If you have been on our mailing list, have perused our blog, or even if you’ve checked out our new website, you may have noticed a phrase: Responsible Impact. If it sounds like the familiar environmental phrase, Zero Impact, that’s for a reason. We set Zero Impact as our 2020 Intention. Then we looked around and realized that in our current society, there isn’t a feasible way to actually attain “zero” impact.
We realized what we need is for everyone – individuals, companies, governments – to be responsible about their impact. This represented a key shift because it refocused a lofty goal into an inclusive conversation. Everyone can learn how to take more responsibility. Everyone can take ownership of their impact. And frankly, given the dire situation our environment is in, everyone is exactly who we need.
The way we think about Responsible Impact is like this: We are an e-commerce company. We do business with influencers and brands. MagicLinks isn’t a company that manages global supply chains, shipping, or overseas workforces, but we partner with people who do. And so in a sense we stand in the same room as all these players. All of these conversations and considerations are interrelated. We are responsible for making eye contact with what’s happening in these arenas and how the environment is affected. We’ve said before: there is a narrow understanding of the balance sheet if financial metrics are the only metrics gauged. It doesn’t make sense to take credit for our profits but not for our impact. We are responsible for both, intrinsically.
As a company, we are answering the call for Responsible Impact in a number of different ways. We’ve started a Sustainability Task Force. It operates across departments and is an ongoing effort. We will be working with brands, influencers, and other partners to elevate sustainability and further foster inclusive conversations. We acknowledge that part of environmental justice means addressing long-standing injustices. To that effect, we’re developing multi-pronged community service initiatives. These will include helping feed neighborhood youth experiencing homelessness in partnership with S.P.Y. and coordinating ongoing support and resources for other vulnerable and marginalized populations in the LA area. (This specific initiative is still developing but we’ll post more details as soon as we are able.)
We’re in the process of applying to become B Corp Certified. Many worthwhile organizations have done the same, and we bring it up here because part of certification means altering our corporate legal documents to embed our values formally, in writing. It’s one thing to say we are working toward change, it’s another to have an outside audit from B Corp verifying that we’re standing by our values inside and out.
In case you are new to carbon offsets, or even if you just have questions, our article about them is a wonderful read. We searched high and low to find a good carbon offset partner and are thrilled to tell everyone we know about them. Cool Effect is a great organization actually doing the work to ensure quality projects are funded and the environment is actually helped. We’ll continue offsetting our carbon footprint for the office and once travel and commutes come back online post-COVID, we’ll be offsetting employees’ footprints, too.
Part of what sets MagicLinks apart is our dogged dedication to transparency. Brands and Influencers who’ve worked with us can access a wealth of data through their portals. This now includes our ground-breaking Sustainability Ratings. We developed the rating system for brands based on:
- Energy Practices
To our knowledge, no other actor in our space offers this kind of information. Influencers deciding which brands to work with can now readily assess which align with their sustainability values. Brands have easy access to update their scores as needed so that it can reflect their growth in sustainability, too. These ratings are part of our partner portals, but if you would like to learn more or see them in action, please drop a line. We’re happy to share more!
Now would be a good time to mention our podcast “Responsible Impact.” The show discusses all things at the intersection of sustainability and e-commerce. (Spoiler alert – there’s a lot there and it’s fascinating.) We’ve talked about why it makes sense to pay nations to keep their tropical forests standing, how sustainability became a corporate investment value, and how Micro-Influencers address sustainability on their channels. There was a great episode about the 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge and a heartwarming chat with an Influencer who specializes in upcycling. We can’t spill the beans on everything in the pipeline, but suffice it to say, it’s one podcast worth subscribing to. Plus, if anyone you know prefers transcripts to a listening experience, we have those available on our blog.
Responsible Impact as a 2020 Intention has led us to some stark realizations. Since we’re not shrinking violets, we feel the need to address these head-on. We suggest starting with our article on how racism has always been at the heart of environmental injustice through morally bankrupt practices like redlining neighborhoods. Also worth a read: how air pollution accounts for a Holocaust’s worth of deaths annually and how the Los Angeles river poetically and tragically embodies the way humans have decided what does and doesn’t matter under the banner of progress.
Sustainability and environmentalism are dizzying arenas. There are so many facets and the conversations can seem intimidating. It’s been our experience that many of the most well-intentioned people shy at the edges for fear of misstep. To that we say “thank you” first and foremost — for caring enough to take the responsibility of a better environment seriously. Most importantly though, we invite you to join us. We are not perfect and there is no silver bullet. What we need is more voices engaged in these discussions: we need all hands on deck.
Write us if you’d like to be part of these ongoing conversations, have ideas for the show, or just want to share your thoughts. This is not empty corporate-speak. We mean it — please reach out.
There’s a lot to be done and we’re just getting started,