When Corporate Knights first launched 12 years ago as a print magazine, media coverage of sustainability issues as they relate to business and the economy was sorely lacking. Since then, our award-winning magazine has not only filled an important information gap, it has witnessed and helped drive a dramatic increase in the amount of sustainability-themed content circulating online and through various social media channels.
This is all good news: It signals that resource efficiency, social responsibility, good governance, respect for community, stewardship of our environment and the need for resiliency in the face of climate change are moving into the mainstream of business, education and economic planning.
Sustainability, whether broadly or narrowly defined, is making its way into the corner office, either by invitation or slowly (sometimes abruptly) pushing open the door. It’s a business issue, increasingly tracked, measured and acted on beyond the silos of corporate social responsibility departments.
Momentum is building. We can all feel it.
For most of the last decade, Corporate Knights complemented its print magazine with its own online voice at corporateknights.com. It has served as a dependable archive for the thousands of articles, reports, and charts we have produced over the years, and has given our readers a strong sense of who we are and what we do.
But we – as a media operation founded and designed around a respected quarterly print publication – have since outgrown that online skin. The pace of industry has picked up. It became clear that so must we, by using our online voice more effectively and frequently, and adding unique perspective and value to a vibrant global discussion.
To that end, we are proud to announce the official launch of our new website redesign, which is now a daily source of news and analysis that supports our collective mission: using information to empower markets that, in turn, can make the world a better place.
This initiate was made possible only with the financial support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Another partner on this mission has been Toronto-based Top Drawer Creative, selected after an extensive search for a web developer that could turn our online vision into a reality. It has proved a winning relationship.
Top Drawer and its 40 full-time staff share our values as an organization. This past April, it became a certified B Corp – a designation earned by Corporate Knights in October 2012.
This makes us part of a community of more than 1,100 businesses that are committed to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We both see B Corp certification as a natural extension of how we have always operated, and what we stand for.
Top Drawer has been around for 22 years, and is one of the few agencies in Canada that delivers it all under one roof – media, creative, interactive, photography and TV production. One of its strengths is that it has established a 2,000-member consumer panel which it can regularly poll for insights into product and service development.
Just as important for us is that they “got it” – they understood our market and readership, and quickly identified our strengths. Working closely with our art and editorial staff, they captured what we wanted to achieve and executed as expected. No surprises, and pleasant to work with.
The feeling was apparently mutual. “As a triple bottom line company, we place the highest priority on the quality of our relationships. That means we put ‘fit’ before everything else,” said Howard Chang, founder and president of Top Drawer. “This project was a perfect collaboration between the technical and creative expertise of our team and the strategic leadership of Corporate Knights.”
The result is a full-featured, eye-grabbing site, updated daily and packed with articles arranged under more than a dozen sustainability themes or “Channels” – from Built Environment to Utilities & Energy – each of which allows readers to subscribe to regular e-mail updates.
Our Perspectives section delivers Q&As, book reviews, guest commentaries and regular columns, while our Reports section makes it effortless to find our research and popular rankings. Go to the Multimedia tab when we activate it later this fall and you’ll find insightful infographics, stunning images, thoughtful podcasts and videos.
We’ve also made it easier to purchase Corporate Knights, whether your preference is print, digital, annual subscription or single issue. And if you have a favourite writer you’d like to follow, regular contributors will now have their own landing page.
On a final note, through Channel sponsorships we have created an opportunity for advertisers to associate themselves with specific themes and make use of a spot reserved for sponsored content. Here, they can highlight their own sustainability initiatives or the issues that matter to them.
It’s obvious to us, but be assured this sponsored content will be clearly marked to distinguish it from the independent content our writing staff and freelancers produce.
We would like to welcome the following Channel sponsors at the time of launch: Teck Resources (mining), Ecolab (water), Canada Newswire (responsible investing) and ABB (utilities & energy). The Canadian Society of Safety Engineering and the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability are co-sponsoring our workplace channel.
We’re excited about this new phase in our development and, as always, encourage your feedback.