As the RCI team prepares itself for expanding into a program with bigger goals and more targets, we have even more reason to keep up with the progressive work being achieved by B-Corps. These are companies that willingly set out to improve their standards of social and environmental performance through the evaluation of a completed social and environmental impact assessment. The RCI, in its re-launch, will be working with this environmental impact assessment to help pinpoint better sustainable strategies for our members.

This year, 516 B-Corp companies made the ‘Best of the World’ list. This list highlights companies that have successfully revised their approach to their relationship with the environment, society and community. Of these companies, 35 of them are Canadian. Our excitement and pride here within the RCI team has been lifted to greater heights seeing that of the 35, two of these companies are RCI members. A huge and well-deserved congratulations go out to Enviro-Stewards and Grosche, who are being recognized by B-Corp for being in the top 10% of certified organizations. This means that they were able to achieve some of the highest scores in their B Corp certification assessment.

Enviro-Stewards was able to obtain this achievement through a multitude of approaches that assist facilities in increasing their environmental sustainability results as well as increasing their profits and positive societal impact. Outstanding examples of their projects’ achievements to date include saving 29 million cubic metres of natural gas, 37 million kilowatt hours of electricity and preventing 53,000 tonnes of GHG emissions and 45,000 tonnes of solid waste. Enviro-Stewards also re-invests the savings into their bio-sand filters for Safe Water Projects in South Sudan, which to date has provided 39 million litres of purified water. The filter usage also discouraged 6,000 tonnes of GHG emissions and 1,450 cases of typhoid. These accomplishments are just a few to highlight the ways in which Enviro-Stewards has managed to link environmental sustainability and societal improvement through their operations.

Grosche, being a carbon neutral operation since 2002, has also made many small changes that added up to one large sustainability driven movement. Their energy usage has been greatly reduced through switching to LED lighting, installing efficient air-exchange systems and maintaining an 80% waste diversion rate. They have also impressively created the two most eco-friendly French presses in the world that utilise recycled plastic and paper. Grosche also invests in replanting trees, with up to 5,000 trees recorded in their reforestation initiative; they have also invested in banana plantations in South Sudan, encouraging ecological and community well-being for those who stand to benefit greatly from these initiatives.

These actions and outcomes show the positive impact businesses are making wen focusing on environmental and societal consciousness. We look forward to seeing such great achievements being made by our members in the future, and with the awesome network of environmental stewards being developed here in Waterloo Region, we expect this wont be the last time our members show such great success.