Proud to announce that our commitment to protecting Mother Earth, not just earning profits, secured our place on the BCorporation Best for the Environment list for the 3rd year in a row. This honor places us as one of the B Corporations with the most positive environmental impact (scoring in the top 10% of more than 2,100 certified B corporations) based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the nonprofit B Lab. Click here to learn more about the Best for the World criteria and for a complete list of honorees.
To demonstrate our strong belief that there is more to business than earning profits, we pursued and earned certification as a B Corporation, a third party certification, in December 2014 by meeting a rigorous and independent set of standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. This certification measures and verifies a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment. Check out our Impact Report scores and our status in our B Corporation profile.
This honor and certification recognizes our mindful everyday practices and an overall responsibility for the environment. We strive to reduce our impacts in all aspects of our business starting with our office spaces where energy and water saving technologies have been incorporated. Our offices use task lighting and EnergyStar equipment, kitchens and restrooms are equipped with low-flow fixtures and toilets (one of our offices has a composting toilet), heating and cooling is used minimally throughout the year via expanded thermal comfort ranges (casual attire helps everyone stay comfortable), and programmable thermostats are a must. Renewable energy sources are used for the energy we consume (one of our offices is net positive energy). Daily activities like using electronic documents, dry erase boards, recycled consumable products (printer toner cartridges, 100% recycled copy paper, envelopes, checks and toiletries), re-usable dishes, cutlery and towels, and cleaning supplies made from plant and/or mineral-based or biodegradable ingredients delivered in sustainable packaging help minimize our product consumption. For the products we do consume, we minimize waste by recycling (printer toner cartridges, paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastics) and/or proper disposal (office equipment, batteries and light bulbs), and composting organic waste. Commutes are also minimized by working at the office location (we have five, three are home offices) closest to our residence or by telecommuting. We are committed to doing all we can to reduce our impacts and promote practices that not only do less bad but cross the sustainability divide toward the regenerative.
We continuously make every effort to decrease the impacts of our day-to-day operations (having cut associated GHG emissions by almost half over the last 5 years), but for those we haven’t eliminated, we purchase high quality offsets to neutralize. While we have been purchasing offsets since 2007, we started partnering with Carbonfund.org to offset emissions from our 2010 office operations, commuting, travel, paper products and shipping to the present. Reducing the environmental impacts from our daily operations is a natural step in our advocacy efforts, and to-date we have mitigated over 1200 metric tons of GHG emissions resulting from our work, further contributing to our whole planet’s health of place.
Giving Back and Transparency
Our advocacy of health of place not only calls us to be environmental conscious, but demands that we inspire, nurture, restore and revitalize the communities we impact and the people we meet along the way. As part of these efforts, we give donations to organizations such as Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, USGBC Malcolm Lewis IMPACT Award, The Willow School, The Winston Preparatory School and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. We are also members of organizations focused on environmental issues and social equity such as USGBC Central PA Chapter and USGBC.
Recognizing that spending dollars isn’t always the best way to give back to our communities, we devote hundreds of hours each year volunteering with a variety of organizations that walk the talk. These organizations work to provide inspiration, guidance, education and assistance in environmental and social equity issues. Our partners and staff have donated almost 8,000 hours over the past 18 years, an average of over 400 hours per year, serving as committee and/or Board members and chairing committees. We have also contributed articles to various publications focused on environmental issues, donating another 1,500 hours over the past 18 years (an average of over 80 hours per year). Here are some of the organizations through which we give back:
One of our core principles which has remained in effect even as we have evolved as a company is to basically give it away. We don’t maintain anything we uncover as any kind of proprietary information for our own personal gain. We do not aspire to grow the company in any sort of traditional business model. We grow organically usually through the expansion of wider interconnected networks that characterizes our own structure. We build our capacities and the capacities of those we work with and for, by working within regenerative, living systems frameworks.
Every day we collaborate on innovative projects fostering regenerative capacity, and we are committed to developing and implementing sustainability and social initiatives in the businesses and organizations with whom we collaborate. We passionately believe that health of place is a right, not a sound bite, and we advocate the construction and operation of buildings and communities in a way that contributes to the place and all the beings that inhabit them. We humbly strive to help ourselves, our colleagues, and our clients to walk their own talk as well.