After two years of going through a complicated process, local video production company Untold Storytelling has accomplished a feat that only 412 companies in Canada can boast of: they have a B Corp certification.
Founder and Creative Director Braden Dragomir described B Corp as “a community of for-profit businesses who are committed to using their businesses for good.” A popular example would be Patagonia, known not only for its outdoor clothing, but also for its activism.
What I learned is that just making money is not enough to run a business. Our brand represents who we are and what we do.
– Braden Dragomir
According to their website, Certified B companies are companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
“What I’ve learned is that just making money isn’t enough to run a business,” Dragomir said. “Our brand represents who we are and what we do.”
The pandemic gave him the opportunity to reflect on the work his company was doing and what he was passionate about. So he decided to get a B Corp designation.
The certifying body, called B Lab, asks applicants to complete an impact assessment, which examines five aspects of a business: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. A perfect score would be 200 – the highest most companies get is around 150 – but to certify requires a score of 80 in all five categories. Evaluation, for example, examines how a company treats its employees, assesses whether the company gives back to the community, and measures its impact on the environment and its customers.
“’Complicated’ is both accurate and an understatement. You should also document and verify [everything]said Dragomir, adding that his company needed to formalize policies and write an employee handbook, among other things.
“There were a lot of aspects that we had to dive into – in depth – to be able to prove that what we said we were doing is what we are actually doing. They assign an analyst to your report and you need to be verified “, he explained.
Untold Storytelling scored the highest on how they treated their employees. A guaranteed living wage, group benefits and pension plans, remote work policy and flexible time off are some of the reasons the company scored high.
“This is how a business should operate,” Dragomir said. “I trust my team to do their job, and I trust them to tell me if they need support or time off. We have to be profitable and we have to run a big business, but we also have to be responsible citizens. »
Untold Storytelling is a branded content and video production company. “We work with conscious companies, thoughtful brands. We help with story strategy and help them make videos and movies based on their needs,” Dragomir said.
While the Kingston-based company has been around for seven years, Dragomir rebranded and renamed the company in 2020 to “start over”.
The company has three main employees – an editor, a cinematographer and Dragomir – although they hire more people depending on the project they are working on. This may include another producer, the use of a sound studio in Calgary, a composer and/or a colorist.
Dragomir worked as a broadcast journalist for years, but decided that sharing people’s stories through film satisfied his creativity.
“I decided the time was right for me to figure out how to be more creative. That’s why I started my own business. [There weren’t] lots of options in Kingston [at the time]. I wanted to live here and try to work with creative people, tell stories with a camera and do it creatively,” he shared.
“One of the big issues we’ve seen highlighted during the pandemic is the massive inequality in wealth, communities and how people are treated. Our B Corp designation proves that we run our business at a level very high. This is the standard everyone should be working towards,” Dragomir concluded.
Untold Storytelling achieved B Corp certification on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Canada ranks third in the number of B Corp certifications (412), after the United States at 1,671 and the United Kingdom at 731.
For more information on the Kingston-based video production company, visit https://www.untoldstorytelling.com/