Balancing Profit and Purpose – feat. Rubber Republic

Fellow B Corp Rubber Republic are an award-winning change making film studio, helping those who want to make a difference to create and execute change through bold actions and stories. Here is our chat with Matt Golding, Founder and creative director of Rubber Republic as part of our ‘Balancing Profit and Purpose’ series of interviews.

The purpose of our series “Balancing Profit and Purpose” is to feature fellow businesses on that mission, to hopefully inspire many more to join the movement. We showcase those companies that intend to use business as a force for good.

Chris @ ADLIB: For some background information, who are you as a business and what makes your business offering unique?

Matt: Rubber Republic are a sustainability communications studio working with brands, organisations, and campaigns to shift behaviour on important issues. Our origins are in making award winning viral campaigns for global brands like Disney, eBay and Cancer Research UK that have reached over 250 million people worldwide. But we’ve also worked on environmental issues for over a decade, motivating action to slow down our impressively unwise march towards trouble.. In 2019 we rebooted the business to only focus on creating the changes we need to see in society around climate, the economy, mental health and consumption.

We now deploy the skills we learned to create viral campaigns exclusively to communicate about better ways of doing important things like not all bankrupting ourselves, firebombing all of nature, or dying out, by using storytelling that dials up creativity, clarity, and emotional engagement. We aim to make important issues relevant and interesting to normal folks with smart and empathetic thinking, behaviour change science, and the occasional silly joke.

Right now, we’re working on ways to paint more visionary and exciting pictures of the future we can get to if we do smart things. We’re also exploring ways to use comedy to bring attention to some of the great things that are happening at community level across the country, as really big scalable changes can come from there 💪

Chris @ ADLIB: What got you interested in joining the movement to balance Profit and Purpose and what has been your journey so far?

Matt: I first heard about BCorp at BFest in Pembrokeshire in about 2016, and we immediately started certifying. It took a couple of years to actually do it as I’m terrible at the paperwork bit and eventually got someone to come and help me, but the movement feels really important and supportive.

For the changes we need to take around climate, the economy, equality and generally helping our species stick around, we’ve got to step up as business leaders and harness the ingenuity, creativity, and dynamism required to solve the biggest issues we face. Creativity and storytelling are key to making that happen.

Personally, I’ve never wanted to work for an organisation that mistreated its workers or the planet and so I’ve always assumed others don’t want to either. If you can design a business that treats people with respect, makes great work and helps society work better, that just seems a smarter way to operate. B Corp and other movements we are part of give structure to that.

On top of that, I think a business that benefits more people is more resilient. As we become increasingly aware of the crisis we face in terms of climate and biodiversity loss, ensuring businesses are designed to help rather than exacerbate these problems again just seems like good design.

Realising there are better ways to run a business than business schools teach is really liberating and means we can get more creative about how we run our business as well as how we do our work.

Chris @ ADLIB: In your case, what does it mean for your workers, customers, community and environmental considerations?

Matt: Firstly everyone here really gives a sh*t, because they understand the issues we face and are open and creative about how we approach them. That means we’re always learning. It’s rewarding for the whole business that organisations we work with trust us to not only care but also deliver expertise in our niche of storytelling with impact. Importantly, we look to collaborate with people with complementary skills, and we’re very lucky to be doing a lot of that. We’re only going to crack the challenges we face if we not only bring our best to the party, but also seek out connections that unlock real joy and power in creating change with others. We collaborate with some great organisations from Triodos Bank to Business for Nature (who helped motivate for some powerful legislation at COP), to MakeMyMoneyMatter.

We are also always developing our own research projects, which gives the team space to keep advancing their skills and knowledge, and we try and help organise change across the community through our Business Stand Up initiative which helps co-ordinate businesses to take a collective stand on issues that matter. Hopefully all of this contributes something back to the wider community of amazing businesses in this space.

It’s a busy but rewarding way to run a business. Were always learning but it’s inspiring to be part of a community who’re all actively trying new things and don’t settle for staying still.

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Chris Nasrawi