Feature

16 New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Companies Using Business as a Force For Good

Image: CarShare Atlantic Facebook page.

Last week, Saint John-headquartered T4G joined more than 2,300 companies from around the world that are certified B Corporations.

B Corporations (commonly referred to as B Corps) are for-profit entities that believe in using business as a force for good. B Corp is a worldwide certification created by nonprofit organization B Lab. The certification process is rigorous, requiring businesses to meet performance and legal requirements and be re-certified every two years.

“B Corp’s values are a natural fit for T4G. This made the decision to become a B Corp an easy one. Being a B Corp means considering people, the environment, and communities as important as profits and shareholders,” said T4G, announcing its certification.  “We have long believed this too. Giving back to our local communities and caring about our fellow employees are at the core of who we are.”

But it’s not the only business in the region that has met the social and environmental impact standards set by non-profit B Lab. Here’s a look at the other 15 B Corp-certified companies in the Maritimes:

1. Assomption Vie/Assumption Life, Moncton:

Assomption Vie became the first life insurance firm in Canada to become a B Corp when it was certified last April. The Moncton-based firm also offers investment, retirement and other financial products.

“We are proud to join a global community of entrepreneurs whose companies value diversity and respect for the environment, said André Vincent, Assumption Life’s President and CEO. “I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate this certification with our employees.”

2. The Chapman Group, Saint John:

Tanya Chapman, company president. Image: submitted.

Certified as a B Corp in June 2016, this consulting firm specialized in developing human resource strategy and planning, building human resource programs, leadership development, performance management and facilitating change. The Chapman Group supports non-profits by donating 10 per cent of its employees’ working time to serve their communities. It’s initiatives like this that make the B Corp a fit, says the company.

“The B Corp movement is aligned with our personal values and business philosophy – people using business as a force for good. We’re committed to our families, our community and the clients we have the privilege of serving. We’re grateful for all we have and look for opportunities to ‘pay it forward’ in meaningful ways.”

3. Symplicity Designs, Moncton:

Symplicity, certified a BCorp in May 2015, helps businesses, non-profits and governments enhance their operations. It aims to inspire sustainable improvement and innovation in business, government and communities.

“At Symplicity we believe that business should be a force of good. In fact, evidence indicates that when an organization has a positive impact on people and planet, profit tends to follow,” said the company when it became a B Corp. “As a leader in the local community, we decided that in order to effect the greatest amount of positive change it was imperative to reach out and touch a broader community. B Corp is such a community.”

4. OMISTA Credit Union, Moncton:

Image: atlanticcreditunions.ca

OMISTA was certified a B Corp in February 2016, the first credit union in New Brunswick to receive the certification. The New Brunswick credit union offers complete banking for people and businesses who want to bank local while making the place they live even better. It chose to become a certified B Corp because of the belief that business should have a higher social purpose beyond profit and said they are now part of a global movement of business leaders that seek to redefine success in business.

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“OMISTA has long understood the importance of social responsibility, which can be demonstrated through many of our practices,” said OMISTA marketing manager Trisha Leaver. “We are the only New Brunswick provider of microloans to Canadian newcomers for costs associated with obtaining Canadianized version of their professional certifications.”

 5. Wicked Ideas Media, Rothesay:

Lisa Hrabluk. Image: submitted.

Founded by award-winning journalist Lisa Hrabluk, the knowledge consultancy company became the first New Brunswick business to be certified a B Corp. in October 2014.

The company aims to change how governments, institutions, businesses and organizations tackle complex issues and include the broader public in finding solutions. It specializes in resource development, indigenous reconciliation and related issues.

In 2015, Hrabluk won the “Bee Keeper” award at the B Corp annual retreat in Portland, Oregon. “It is a really delightful surprise and I am coming back home with a renewed drive to live what I believe – that business can be a force for good and help lead fundamental social and economic change,” she said at the time.

RELATED: A Wicked Idea for Solving Wicked Problems

6. Adams Green Consulting, Saint John:

Co-owner Owen Green.

Certified in March 2015, the family-owned accounting firm embeds its staff in client organizations to help them manage and grow their business.

Co-owner Owen Green told Huddle in 2015 that they decided to become a B Corp because many of their existing practices were already in line with the organization’s mandate.

“Going through the process itself really helped us focus on what we wanted to be as a company and what things are important to us,” Green said. “It provides a good filter for making decisions as we go forward.”

7. Hemmings House Pictures, Saint John:

Greg Hemmings, celebrating Hemmings House’s first birthday 10 years ago. Image: Submitted

The film production company, which received its B Corp. certification in March 2015, recently celebrated a 10th anniversary. Hemmings House founder Greg Hemmings realized that the B Corp was celebrating a 10th anniversary too, so he helped throw them a party at the organization’s annual retreat.

“As we enter 2018, Hemmings House and the B Corp movement enter our second decade, which means we are almost teenagers,” wrote Hemmings in a recent blog post. “And if you remember, the teenage years were a lot of fun, filled with energy, dreams and a sense of adventure.”

Related: How Hemmings House Pictures Became a Production Company with a Conscience

8. CUA, Halifax:

The CUA branch on Spring Garden Road in Halifax. Image: CUA Facebook page.

CUA is a community-focused banking institution with seven branch locations, a commercial center, a wealth management services division, a Customer Contact Centre, and a corporate office in Halifax. The bank has over 19,000 customers and total assets in excess of $420 million.

It became a certified B Corp in February, 2016.

“We are proud of our BCorp Certification which helps us ensure we continue to operate with the needs of our community and members first before profit,” CUA writes on its website. “It puts us in a group of global leadership companies seeking to demonstrate a better way to do business.”

9. Greener Inspections, Halifax:

Company owner Shawn Green. Image: Greener inspections website.

Greener Inspections is a home inspection company that aims to help prospective home buyers and sellers understand any potential deficiencies in the home. They want to put customers in safe and efficient homes in order to strengthen communities while protecting the environment.

The company became a certified B Corp in January, 2016. Company owner Shawn Green says they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to doing right by their community.

“The decision to become a B Corp certified company was simple,” says Green on the company website. “I believe business is a force for good. Green is my name so I wanted to prove to my clients, the community and other entrepreneurs that I am working to be a company that gives back.”

10. Wired Flare Inc., Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia:

Wired Flare, which became a certified B Corp in February 2015, and touts its B Corp status in the opening lines on its website about the company’s mission.

“Wired Flare is a B Corp certified ethical, female-led digital shepherd, helping businesses connect with customers, partners and communities through compelling story. We use tools like social media, inbound marketing, SEO and content development to cut through online chatter and convey real meaning that turns customers into champions and businesses into brands that do good.”

11. CarShare Atlantic, Halifax:

Image: Carshare Facebook page.

CarShare gives customers access to car mobility, without all the costs and hassles of car ownership. Each shared CarShare Atlantic vehicle takes approximately seven to 10 cars off the road. The company says one less car on the road equals 1 tonne less of harmful greenhouse gas emissions per year polluting the planet. It also means less traffic and fewer needed parking spaces.

The company became a certified B Corp in January 2015.

“It’s one thing to simply say that you run a responsible business, but it’s another thing when a respected third party team of specialists puts their stamp on it,” CarShare states on its website.

12. Dadavan Systems, Waverley, Nova Scotia: 

Image: Dadavan Facebook page.

Dadavan creates customizable data collection software for schools, communities and Indigenous peoples. Their products translate data into community-generated knowledge that can for positive and informed decision-making.

The company became a certified B Corp in August 2014 – a designation it’s clearly proud of.

“Dadavan has joined the ranks of trailblazing companies who choose to consider people and planet over profit. We’re proudly #BCorp certified,” it says right on the company’s homepage page.

13. EcoAdvisors, Halifax: 

Image: EcoAdvisors website.

EcoAdvisors provides consulting services to clients seeking to be at the cutting edge of sustainability. The firm works with public, private, and voluntary sector clients on sustainability issues across geographies and ecological systems. Their expertise covers corporate social responsibility, compensation, program design and management, evaluation, protected area management, community-based conservation, finance and more.

The company became a certified B Corp in April 2014 and believes the designation demonstrates its commitment to its core values.

“Businesses can do well and businesses can do good. We believe these are not mutually exclusive – doing good can help a company do well. The B Corp framework helps demonstrate the value of doing good for our clients, our partners, and ourselves.”

14. Common Good Solutions Inc., Halifax:

“Our CGS family all together” in June 2017. Image: Common Good Solutions Facebook page.

Common Good Solutions describes itself as “part consultancy, part educator, part social impact incubator.” They help entrepreneurs, non-profits and cooperatives across all sectors to start and grow social enterprises.

The company has been a certified B Corp since July 2013, becoming the first to do so in the Atlantic region. The company says it lives the B Corp values every day.

“We demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable prosperity of Nova Scotia through the way we do business each and every day; ensuring that people and the planet are emphasized above and beyond profit. Our entire business is built on driving a movement toward a way of doing business that emphasizes stewardship of the environment and fair treatment of stakeholders (from clients to employees).”

15. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): 

The BDC office in Saint John. Image: Mark Leger/Huddle.

BDC is devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, promoting entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 118 business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital and flexible growth and transition capital solutions.  It is headquartered in Montreal but is included here because of its active presence in so many Maritime communities.

It became the first Canadian financial institution to be certified in December 2013.

“B Corp certification is a natural fit for BDC; our exclusive dedication to entrepreneurs is beneficial to Canadian society,” said Craig Ryan, Director of Social Entrepreneurship, when BDC’s certification was announced. “We’re also proud to support the people who create social purpose firms, many of whom seek B Corp certification. We’re confident our new status will help attract more of them as clients.”