Exploring stories of impact through business.
Dec 23, 2022
We know our impact is small in the grand scheme of things, but it’s important to us that we do our bit to help create a fairer, more sustainable and more equitable society in whatever way we can.
This is a 6 part report looking back at the year that was.
“This past year has been anything but ordinary. Along with navigating the pandemic and all that came with it, we also welcomed our baby Margie, celebrated our B Corp certification, expanded our little team and even managed to grow our impact! When we started Harvey just two years ago, I would never have imagined that we’d have made the impact we have. We’re so excited to be sharing it with you!” – Becky Smallchua, Founder
“When we started Harvey just two years ago, I would never have imagined that we’d have made the impact we have. We’re so excited to be sharing it with you!”
– Becky Smallchua, Founder
First things first: what is Harvey? Founded by Becky and Simon Smallchua in 2019, and proudly supported by baby Margie (the latest addition to the Harvey team) and Harvey (our fluffy, four-legged namesake), Harvey is a strategic marketing company with a simple mission: to help conscious businesses grow.
We take an uncomplicated approach to marketing for businesses who are making the world better. At the same time, we use our platform and resources as a business to help move the needle on the issues that matter to us.
But what does this look like IRL? Well, in 2020 alone we donated $23,000 to Greening Australia, enough native trees and shrubs to store over 700 tonnes of carbon. We worked with over 30 clients impacting 11 of the UN sustainable development goals across brand strategies, website builds, ecommerce and digital marketing, customer research and campaigns and taught students in the development sector from Cambodia and Kenya how to use digital marketing to influence behavioural change through our Harvey Academy. We also invested in Pronto Bottle and Whole Kids, two impact-driven businesses and discounted over 95% of our work with for-purpose clients. But more on all of that later.
While our governments have failed us time and time again, we believe in the power of business as a force for good. We believe that more ethical and sustainable business will inspire more ethical and sustainable consumer habits, and more ethical and sustainable consumer habits will inspire more ethical business. It’s where the world is going.
We know our impact is small in the grand scheme of things, but it’s important to us that we do our bit to help create a fairer, more sustainable and more equitable society in whatever way we can. We’re learning as we go, of course – and a huge part of pulling this report together is our commitment to transparency, to keep us accountable, and help us see where we can be doing better. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed pulling it all together.
Wow. How about that 2020? It certainly threw a few curveballs our way, that’s for sure. But as well as the challenging and unexpected, the last 12 months also brought us plenty of joy, and helped us rally around our purpose even more. Here’s what the year looked like for us:
1 global pandemic
1 bundle of bouncing baby joy (hi Margie!)
1 B Corp certification
134.1 B Impact assessment score
21 new clients
2 new team members
259(ish) daily stand ups
11 brand strategies
12 major campaigns
4 customer research reports
15 websites (7 e-Comm)
8 content strategies
3 technical/data strategies
13 paid digital campaigns
1 business vision and strategies
4 B Corp clients
4416 visitors to our website
7000 trees planted
100% of clients would recommend us
4 funnel audits and strategies
15 Harvey academy students
Clients in 3 countries
$23,000 donated to Greening Australia
2 investments in impact businesses
2 grateful, tired and joy-filled parents
As you might’ve picked up by now, another of our proudest achievements (after Margie, of course) was that Harvey became a certified B Corp in August 2020.
The certification means the world to our little business, since it not only confirms that we are on the right track now, it also gives us a robust framework to use to help us grow while increasing our positive social and environmental impact.
If you’re not familiar with the B Corp certification, it’s essentially the global benchmark for ethical and responsibly minded businesses. Through a super-rigorous application process, businesses are evaluated on how their company’s operations and business model impact their workers, community, environment, and customers. From your chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves your business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance. We share more about that here.
Let’s take a look back at the year that was (before wrapping up with some of our goals and intention-setting for 2021).
This is a pretty long article, so we've created an executive summary version here, including a summary of each section.
To keep things simple, we’ve broken this report up into six parts, that speak to six areas that were particularly important to us this past year:
“The term ‘conscious business’ is an important one for us, as it reflects the belief that to be a good business owner you need to be aware of the world you’re doing business in. We were really careful to choose the word ‘conscious’ rather than ‘purpose’ because we understand nobody’s perfect. All businesses are unethical in some way or another. We’re interested in working with businesses that are looking for ways to be better.”
– Simon Smallchua
“All businesses are unethical in some way or another. We’re interested in working with businesses that are looking for ways to be better.” – Simon Smallchua
First up, our mission is to unlock the potential of the new economy to leave behind a better world. At all times, we primarily work with companies who are helping move the needle on some of the pressing issues of our time through their work – either directly or indirectly. Importantly, we don’t work with organisations who are being destructive.
We created a system to evaluate each company we work with, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This process is helpful because it gives us a framework from which we can make informed and conscious decisions about who we do and don’t want to work with. We also offer 30% and 50% discounts to businesses that make a genuine positive impact.
We assess each company against each of the 17 SDGs as either destructive, negative, neutral or positive (partially, indirectly, or directly). Each company then gets an overall negative or positive score. It works like this:
It’s important to note that it’s a subjective process. We ask questions, do research and validate where we can, but we are constantly improving how we do it.
Through 2020, we ended up spending 4.82% of our time on good (down from 10% in 2019), 85.05% on great (up from 45%) and 9.67% on amazing (down from 44%). Over the course of the year, that means 95.18% of our work received discounts, with the total amount of work discounted coming in at $196,243.
Additionally, we donated 15-20 days’ of our time to work on projects we believe in.
All told, we’re pretty pleased with that. We’re almost on target; we delivered slightly more discounted work than we targeted, which means our revenue overall was slightly down so we had to be a little tighter in some areas without compromising on our donation commitment.
We’ve already mentioned how we rank our clients next to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2020 we worked with 39 clients, up from 25 in 2019. Of course we love them all equally, but here’s a little more info about some of them:
Bank Australia is a customer owned, B Corp-certified bank with a purpose to inspire and empower customers to use their money to create a world where people and the planet thrive.
The choice of your bank can have a huge impact on the world. This is because the money you put in your account is used by banks to make loans and investments. The types of loans banks make can go to industries that do good or those that do harm, so where your money goes ultimately shapes the world we all live in.
Bank Australia’s money is clean because it is never loaned to those industries that do harm like fossil fuels, live animal export and gambling. Instead, they use money to help create positive impact for people, their communities and the planet like investing in eco housing, renewable energy and non-profit organisations.
- UNSDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy
- UNSDG 13 - Climate Action
- UNSDG 12 - Responsible consumption
What we did: Brand, Marketing Technology, Website
"Harvey brought clarity, fresh perspective and set clear direction for our marketing tech, website and brand."
- Nicole Hunter, Head of Marketing
Jasper Coffee is a 100% Carbon Neutral Specialty Coffee Roaster. Established in 1989, they stock Australia’s largest selection of Single Origin beans, Blends, Fairtrade, Organic & Specialty Coffees. Jasper Coffee is obsessed with exploring the full potential of exotic origins and ethically sourced coffee by forming impactful partnerships and friendships with coffee growers around the world.
Jasper Coffee has been pioneering sustainability in the industry since its inception. Sustainability is at the core of their business and has manifested in Certifications for Organic, Fairtrade and Carbon Neutral, along with our search for Shade Grown coffees, the cleaning products they use, the cars they drive, compostable packaging, and the economic and social benefits direct to producers.
- UNSDG 12 - Responsible consumption
What we did: Ecommerce, Brand, Digital Marketing, CMO
"Harvey listened. Harvey considered all our business needs and personality as a business. There was always a sense of inclusion in all discussions and directives and a sensitive balance between business needs and moral endeavours. Harvey has constructed a new dialogue for our business to work with and we would be happy to continue to have further guidance from them . The point of importance for us, was the willingness to listen and promptness of the delivery of achievements." - Wells Trenfield, Founder & Director Jasper Coffee
"Harvey has constructed a new dialogue for our business to work with and we would be happy to continue to have further guidance from them ."
- Wells Trenfield, Founder & Director Jasper Coffee
Plenty of beauty brands claim to be ethical. But at Kester Black, sustainability and social justice aren’t just glossy marketing buzzwords. They’re the driving force behind this good-weird kind of beauty company: the kind that’s certified carbon neutral, that donates 2% of all revenue to social causes, and that makes vegan and sustainable products that are both all class, and all conscience.
10/10 rabbits prefer Kester Black. With Cruelty Free, B Corporation, Halal, Vegan, and Carbon Neutral certifications, it’s not just beauty bloggers and environmentalists that are singing their praises. The world’s most rigorous ethical standards mean no testing on animals. If our furry friends could, they’d be singing our praises too.
- UNSDG 12 - Responsible consumption
What we did: Customer Research, Brand, eCommerce, Digital
"We love the way Harvey works - agile, strategic and no fuss."
- Anna Ross, Founder
Dog & Bone is a certified B Corp independent technology advisor working to help NFPs and Social Enterprises enhance their technology and telecommunications to improve their impact.
While technology is all about improving our clients businesses, Dog & Bone reduce their costs significantly. Last year alone they identified $16M of savings for their NFP clients. That's real money that NFPs can invest in the important work they do and directly help people in need.
- Multiple UNSDGs - through their various clients
What we did: Brand, Website, Impact Comms, CMO
A ‘constitution’ isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to talk about, but setting ours up right means setting ourselves up for a business future we can be proud of. A constitution is a legal document that defines your company’s structure, purpose, ownership and governance. In 2019, we decided to add our mission statement to ours, as well as our commitment to upholding the B Corp standards, such as conducting bi-annual reviews of our B Impact Assessment. It means our mission literally forms the foundation of everything we do. Which is pretty important to us.
When you start a business, you often have all these ideas about what you will and won’t do.
One thing we didn’t want to do was build a team. One of the core reasons was that we wanted to spend our time doing the work, working directly with our clients, and helping them solve their problems – not managing people. But then maternity leave rolled around, and our workload meant that we simply had no choice but to call in some help. And we’re so glad we did.
This year, we brought on Sarah O’Terra to help us with content and creative, and Rachel Lai to assist our digital marketing efforts. Both working relationships grew organically, and we’ve all been working so well together that we’ve totally reconsidered our position on the whole ‘team’ thing. Sarah and Rachel have helped Harvey scale and have a bigger impact, and they’ve brought so much to the table. Sarah has been pivotal in overseeing many of our clients (managing all of their marketing), supporting new client onboarding and ensuring they all stay on track and hit their goals. Rachel’s skills with data and tech has enabled us to manage and optimise digital marketing while teaching our clients how to leverage things like paid advertising and email automation. We’re lucky to have them.
Of course, establishing a team and supporting their physical and emotional wellbeing is a huge responsibility, and one we take seriously. Our team is mostly female (besides Simon and Harvey), with Becky operating as our sole Director. We’re proud members of the One Roof community and we offer flexible working arrangements and, of course, flexible maternity leave.
When it comes to how we operate as a team, we try to be as egalitarian as we can by voting on our work priorities and impact areas. We also hold:
“Every day at Harvey is rewarding, and knowing that we're helping good businesses expand their impact makes it that much better.”
- Rachel Lai
“Working at Harvey, I get to spend each day surrounded by clients, thinkers and businesses I always hoped existed – businesses for good.”
- Sarah O'Terra
We’re acutely aware of the fact that Harvey doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And even though we may be small, our operations and decisions can have a direct impact on our immediate (and extended) communities. So we strive, at all times, to enrich the community in which we operate.
We talk about our work a fair bit through our blog and on social media. We don’t do it to brag (we’re far from perfect, anyway!), but because if sharing our journey inspires just one other individual or company to walk a slightly more ethical path, then that’s a brilliant result. It’s also a great way to push our commitment to openness and transparency.
Documents and templates
Over the past year, we’ve reached 120,000 people with our content on business including 4,416 visitors to our website and our combined reach on LinkedIn and Facebook was 500,000. We’ve received direct feedback from four businesses – including WhyHive – who’ve taken inspiration from our content, and we like to think there are more who it’s helped in some way, big or small.
“Harvey’s process formed the foundation for our research into building an ethics framework of our own, which we started implementing and iterating in early 2021. ”
– Tess Guthrie, CEO/Founder of WhyHive
For us, community starts with our suppliers and partners. Wherever possible, we use local (to us!) service providers and do our best to work with businesses that are owned and run by under-represented groups in the business space.
We also do what we can to utilise and work with B Corps (and B Corp-aspirational) companies. We’re proud to bank with Bank Australia – Australia’s leading responsible bank – for our business (and personal) banking, and use Verve Super for our superannuation.
It’s quite amazing what you can find on Facebook Marketplace! It’s become our go-to search before buying new.
As we’ve already mentioned, we have a pretty rigorous process when it comes to choosing who we do and don’t work with. And these decisions have an impact even on our idea of community. By supporting other businesses that we know are also taking great strides to enrich and empower their communities – like One Roof and Bank Australia – we can amplify our impact through them (which we think is pretty cool).
As much as we love a day off, we choose not to celebrate Australia Day and the Melbourne Cup public holidays. As far as we’re concerned, neither of those days are cause for celebration. Instead we work, and we donate our wage for those days to causes that are helping move the needle on issues that are pertinent to both Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander justice, and animal welfare in Australia like Little Oaks Sanctuary.
“Sometimes it's difficult to accept our reality while staying motivated and optimistic with the way our climate and planet are going. But change often happens slower in the short term and much faster than we expect in the medium term. We're hopeful. We believe businesses have a powerful role to play in addressing the climate crisis and it's inspiring seeing so many step up.” - Simon Smallchua, Pause Fest 2020
It goes without saying that the climate crisis is the biggest issue facing our species right now. Since day one, it’s been important to us to use Harvey as a tool for funnelling essential funds towards initiatives that are helping find solutions. Our contribution might be small in the grand scheme of things, but it means a lot to us to know that we’re trying our best.
In 2020, we went big on the environment. And we’re looking forward to going even bigger in 2021 – and beyond.
To date, Harvey has donated $35,000 to climate projects that will plant enough native trees and shrubs to store over 700 tonnes of carbon per annum (via Greening Australia). Go trees!
Much of this work was the result of our donations to Greening Australia who, in 2020, planted an unreal 5,362,611 native trees and shrubs across 6,074 hectares of Australian habitat in total. This year, we donated $23,000 to Greening Australia – which is double the donation we made in 2019. We also gave a Christmas gift to the planet via Ecologi of 756 trees, and signed the Climate Act Now pledge.
Greening Australia has been restoring Australia’s unique landscapes and protecting biodiversity at scale through collaborative, science-based programs for over 38 years.
Greening Australia is committed to tackling Australia’s greatest environmental challenges in ways that work for communities, economies and nature; planting millions of native trees and plants, protecting hundreds of native species, and supporting Traditional Owners’ aspirations for restoring country.
Find out more about the important work these legends are doing at: www.greeningaustralia.org.au
Of course, we all have our individual parts to play to minimise our impact too. But it can be difficult to know where to begin. While we’re a long way from perfect, we have been trying our best to live our lives in a way that has a lower impact on the planet. We kept it pretty simple to begin with by writing a list of things we wanted to change, and that list has gradually grown. And we’re still learning and improving as we go.
Here are a few ways we’re trying to do our bit at home:
Did you know that if 50,000 Australians reduced their personal carbon footprints by just one quarter over the next year, we’d save 250,000 tonnes of carbon?
One of our favourite projects in 2020 was working with One Small Step, an app that encourages this kind of positive behaviour change in climate-conscious individuals by helping them monitor their carbon output in their day-to-day lives. It works a bit like a fitness tracker app, and all of your information is collated and visualised in digestible graphs and graphics.
We helped One Small Step with their original product user testing and, in 2020, branding and marketing strategy and digital campaigns. Over the course of 2020, the app hit 10,000 users (just another 40,000 to go!). We like to think we helped play a small part in that success.
“There was always a sense of inclusion in all discussions and directives, and a sensitive balance between business needs and moral endeavours.”
- Wells Trenfield, Founder Jasper Coffee
Over the course of 2020, we helped more conscious businesses grow. And that’s really what this is all about for us. To be able to play even a small role in helping ethically minded businesses connect their messages, products and services to more Australians gets us out of bed in the morning (if Margie hasn’t already, that is!).
Our approach to work is unique and totally different to conventional agencies in that we want to train, empower and teach our clients so they can actually reduce their scope of work with us.
You know that old proverb that says: “Give a wo(man) a fish, t(he)y’ll eat for a day. Teach them him how to fish, t(he)y’ll eat for a lifetime.”? Well, we apply that philosophy to our work. And while we know that might be considered counterintuitive to traditional ideas of business ‘success’, we know there will always be plenty of organisations out there that need a hand with their fishing technique!
“The team at Harvey is so diverse and capable for such a small team. It really feels like they're a natural extension of our team and communication is A+. Since we started working with them about a year ago, we've been able to action some big changes in our business which have been crucial for adapting to the challenges of 2020.”
- Fergus Sully, Kester Black
We conduct a client feedback survey every year, because it’s important to us that we know the impact we’re having on our clients and their work. Here are a few things we learned from our last round of feedback:
While many agencies focus on clients and projects that are close to home, most of the essential work when it comes to tackling the climate crisis or helping marginalised communities happens on the front line. Not only that, but many of these organisations and individuals lack digital skills to help them grow their impact.
Traditionally, changing one individual's behaviour in the development sector can take 3-4 months and 30-40 hours of staff time. But thanks to the rapid rise of access to internet and use of Facebook through mobile, innovative social enterprise ATEC* Biodigesters used digital and a call centre to drastically reduce that time to a couple of hours across a few days.
So we partnered with ATEC Biodigesters to share our learnings and insights about how digital marketing can be used to impact positive behaviour change in a one-off webinar.
The webinar was attended by almost 100 people from around the world (Myanmar, South Korea, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia and more besides!) from a range of organisations and social enterprises. Another of our proudest achievements in 2020 was the launch of the Harvey Academy, through which we ran two cohorts for IDE Cambodia and SNV Kenya.
These organisations do brilliant work in their communities, from maternal education, food/nutrition education, testing clean cooking solutions, helping farmers increase their sustainability and so much more besides.
We’re looking forward to growing the Harvey Academy in 2021 and beyond.
"I learnt a lot from the course. It’s testing the waters for me to set up the Facebook page/ads, as well as refining audiences and seeing how people react to different messaging."
- Chivorn, Harvey Academy Student
Now that we’re a B Corp, we want to utilise the B Corp framework to help Harvey grow and thrive in a way that helps our planet and the people who inhabit it. As such, we’ve mapped our 2021 goals against the five pillars of B Corp assessment.
- All staff spend 90%+ of their time on clients
- Regular, honest check-ins about how we feel
- Prioritise our own growth; if we are better, our clients will be too
- Flexible work, inc 4 days/week option for everyone
- Protest and boycott important issues (Australia Day, Melbourne Cup)
- Buy with intention from local and discriminated groups
- Invest $20k in impact businesses plus $20k of time
- Be climate positive at work and at home
- Donate 5% to the environment
- Re-use, recycle and manage dangerous waste
- Advocate for climate change / inspire sustainable living
- No destructive clients. Revenue 20% Good (Max). 20% Amazing.
- 3+ value for money. Average 8+ would recommend
- 40% of clients return in following 12 months
- Maintain current revenue
- Maintain current ownership
- Share templates, documents, insight into business for good
- Improve B Corp score from 134.1 to 135
Yeah… that should be enough to keep us busy!
In early 2020, Simon moderated a panel at Melbourne’s Pause Fest featuring Lily Dempster (CEO of One Small Step), Shannon Bourke (environmental and social initiatives manager at Patagonia) and Ben Jeffreys (chief of ATEC Biodigesters). The theme of the panel was that ethical, sustainable and regenerative business models don’t have to come at the expense of profit. If anything, the opposite is true.
For us, that’s really important to consider. It’s by being profitable that we’re able to make our donations to Greening Australia and other partners, and it’s why we’re able to offer our services and expertise pro bono and run our academy. While our capitalist systems are a long, long way from perfect, we believe there are ways of harnessing that system to be of greater benefit to the planet and our communities. And the more people we can encourage to do it with us, the better off we’ll all be in the long run.
So, what’s the point of all this? In short, we think it’s important to recognise the opportunities that our current system provides to us. Sure, we could’ve set up an NGO and relied on donations or government funding to support the kind of work we want to do. But by setting up a for-profit business, we’re able to make an impact both through our work and by donating to and supporting causes we believe in. That’s the power of good business.
If you have any questions about anything we’ve mentioned in this report, or would like to talk to us for tips or advice on setting up your own for-purpose business, you can get in touch with us at the email address below. Thanks so much for taking the time to dig into this report. We look forward to seeing you again next year!
Becky and Simon Smallchua x
We spend a lot of time thinking about ways we can help create a sustainable future for our planet and the people on it. Businesses have the power to be a constructive or destructive force, which is the reason we’re selective about who we work with. By helping conscious businesses grow, we can help them increase their impact..
When taking on a client, we assess whether they contribute to one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
If they’re destructive on any goal we won’t work with them. Simple. If they’re making real change for good we offer a low-bono rate, investing additional time into their business.
We acknowledge Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and pay respect to their cultures and Elders past and present.