MONTREAL, QC -- B Lab has just announced that Quebec company FFunction has attained B Corp certification, making it the only data visualization studio in the world to meet the required standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. FFunction celebrates seven years in business this week.B Corps are for-profit companies that pledge to achieve environmental and social goals as well as business ones. Their performance must be regularly certified by a nonprofit called B Lab, in the same way that LEED buildings are certified by the Canada Green Building Council.
“We became a B Corp because we want to join a community of companies that are agile, forward-thinking and committed to making change,” says FFunction’s Creative Director, Audree Lapierre. “The B Corp status allows us to succinctly communicate our values. Additionally, we have a real opportunity within the field of information design to make the world a more transparent, egalitarian place to live. Data is power, if you know how to use it, and FFunction wants to use that power for projects that make a difference.”
FFunction has worked with a number of high profile organizations since its launch in 2008, including UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Geographic, the Canadian Cancer Society and Conservation International. The studio’s work has sparked global conversation around a variety of issues including sustainability and the environment, equity in education, corporate social responsibility, the advancement of women, open data and transparency.
Today, the B Corps are a burgeoning network comprising more than 1,000 businesses from 33 countries and over 60 industries. In Canada, there are 137 B Corps across seven provinces and one territory, however there are currently just four certified in the province of Quebec. The B Corp movement has received significant attention in international media since its inception, with articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and the New Yorker:
“...the fetishization of shareholder value… has inflicted serious damage of its own, encouraging corporations to focus on short-term prospects and share price at the expense of everything else. As individuals, we try to make our work not just profitable but also meaningful. It may be time for more companies to do the same.
FFunction has instigated some significant changes to mark their new status as a B Corp, including reducing its overall energy consumption and GHG emissions within the office thanks to policy and system changes. The studio also funds an annual design scholarship, offers employees paid leave to volunteer for the charity of their choice, and has an employee commuting initiative that encourages FFunction staff to walk, bike, or take public transit to work.
Full details of FFunction’s CSR activities can be found within its current Corporate Social Responsibility report.
Says Lapierre: “As technology moves faster and faster, we want to harness it for progress and for people, and to create a fresh visual language that will save people from data-overload and help them make informed decisions for their businesses and for themselves. Our aim with FFunction is to create a business that supports its employees financially, professionally and personally; one that fosters strong ties to the community and creates lasting value to society.
To find out more about the B Corp movement and why it matters, visit their website: https://www.bcorporation.net/.