From Add Good to B Corp: How WHOLE BRAND THINKING™ led to our latest moonshot.


At the heart of Barkley is a core belief that impacts everything we do: Add good. Through our work. For our culture. And from the time and talent we give in our communities. In 2020, we turned this belief into rocket fuel for our ambition. The result? 

We’re now a Certified B Corporation™. 

Barkley builds whole brands, and that starts with our own — which is why our new recognition as Certified B Corporation feels both like a round of applause and proof that it’s possible to balance purpose with profit.

B Corps inspire all brands not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. “B” stands for benefit, and certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. It’s like other certifications — think LEED, Fair Trade, USDA Organic  — but across the whole brand, from business strategies to marketing ideas.

The assessment for becoming a B Corp pushed us to think hard at how we define success as a balance of purpose and profit with our own impact on the people we interact with, the communities we serve and our planet. It included a B Impact Assessment with more than 200 questions that scored us across five key dimensions: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. 

One area where we scored well was in how we support and engage our employees. Last year, we took a series of actions to nurture our workforce and address challenges. Our action plan ranged from efforts to enhance mental wellness among partners during the pandemic, to goals and initiatives across four internal workstreams in support of diversity equity, inclusion and belonging within our own culture and through our work.

We believe that one of the most important ways we can bring about a more inclusive and sustainable world is by supporting clients who share our vision. As part of the B Impact Assessment, we developed a criteria to measure the impact of our client work. Our client impact rating criteria is based on mission, model and action.  

  • Mission:

    Does the client have a strong purpose committed to meeting social and environmental needs? 

  • Model:

    Does the client have a business model that drives action against the UN Sustainable Development goals?  

  • Action:

    Is the agency actively engaged in actions/programs/campaigns that move the business model and action on the SDGs forward? 

Through our assessment, we concluded that in 2019, 32% of our revenue came from business that met our Add Good Impact Criteria and we’re setting goals to increase our work that has measurable social and environmental impact in the future. 

In consideration of our own environmental impact, we evaluated our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and have set a Science Based Target to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with what climate science says is necessary to keep global temperatures from rising no more than 1.5°C. We’ve also committed to 100% renewable energy through purchasing of renewable energy credits and have set a zero waste target.    

Extending our Add Good belief even further, we calculated that in 2019, we contributed 1.5% of our revenue to causes advancing education and social justice. The work outside our walls leveraging the talent and passions of our partners to benefit our communities will continue. 

Our B Corp status both recognizes our efforts to date and requires a long-term commitment to always consider the impact we have on stakeholders by building our commitment to social and environmental impact into our company’s legal structure. (Read the latest report on our progress against our Add Good plan and view the full results of our B Impact Assessment on B Lab’s website).

While we are grateful for our accomplishments to date, this process was important for identifying areas for growth and improvement, and it starts by ensuring our employees are engaged in helping us reach our future sustainability goals.

B-Corporations believe: 

  • That we must be the change we seek in the world.

  • That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.

  • That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.

  • To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon one another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

We’re grateful to join the B Corp community and are more committed than ever to Add Good every chance we get and model WHOLE BRAND THINKING™ for our clients. 

We hope you join us.

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