Our impact starts with our mission
c|change’s mission is to cultivate creativity.
Applying our creativity in the service of our clients, we help them find new ways to grow their businesses. Applying our creativity in the service of our community, we will help find ways to address social issues such as racial injustice and gender inequality. Applying our creativity, in cooperation with others, in service of the planet, we will help find ways to heal our environment and create a more sustainable world.
This Mission is to encourage every employee to cultivate their own creativity.
Creativity and creative problem solving are fundamental tools that enable us to serve our stakeholders and find meaningful ways to address issues as large and complex as climate justice and racial equity.
Let’s chat about how we can take your vision and create something better than imagined. Or, if you have any feedback on how we’re doing, please let us know through the form below.
Ideas and actions that build worlds while changing our own for the better
While the work that we do for our clients has tangible outcomes, as a company we are often operating in the abstract as we give life to their brands. We like to think that the worlds that we are creating for our clients also act as a proving ground for us to refine ideas and uncover new potential for our agency to create positive, real-world impact.
On February 19th, 2021 c|change formally committed to reach NetZero carbon emissions by 2030. While we have almost eight more years to reach this milestone, our goal is to reach NetZero carbon emissions sooner–by 2025.
We will reach NetZero by first quantifying our scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, reducing them to as close to zero as possible and then working with credible partners to offset the remaining carbon emissions. This process is underway and we are excited not only by the possibility of reaching this goal but by finding innovative and credible ways to do so.
Our choice in space/landlord was based on our ability to collaborate with them on sustainability initiatives as well as their commitment to stakeholder engagement as evidenced by their having obtained WELL Health-Safety certification for their entire portfolio of commercial spaces including our office at 372 W. Ontario.
One of the primary ways in which c|change responds to the needs of our community stakeholders is by working in service to organizations and institutions that both need our help and that align with our values.
c|change offers 8 hours per year of compensated volunteer time to each employee and our goal is that, as a company, we hit a minimum of that amount of volunteer time across the company.
2021 volunteer hours were spent supporting Tutoring Chicago, B Lab, Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), Westchester Food Pantry, Chicago Period Project, Our Lady of Ransom “Ransom Responds” Food Pantry, PAWS Chicago, and Loyola University.
Social media for social change
In 2021, we created a social media kit for Pride Month that was shared with other B Corp Certified businesses across Illinois.
The purpose of the social media kit was to generate new donations for Equality Illinois–a nonprofit organization whose mission to advance equal treatment and full acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community makes our world a more just and inclusive place.
We plan to continue to add assets to the kit every year for Pride Month and keep it freely available for any business that would like to use the kit to either drive donations to nonprofit organizations like Equality Illinois that support and elevate our LGBTQ+ community.
Posters to empower
With a name inspired by a Carl Sandburg poem, Lifted Heads, Lifting Voices is a project that we created to support businesses and organizations in Chicago that were, like many, struggling due to COVID’s impact on their revenue.
The concept is simple–our talented designers create posters for each selected organization, we sell them and the organization gets all of the money from the sale.
We know that this work represents a small step forward but also that every action counts when our local economy is imperiled.
As Carl Sandburg invited us to do when seeking change: “Nothing happens unless we first dream.”
Like all businesses, we rely heavily on our clients to ensure our continued viability. We are committed to delivering value to our clients that they would agree is in line with the investment that they make in our services.
The way that we assess how well we are satisfying client needs is by conducting an annual Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. In 2021, we were pleased to continue to receive strong, positive feedback leading to an NPS score deemed “Excellent.”
Our employee stakeholders drive our business and their collective personalities, values, and sense of belonging all contribute to our culture. Our commitment to our employees can partially be understood by the ways in which we look to meet their needs in a holistic way.
Not only does c|change offer 100% paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, retirement benefit with employer match, commuter benefits, and access to learning and development opportunities we adapt to meet the needs of our team.
In 2021, we were also able to distribute bonuses to each employee as well as a profit-sharing contribution thanks to the fiscal health of the company which was driven by our team’s hard work.
The ways in which we adapted specifically to the challenges of COVID in 2021 included:
Offering a number of additional, compensated days off (we called them “Breather Days”)
Making it optional to appear in the office and fully supporting remote work needs since the very beginning of COVID
Distributing a (COVID specific) bonus to each team member as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work throughout the challenges of the pandemic
Special, virtual gatherings including a Murder Mystery event
For the first time we applied for, and won, “Great Place To Work” certification in 2021.
We’re thankful to be recognized for our efforts to make our workplace safe, welcoming, and energizing for our employees.
All companies benefit from having engaged, satisfied workers but that’s even more true for services businesses like ours.
Having a high-trust, high-performance company culture is, and will continue to be, a priority for us. We know and value the power of our team’s collective creativity, talent, and effort.
Public Benefits and Disclosures
c|change is both a Certified B Corp and a benefit corporation under Illinois law. We work to provide public benefits to our clients, our employees, and the community. Our public benefit is measured through B Lab’s B Impact Assessment (BIA), which measures a company’s positive impact on its myriad stakeholders and is considered the current, best third party standard for measuring a business’s social and environmental performance.
We have been using the BIA since 2020, the year we began working on our B Corp Certification. We are required to recertify every three years and, for us, this will happen again in 2024.
There is no organizational or monetary connection between c|change and B Lab or any other ties that create a conflict of interest with B Lab as a certifying body. The c|change shareholders with an ownership stake of more than 5% are Hugh Schulze, our Founder and Executive Creative Director.
What’s coming in 2022?
As is always the case, we believe that our impact can be further improved in 2022. Specific areas of focus for us this year include:
Selecting 2-3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for us to focus on and guide our impact efforts
Further increasing the percentage of spend with suppliers from those with diverse and local ownership–as a service company with a small supply chain, we’ve averaged 22.5% of our revenue spent on outside vendors over the last three years and much of that (i.e. technology or employee benefits) has very few options for competitive sourcing.
Your feedback is welcome
Thank you for reviewing our impact statement. We welcome your thoughts, questions, ideas, and suggestions. Although your name and email address are not required, please consider providing this information if you’d like a response from us.