Did you know that March is BCorp month? Did you know that there are 3700 certified BCorp companies in 70 countries? Did you know that some of the best companies in the world are BCorp certified including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s AND Skidmore Group!
“What is a BCorp?” you ask……
BCorps are businesses working to build stronger communities, more inclusive and equitable companies, and a healthier planet!
Skidmore is held accountable by B Lab U.S. & Canada which measures our impact on customers, community, employees, governance and the planet. To be certified means we have met the highest standards of performance, transparency, and accountability.
Some local BCorp companies you might recognize are Salt Spring Coffee, Summerhill Winery, Coast Capital, Hootsuite, Novex Couriers, Tentree and Climate Smart. Even Ocean Brand, part of the Jim Patterson Group, is a BCorp company.
Why did we decide to become a Certified B Corporation? As we evolved TCGI (Trans Canada Glass) into the Skidmore Group, it was already in our DNA to be a BCorp. We also recognized that many organizations were talking the walk towards greater ESG, but believed that if one does not measure against an independent third party standard, then really all the talk is just that….. talk. We therefore engaged in the BCorp process and became one of the First Family Investment Offices in the world to be granted BCorp Status. Getting through the process was hard work, and it improved us as an organization.
What have we done since?
1. We are engaging with the BCorp Community.
2. We are making small, meaningful improvements in our everyday process to impact the planet.
1.Recycling. Skidmore Group works hard each year to certify with Climate Smart.
Before we throw something away ask yourself, can it be recycled or reused? At Skidmore we recently expanded our recycling centre so that we can now recycle soft plastics (great for the graphic department) and paper hand towels.
2.Reduce. Our new state-of-the-art head office was built to minimize energy use, including the use of automatic on/off switches for lighting and heating, LED lighting throughout etc.
3. Buy Local. We buy local from small business’s and artisans in your community. Bonus points if it is a small business owned by women or minorities.
4. Partner with other BCorps. When looking for vendors we ensure that are any that are BCorp certified. For example, at Skidmore Group we use Novex Couriers and Fairware. If you can’t find a BCorp company look for a local provider. Bonus points if it is a female or minority-owned vendor.
And then Covid19 hit, and for us our BCorp DNA laid out a clear roadmap.
In our Glass division, an industry that saw sales drop by almost 40% and an industry that is still down 20-25% compared to Pre-Covid19, we closed some locations, but we committed to and kept all team members working during these tough times.
In our Kitchen division, we saw increased sales, but in order to keep our team members and customers safe, we launched a 3D online design tool so that people could design their own kitchen from the comfort of their home.
We sold Refresh Financial to Borrowel, creating a larger scale, more resilient company in which we are shareholders that help Canadians deal with tough times.
So, what is next for us? This year we are focused on rolling out additional best practices to all our operating companies, and we are continuing to look at the recovery from Covid19 to see how we can further strengthen the team.