Our impact: 2023-24

Studio 91’s mission is the same as it ever was. We make good video that does good. For people, platforms and the planet. This will come as absolutely no surprise if you’re familiar with who we are and what we do. That said, as a small team we’ve not always been great at shouting about the stuff we’re doing, the impact we’re having. That’s why we’ll now be doing annual impact reports like this one, and it’s also why we’ve been busy working on a very significant milestone on our purpose-driven journey. Drum roll, please…

Studio 91 Media is now a Certified B Corporation™.

Yes, after a rigorous process (imagine an exhausting amount of paperwork, and then double it) we have officially been recognised as a company that puts people and planet before profit. B Corps are a global community of businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental impact. Becoming certified involves putting in a lot of work across categories like Governance, Environment, Workers and Customers, and backing up your claims with clear documentary evidence. In other words, to paraphrase Boromir, one does not simply walk into B Corp Certification.

Over the past year, here’s what we’ve achieved in each of the three areas that make up the Studio 91 Manifesto.

The Studio 91 Manifesto: video production that’s good for people, good for platforms and good for the planet.

Good for people

Volunteer and pro bono work is something we’ve dabbled in informally for a while, but at the start of 2024 we made it official policy that every staff member gets one paid day per month to volunteer for a cause that means something to them. We’ve each been focusing on something different, so that we can make the biggest possible impact in an area we’re passionate about:

🪴 Natalie has been getting her hands dirty with Manchester Urban Diggers

🚲 Ben has been campaigning for active travel with Walk Ride GM

📣 Jamie has been helping young poets amplify their voice with Young Identity

It’s great working for a company that actively wants you to give back.

Jamie Swaby, Senior Video Producer

We were so happy to be able to raise £2,085 for St Ann’s Hospice from Jamie and Ben’s half marathon debut at the Great Manchester Run. £1,085 was kindly donated by sponsors, £1,000 of which was matched by Studio 91.

Although we’ve always paid the Real Living Wage, it’s good to now be officially accredited as a Living Wage Employer, and to support that ongoing movement.

Ben and Jamie on a city street, wearing running clothes, training to run a half marathon for St Ann's Hospice.

Good for platforms

“Good for platforms” means putting wholesome, positive content out there. Not simply contributing to the toxic noise that makes up most of the internet. All our content should pass that test, but here we’ve specifically measured the percentage of our income that came from projects with a specific purpose-driven focus. Over the past year these have included charity comms, educational content, the arts, and marketing content for B Corp businesses.

That’s not to say that remaining 34% of projects were evil in some way. We won’t be making promo videos for arms dealers any time soon. However, this is a step down from the 2022-23 percentage, which was 75%. We’re hoping that we can turn that around by doubling down on the purpose-driven positioning of our marketing.

Good for the planet

In our third year as members of 1% for the Planet, we donated £4,207 (£1,157 cash, £3,050 in-kind) to organisations who are helping the planet and fighting the climate crisis head-on.

All of our team are Carbon Literate. We recently renewed our accreditation as a Silver Carbon Literate Organisation. The three years since we first certified have flown by!

The Carbon Literacy day 1 just finished. Honestly I have lots of feelings 🫣

Joanna Bodmer, Production Coordinator

Our total emissions were 5.87 tonnes CO₂e. That’s 32% lower than our baseline year (2021-22). The bad news is that our original Net Zero target of 2025 is looking increasingly unlikely. Our Scope 1 & 2 emissions are zero or negligible, but Net Zero requires reducing Scope 3 emissions by 90%. This is much easier said than done when your emissions are relatively low to begin with. Our baseline total was 8.8 tonnes CO₂e; that’s 99.5% lower than the benchmark for our industry. So we might need to adjust our Net Zero target accordingly; we’ll update on this later in the year.

Thanks to ON A MISSION’s tree planting projects, we have once again offset 150% of our emissions. Although terms like ‘Carbon Neutral’ and ‘Climate Positive’ seem to be increasingly diluted in their meaning and effectiveness, for us our partnership with ON A MISSION feels like a good stepping stone while we work towards Net Zero.

Three people standing on a street, smiling, two of them holding video cameras. Logo overlaid on the left says Certified B Corporation.

What’s next?

B Corp Certification was our main impact goal for the year, so it’s great to have that one ticked off already! The next thing on our agenda is trialling a four-day week, which we’ve seen do wonders for our friends at Tyler Grange. It’s massively benefited their employees’ wellbeing as well as their productivity. We want some of that action – who wouldn’t?

As mentioned above, we also need to do some work on our Net Zero target, which currently feels unattainable. That said, we’re heading in the right direction and we recognise that the most important thing is to be open and transparent about the journey we’re on.

If you’ve read this far then you must be a Studio 91 superfan. Thanks – we love you.

Ben x

By Ben Horrigan

I've been producing digital content since 2012, primarily for flagship BBC brands like Blue Peter and BBC News. Now I run Studio 91 Media, a video production agency on a mission: to create content that is good for platforms, good for people and good for the planet. When I'm not behind a camera, I can often be found playing cello at weddings or riding a three-wheeled cargo bike called Babs.