. It’s about always challenging ourselves to think ‘what can we do better?’”
When it comes to working with clients, Milk & Honey does not align itself with any singular vertical.
Rather it specialises in ambitious growth companies. It’s a decision which Addy said gives the agency the freedom to work with a more diverse range of clients.
“We work with ambitious growth companies for two reasons: so we can work with extraordinary clients and hire amazing people regardless of the sectors they operate in,” Addy said.
“Where we draw the line is sectors that sell products or services that don’t align with our values. Similarly, we want to create an environment where our team feels safe and valued so we don’t tolerate clients who don’t play nice.”
One company that encapsulates Milk & Honey’s ‘ambitious growth’ selection criteria – as well as its ‘force for good’ mantra – is LeapFrog Investments.
LepaFrog Investments is a global impact investor that invests in purpose-driven companies across emerging Asia and Africa. These companies provide essential health and wealth services to people who live on less than $US 10 per day. Milk & Honey officially announced this client win this week.
“To date LeapFrog Investments has helped reach 205 million vulnerable people through the companies they invest in – all while delivering over 30 per cent returns for their investors,” said Addy.
“Our first project with LeapFrog was to generate targeted awareness of its annual impact results. It has been fantastic to start working alongside another client who shares so many of our values.”
B Corp accreditation
Milk & Honey made headlines last year when it became one of a few PR companies around the world to achieve B Corp certification. The intensive accreditation process requires evidence of responsible practices and is designed to recognise companies that are balancing purpose with profit, meeting rigorous social and environmental standards.
The company managed to secure the certification on the back of its approach to sustainability.
And while it marked a significant achievement for the company, it has also signified the need for continued development.
Having received an Impact Score of 87.3, Milk & Honey is actively working on improving this when it applies to be re-accredited in 2022.
“The accreditation process highlighted the areas we are really performing in, but it also identified where we can do more. Rather than trying to hover around that mark we have challenged ourselves to better it, which takes a concerted effort,” Addy said.
“Both our offices are located in co-working spaces. Currently we are working to understand more about our team’s environmental footprint so we can make better decisions.” Earlier this year, Milk & Honey released its first People, Purpose, Planet B Corp impact report detailing its commitment to becoming a more sustainable company.
This includes going plastic neutral in 2020, disclosing the percentage of turnover from high carbon clients by 2020, investing five percent of team time in volunteer projects and fundraising initiatives, increasing team ownership to a third by 2021 and going carbon neutral by 2022.
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