Marnie Hawson is now a Certified B Corporation
Marnie Hawson is a purpose-first photographer, offering her services to support people and organisations making a difference. For Marnie, this means working across two areas: sustainable architecture and the built environment, and any project that directly aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Based in Melbourne, Marnie seeks out clients who have a genuine commitment to environmental and social impact.
To celebrate achieving the B Corp milestone, we asked Marnie to share what motivated her to certify, how her work is making a difference, and why she believes money really does talk.
Why did you want to become a Certified B Corporation?
I began my professional life as an environmental scientist. Today, as a photographer I wanted to continue to measure my impact. I also wanted to practice what I preached, as I'd been running my business with environmental and social values at its core for a few years — but I wanted to formalise this commitment. Doing the assessment enabled me to delve into my business even more to see what else I could do to increase my impact.
I also think it's important to show other small businesses that you can incorporate these values into a business of any size. And it should become the norm, not the exception.
What makes your business unique? Where do you have the biggest impact or what are some of the changes you've made to make a difference.
I might be the only photographer in Australia who is B Corp certified! And I think the only one who is only working with clients aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.
I think the narrowing of my client base into 2022 will have the biggest impact because it means I can be confident that my work is helping to increase important social, environmental, and economic change.
My Prints for Wildlife project that I started at the beginning of the pandemic raises funds for independent wildlife shelters through the sale of limited edition fine art prints — this is a pretty special project to me.
B Corps want to help transform our economy into one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative. What business practice do you want to see become the norm?
I would love every single business to make their practice carbon neutral, and switch their banking and super to ethical investments. Money talks, and imagine the change that could be made with just these simple choices. We can't rely on the government to lead the way forward on climate change, instead, industry must become the leaders.
Photos by Marnie Hawson
Was there a B Corp that inspired you to certify, or one that you look to for inspiration?
Being so tiny (a one woman business), I was a bit overwhelmed with some of the B corp questions at first. But seeing that other small businesses offering a service had achieved certification was an inspiration (looking at you Harvey and Compass Studio!).
Do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?
If you're overwhelmed about where to start, hire a B Consultant. I engaged Alison Michalk of Ffutures, and she was a total lifesaver!
Also, I thought about doing the assessment for about a year, with work just continually 'getting in the way'. It wasn't until I decided to block out the first week of each month to focus on the assessment at the beginning of 2021 that I really committed and got to work.
And in actual fact, I found this space helpful in so many ways for my business — it's not until you have the headspace to think about how you really want to run your business that change can happen.
Now that my certification is complete, I've kept a 'Marketing Monday' blocked out in my calendar so I can continue this growth.