How Avenue is Using Business as a Force for Good
At Avenue, we believe that B CorpTM Certification is the next chapter for socially responsible businesses. Over the course of the past year, our team committed to building our business model, company operations and culture around upholding the values of community impact, employee wellbeing and environmental responsibility. To do so, we decided to explore B CorpTM certification and commit to measuring our impact in the most accountable way possible for a business. We are proud to share that Avenue officially became a Certified B Corporation® in December 2017. You can read the full press release announcing our certification here.
Who and what are B Corps?
B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Avenue was certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there are over 2,400 Certified B Corps around the globe (and over 100 in Portland!), including companies such as Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Warby Parker. We are proud to join them in redefining success in business, so that one day everyone uses business as a force for good.
Why did Avenue become a B Corp?
From the very early months of Avenue’s existence, I was inspired by the measurability and accountability of the certification and the impact B Corps were having within their communities locally and globally. When I founded Avenue in March of 2016, I started by building the company around personal values and a purpose-driven approach that I had found missing in companies across the board. I was surprised to learn from a neighboring business (adjacent to Avenue’s then office), that a certification process actually existed to formalize those values as operational and cultural pillars within your business. As I later learned, my personal values aligned almost perfectly with those of B Lab. It was a win-win and no-brainer for Avenue to pursue certification.
I continued to learn that in order to certify a business needed to have one full year of financial history. At the time, Avenue was barely four months old and the timing wasn’t right. That fall, I crossed paths with the incredible Cameron Madill, Board Chair of B Local PDX and CEO of PixelSpoke (a certified B Corporation since 2014) and the timing was right! Avenue would have a full year of financial history after the New Year, and with our Annual Planning Retreat approaching I was inspired to re-engage in the certification process (which took us the better part of the following year). The rigor of the certification process earned my respect, and the team collectively decided to put B Corp certification on Avenue’s annual goal list for two years out (or the end of 2018) during our planning retreat. However, passion and commitment to the process enabled our company to make B Corp certification happen in less than a year, well before our originally stated goal. Go A-team!
Avenue decided to become a B Corp so everyone in the company knows first and foremost we are using our business as a force for good. This is Avenue’s commitment to our clients, employees and community that we will always do the right thing.
How we’re using business as a force for goodTM
B Corp certification is structured around continual improvement, as businesses must re-certify every two years (hopefully improving their B score each time). At Avenue, we love this philosophy and its commitment to ongoing improvement. Our company’s mission, purpose and values have been intentionally crafted to reflect our commitment to progressive business practices, ongoing improvement and always doing what’s right. These values drive the way behavior and outcomes are championed in our day-to-day operations.
Avenue uses our Core Values to create a framework for all team members to model B Corp values and ethical, responsible decision making in our organization and through the work we do for our clients, partners and community.
Our first core value, ‘Build community together’ specifically speaks to our passion for creating impact within our communities (our clients, our partners, our employees, our local community, etc.) and within the company, which is comprised of Avenue’s team and culture. We take care of our communities first and understand that we can only do this successfully if we are working to do so together.
Our second core value, ‘Fearlessly do what’s right’ speaks to our standards for ethical and responsible decision making in everything that we do. We will always do what’s right for our clients, our partners, our team members, our community and our environment, even if it means taking the more difficult avenue to get there. We do this fearlessly because doing the right thing is often tough and uncomfortable, but to produce the right outcomes for our clients, partners, employees and community, it’s imperative and non-negotiable to our operations and culture.
Finally, our third core value, ‘Leave it better than when you found it’ speaks to our focus around constant improvement in all aspects of the company, inclusive of the work we do for our clients, our partners, our team members and within the community.
Join the B Corp movement
We believe our mission, purpose and core values lead our team to go above and beyond industry standards to set the bar for companies using business as a force for good. We hope to connect with and inspire many more businesses to do the same. Come join us!
View our assessment, read our full B-Impact Report, and learn more at: http://www.bcorporation.net/community/avenue
Headquartered in Portland, OR, Avenue is a digital marketing agency that amplifies the impact growth-minded and purpose-driven companies have in the world through results-led digital marketing. Our proprietary suite of marketing products and custom services help brands and businesses of all sizes grow sustainably and successfully. For more information about Avenue, visit www.avenueagency.com
About B Corporations
Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,000 Certified B Corporations in over 130 industries and 50 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. B Lab drives this systemic change by:
Building a global community of Certified B Corporations who meet the highest standards of verified, overall social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability;
Promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society and to help high impact businesses be built to last;
Helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors, and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact -- and the impact of the businesses with whom they work -- with as much rigor as their profits;
Inspiring millions to join the movement through compelling story-telling by B the Change Media.
For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net, www.bimpactassessment.net, www.b-analytics.net and www.benefitcorp.net.