B Corps in the Regional Sustainability Initiative
September 21, 2016 | Sustainable Waterloo Region
To make the Regional Sustainability Initiative the best program, we teamed up with B Corp to customize their online assessment for member use. This assessment measures their environmental impact score, or e-score, which can be compared to a database of tens of thousands of other organizations around the world. This assessment focuses on policies and practices that are incorporated into each organization’s operations. For those members that cannot measure their carbon, waste or water footprint, this will mean that their actions can still be measured, quantified and reported.
B Corps are organizations that have reworked their business to meet extremely high social and environmental standards and have received a certification for doing so. For a quick lesson, check out the video:
We are proud to say that three of our existing members are certified B Corps. We’re giving them a virtual high-five by sharing some of the amazing things they are doing socially and environmentally.
Borealis is local restaurant that focuses on sustainable and local food. (We at Sustainable Waterloo Region, we have enjoyed using their facility and catering services – YUM!) Borealis is a newly certified B Corp, a designation they received for their unwavering dedication to sustainable operations and environmental initiatives.
Borealis strives to become a national leader in the restaurant industry for the promotion of local, natural, foods and beverages, sustainable practices, community engagement and financial growth. They work towards with their team of like-minded staff, by engineering a professional and upbeat group culture that respects and develops passionate team members while promoting life balance and personal growth.
The company’s main external activities include raising money for river restoration, supporting the Lucky Iron Fish, sponsoring music series at three Performing Arts Centres and multiple local charitable initiatives with a focus on kids well being.
Enviro-Stewards, a long time B-corp, received B Corp’s “Best for The World” certification this year. This certification is based on their overall commitment to the environment, their workers, their customers, the community, and their governance. They received a score of 140 overall, which is in the top 10% of all B Certified Corporations audited. Enviro-Stewards helps facilities increase their profits, sustain the environment, and benefit society.
Here is a list of some of the great things Enviro-Stewards has been up to:
- As of August 2016, Enviro-Stewards projects have collectively helped facilities:
- Save $42 million dollars (resulting in them and/or their employees contributing at least $6.3 million in additional taxes)
- Save 37 million kilowatt hours of electricity (equivalent to the output of 145 acres of solar panels for a year)
- Prevented 53,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to emissions of 11,000 vehicles for a year)
- Prevented 45,000 tonnes of solid waste generation (enough to fill a football field 50 feet high)
- Save 5 million cubic meters of water (enough to fill tanker trucks bumper to bumper half way across Canada)
- Together Enviro Stewards and Grosche (profiled below), through their Safe Water Projects have:
- Provided 5,700 people with safe water for about 25 years
- Purified 39 million litres of water to date
- Avoided deforestation of 3,000 trees (that would otherwise be needed to make water safe to drink)
- Avoided 6,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in developing countries
- Avoided about 1,450 cases of typhoid (and hence the need for people in poverty to spend $38,000 on typhoid medication)
- Provided meaningful employment and management skills for 17 people by training and equipping locally owned safe water businesses in South Sudan
Grosche joined the RCI when they heard about the opportunities they would have in the Regional Sustainability Initiative. Their commitment to excellence and the standards upheld by B Corps can be seen in their organizational design. They designed their company to be woman owned, carbon neutral, and pay a living wage right from the start. It is no wonder that they also received “Best for the World” certification through B Corp this year.
Grosche is a Canadian corporation and social enterprise located in Cambridge, Ontario. They are on a mission to “do good in the world.” As part of their social efforts, they fund development and poverty reduction projects with the sales from their coffee, tea, water, and kitchenware line.
Here are some of the things they do that contribute to their B Corp success:
- Using LED lighting in their warehouse and office, they reduce energy usage by almost 40%
- Reuse shipping materials to reduce waste
- Initiate compost and recycling program for neighbouring tenants
- Weigh waste weekly and create an 80% landfill diversion rate target