As we look to the future, we’re thinking about improvement not only within Placework, but how we can drive positive change.

Celebrating B Corps

Around the table at Placework we contemplate important questions daily. Bold inquiry is a part of our everyday life, because how can we envision a better future if we aren’t inspired by the big questions?  We use our skills in examination with our clients and collaborators on a regular basis, but sometimes our deliberations are internal, like: “when celebrating an anniversary, what’s the right kind of pastry?”

Which anniversary? Placework is celebrating a year of being a Certified B Corporation, which happily coincides with B Corp Month, and the kick-off of the We Go Beyond campaign. Being a B Corp means that we’ve submitted to a rigorous program of measuring our social and environmental impact. And we feel like we have lots to celebrate about our achievements so far. 

“From our inception, Placework prioritized building to support communities and reduce impact on the natural environment.  Through our work to become certified, we’ve learned how we can better support our team and center equity in our work,” says Principal Alyssa Murphy.   To the Placework team, being a B Corp is about transparency, accountability, and employee satisfaction.  It’s just one of the ways we recognize the shift in our work from a ‘do less harm’ paradigm to a regenerative approach that seeks to build with and enhance natural systems.   

 Driving Change as part of the B Corp Community

All Certified B Corporations must legally commit to a governance model that prioritizes all stakeholders in the decision-making processes, eschewing the doctrine of shareholder primacy.  We publicly share their metrics via the B Impact Assessment online must recertify every three years and demonstrate improvement over time.   

As part of this community, we are plugged into a wealth of resources that deepen our learning.  B Corps connect through an online forum, where numerous sub-groups share best practices.  Closer to home, B Local Boston connects B Corps throughout New England, providing social and learning opportunities.  Their regional conference was hosted by the UNH Sustainability Institute in 2022. 

As we look to the future, we’re thinking about improvement not only within Placework, but how we can drive positive change. When we recertify in two years, we’ll need to show progress on our goals.  At that time, we aim to have transitioned to fully renewable power sources and have calculated and tracked two years of our carbon footprint – among many other goals.  If we’re able to accomplish these things for ourselves, it’s much easier to have a conversation with a client about how and why they might make the same choice.

Inspired by our Community

But for those of you interested in the pastry selection, it’s tough!  With our office sitting in the middle of four amazing coffee shops, it’s always a debate whether to go with a muffin from Portsmouth stalwart Ceres Bakery (40+ years on Penhallow Street!) or an almond croissant from our new favorite relative newcomer, Elephantine Bakery. We admire the way these businesses have thrived – even through the challenges of the pandemic – by providing high-quality fare, unique experiences, and expressing their deep affection for the community of customers. 

We look to these businesses and others for inspiration.  Although they may not all be B Corps, they keep us centered in community and a commitment to what we believe in.  They encourage us to continually ask if we are doing all we can to meet our mission – creating transformative design for the benefit of people and the planet. And it helps if they provide us with tasty baked goods along the way! 

B Corp Certification isn’t an accolade, it’s a commitment.  We were inspired to join this community of leaders that are changing the way business works around the world. And we’re dedicated to doing more good with each passing year.

If you’d like to sit down with us – perhaps over pastry – to discuss how being a B Corporation can bring benefits to your community, reach out via our Connect page.