Writing this report has crystalised several lessons from the past year — which we have applied in Milk & Honey PR’s second People, Purpose, Planet Report.

These are lessons that galvanise. If nothing else, we know that we can change right here and right now — if we choose to. What we do — as individuals, companies and communities — has a lasting impact for good or ill.

These are lessons that temper, inspire and guide. From achieving plastic neutrality, to planting 2,600 trees as we pursue carbon neutrality, to engaging in our interconnected communities as never before, to building a platform for systematic, purposeful change – within the Hive and beyond. These are lessons that are the essence of People,

Purpose, Planet. This report is a fundamental reimagining of what really matters. It is a journey of constant discovery, continued questioning of the possible and unceasing revelation at what we can achieve together.

You can follow Milk & Honey’s B Corp journey on our blog and share our excitement at where it will take us next — what a ride!

Kirsty Leighton
Founder & CEO, Milk & Honey PR

Our purpose

Purpose is the reason a business exists — beyond profit to create a positive impact, without causing harm to people or the planet. Today, the reality is that climate needs to be higher up the agenda.

Our ambition, commitment and action

People

We don’t just want to hit quotas and targets. We believe real diversity looks at age, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, neurodiversity and disability. We want to help create real change across our industry. And beyond.

Purpose

We don’t just talk about purpose. We help our partners find it, live it and deliver it every day.

Planet

We don’t just want to be net zero. We want to go further, faster. We want to become a climatepositive change agency. And we want to take our clients, partners and team with us.

Profit

We believe delivering on a triple bottom line is the way every brand, venture and entrepreneur should be doing business.

Our commitment

Action 20/21
Progress update

Our first report detailed our improvement pledges and this, our second, updates on our progress.

Pledge

Go plastic neutral in 2020

Last year we said…

…we would become plastic neutral working in partnership with rePurpose – a global movement of conscious consumers and businesses.

Since then, we’ve…

…been officially certified as plastic neutral by rePurpose Global (October 2020).

Pledge

Disclose the percentage of turnover from high carbon clients

Last year we said…

…we would, for the first time, disclose the percentage of turnover from high carbon clients.

Since then, we’ve…

…honoured this commitment and can confirm that, to date, none of our revenue comes from high carbon producing sectors.

Taking this forward, we have agreed on the need for flexibility — working with clients who want to genuinely make a sustainable transition.

Our client base is monitored at board level.

Pledge

Invest 5% of team time in volunteer projects and fundraising initiatives

Last year we said…

…we would commit to invest 5% of team time in volunteer projects and fundraising initiatives.

Since then, we’ve…

…exceeded our goal to invest 5% of team time in volunteering, giving over 270 hours to local and global causes.

Pledge

Increase team ownership to a third by 2021

Last year we said…

…we would commit to expand ownership of the UK business to a third of the team.

Since then, we’ve…

…moved from an LLP to an Employee Ownership Trust model, which will see 55% of the UK business owned by our people, irrespective of level who have been in the business more than a year. This is 12 out of 28 in the UK.

Pledge

Go carbon neutral by

Last year we said…

…we would commit to carbon neutrality by 2022.

Since then, we’ve…

…offset our carbon usage. We support sustainable forests and climate-smart projects, including onshore wind energy and forest protection. We are on track to achieve carbon neutrality by December 2022.

Action 21/22

Our improvement pledges

Tackle operational emissions

Extend our net zero emissions commitment beyond carbon offsetting to tackle operational emissions across our operations by December 2022.

Embed ESG reporting and governance

Fully embed ESG metrics into business planning, reporting and governance by April 2022.

Justice, equality and diversity & inclusion (JEDI)

Connect with 50 diverse individuals by December 2022 and empower them to pursue careers in PR. Commit to raising awareness and supporting clients and partners with elevating their sustainability and JEDI commitments.

Be the change

Develop and promote changemakers within our organisation — driven by our B Corps leadership work and volunteering hours.

Support sustainable business

Commit to a revenue base of a minimum of 10% sustainable industries by December 2022.

People

Our communities


The energy that flows through the Hive is generated by a collective desire to be different – not just another business. We work across our global, local and Hive communities to ensure that we bring positive, meaningful and sustainable change.

We are active.

We are connected.

We are committed.

Global

Our global community

We understand that our actions can have global impact and so we recognise that we have global responsibilities.

Human rights

We adhere to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We RESPECT, PROTECT and REMEDY: instituting a policy commitment to human rights; undertaking an audit of our human rights impact; and initiating action to remediate these impacts.

Empower women and girls

Globally, our family extends to Plan International UK, which works to protect the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable children — particularly girls. We are honoured to fundraise on their behalf. As of 11 May 2021, we have achieved 39% of our £10,000 fundraising goal.

250 to 2025

We work to reflect all the communities we represent and to improve diversity across the wider PR industry. Our ‘250 to 2025’ plan will boost the visibility of PR careers to 250 diverse individuals in the next five years.

Over the next five years

Externally we commit to reach 250 diverse individuals and support their success in PR by 2025. We aim to engage at least 50 diverse individuals a year and in 2021 we will.

Local

Our local community

Bees and refugees

Bees and Refugees works to save the native British black bee from extinction and create a real sense of belonging for London’s refugee communities. We volunteer time and work to develop the website to attract new participants and partners.

Power to connect

‘Power to Connect’ has delivered over 1,000 connected devices to families in need. We support this charity by raising awareness and readying donated IT for its new owners.

“At the Hive, people are everything. We have grown a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about supporting each other and wider communities. Looking after communities starts at home, so Milk & Honey conducts Hive happiness surveys, checking in on our own people.”

Petrina Marks,
Head of Operations

Hive

Our hive community

A happy place to work

In a challenging year, we’ve managed to thrive as a Hive and reinvest once again in our people. This past year has seen us:

  • Hire 16 new team members in the UK, with one additional joining us in August. In Australia the team has grown from two full time employees to a team of six and we have opened in New York with a team of two.
  • Give 12 team members promotions
  • Give 5 team members pay rises

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity makes us stronger. From briefing recruiters to ensure diverse talent; to monitoring progress by sexuality, neurodiversity, age and disability; to a commitment to support the careers of 250 diverse candidates by 2025 — we represent the communities we serve.

As of June 2021, Milk & Honey PR has:

  • 100% female UK and Australian boards
  • No gender pay gap
  • Not all our employees have a degree level qualification
  • 39% of employees who identify as BAME
  • 3% of our people are LGBTQ+
  • 23% of our team are neuro diverse
  • 29% of our UK team are either under 22 years old or over 50 years old
  • 32% of our UK team have primary of secondary caring responsibilities

360 health and wellbeing

We work to support physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. A layered approach combines wellbeing surveys, seven mental health first aiders trained this year, healthcare plans, mentor systems, alongside wellbeing grants. Our people, confident in their community, ensure that we are stronger.

Shared ownership

The Hive is made, nurtured and owned by the people who work here. Moving to an Employee Ownership Trust this year, 55% of the UK Hive will be employee owned, with ownership qualification coming after just 12 months.

Investors in people

demonstrates the power of a people first organisation. We were honoured to achieve accreditation, ranking 14th out of 4,000 companies. Further, we were recognised in 2021 by Investors in People as Employer of the Year for 2020. It’s a high bar, but we are determined to progress.

Nurturing careers

The Hive is a place to grow. Everyone accesses personalised training plans; a £1,000 training budget; an industry qualification; mentors; and 360 degree feedback alongside training check-ins. Interns participate in a structured, paid programme that by 2021 has seen every one go on to become a substantive member of staff.

Purpose

Motivation and evolving mission

The Purpose Academy


Our Purpose Academy offers B Corp start-ups, NGOs and charities access to communications counsel. Further, we help organisations to set and track against Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) targets.

Leadership

Our CEO and founder, Kirsty Leighton, is a B Corp Ambassador, while our Partner – Strategy and Purpose, Fiona Gildea is training in 2021 as a B Leader. Together, they work to encourage widespread adoption of B Corp principles and promote B Corp certification.

Leadership

Our CEO and founder, Kirsty Leighton, is a B Corp Ambassador, while our Partner – Strategy and Purpose, Fiona Gildea is training in 2021 as a B Leader. Together, they work to encourage widespread adoption of B Corp principles and promote B Corp certification.

“Purpose offers more than storytelling. We are helping businesses to align with ethical values intrinsic to their business model, with a clear roadmap on how to achieve sustainable results. The aim of our methodology is to unlock the potential in our partners, working together to drive purposeful action as well as powerful communications.”

Fiona Gildea,
Partner, Strategy & Purpose

Services and Products

A number of new services and products launch this year, including our proprietary H.I.V.E methodology. It is a platform that helps clients to find or rediscover and activate their purpose.

Planet

Our climate emergency response

Carbon neutrality


In 2020, Milk & Honey pledged to become carbon neutral by 2022. Over the past year we have partnered with organisations such Ecologi and committed to initiatives such as Race to Zero — to ensure we play our part in global responses to the ongoing climate emergency.

Race to Zero

Race to Zero aims to enact change that results in a zero carbon recovery, prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. We have pledged to reach net zero GHGs as soon as possible and have committed to the ambitious target of becoming climate positive by 2025.

Ecologi

In 2020/21 we partnered with Ecologi to work towards carbon neutrality. In just seven months we have planted close to 2,600 trees and supported climate smart projects, including onshore wind energy and forest protection. To date, we have eliminated a combined 195 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

Client carbon disclosure

Percentage of revenue from high carbon producing sectors

Revenue disclosure

Percentage of revenue from client sectors in April 2021

Plastic neutrality

rePurpose has helped us to eliminate as much plastic waste as we use (that’s 1,200 kilograms each year). We have also partnered with V Recycle in India to remove low value plastic from the environment.

Terra Carta

The Terra Carta is a voluntary roadmap of ambitious but practical action — a recovery plan for nature, people and planet.

“The ‘Terra Carta’ offers the basis of a recovery plan that puts Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation. One that will harness the precious, irreplaceable power of Nature combined with the transformative innovation and resources of the private sector.”

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

Milk & Honey PR has adopted its own Terra Carta commitments and will be looking to support our clients to adopt these within their own business models.

Terre Carta

B Corp

Achievement and ambition

We are making a good start on our journey to being a better corporate citizen. We use Blab to help us track progress and show us where to improve.

B Corp

Achievements in 2021/22

Governance

Mission Engagement
EthicsTransparency

Environmental

EnvironmentalManagement
Water
AirClimate
Land & Life

Workers

Customer

Community

B Corp

Achievements in 2021/22

This year we are aiming to verify 160 B Lab points. In the next year our focus is on supporting underserved purpose-driven clients and reducing our environmental impact.

The global goals

Achievement and ambition


We are making a good start on our journey to being a better corporate citizen. We use BLab to help us track progress and show us where to improve.

GOAL 3: Good health and wellbeing.

ACTION: we have trained seven team members as Mental Health First Aiders to watch for early warning signs, listen to our team’s concerns and act as a gateway to specialised support.
We’ve also introduced a library of useful resources, including healthcare provision, which team members have been able to access during the Covid-19 pandemic.

GOAL 5: Gender equality.

ACTION: globally, our fundraising work for Plan International UK supports the rights and opportunities of girls and women across the globe. Within the Hive, we have a 100% female board and no gender pay gap.

GOAL 8: Decent work and economic growth.

ACTION: Milk & Honey PR has maintained profitability throughout a challenging 2020, creating 21 new jobs and enjoying significant economic YoY growth in the UK (48%), increasing our Australian annual revenue to over $450K, and we have extended operations into North America.

GOAL 10: Reduced inequalities.

ACTION: our focus on diversity and inclusion works to eliminate inequality. Moving beyond Milk & Honey PR, we have committed to reach out to 250 diverse individuals and support their entry into the PR industry by 2025.

GOALS 12 & 13: Climate action/Responsible production and consumption.

ACTION: our work with partners such as rePurpose ensures that we are plastic neutral. Further partnership with Ecologi and commitments to initiatives such as Race to Zero ensure that our business is on track to eliminate scope 1 & 2 emissions across our operations by December 2022.

Big thanks to our magical team, committed partners and loyal clients for supporting us to create a better business.

Putting people and planet first.

You can follow Milk & Honey’s B Corp journey on our blog