FREDERICTON – Matt Daigle started Rise, an online platform that helps homeowners find materials to build or renovate sustainably, shortly after he and his wife had renovated a fixer-upper and were expecting a baby.
“When you have your first child, you start thinking about your future a lot more, what you’re leaving behind, and our footprint as a family,” said Daigle, the founder and CEO of the Fredericton-based company.
Those renovations didn’t produce the results he was looking for. His power bill didn’t change, which made him look at more sustainable options and realize there were other homeowners in his shoes.
Rise is now five years old and has become an independent, third-party resource for homeowners that want to find the right materials to construct or renovate buildings that will save them money and help save the planet.
The company’s commitment to sustainability is one of the reasons it recently became a certified B Corporation (B Corp), a network of 2,788 companies in 64 countries that balance purpose and profit in the way they operate. They’re legally required to consider the impacts of their decisions on people and the planet at the same time as they’re trying to be profitable – the “triple bottom line” as it’s often called.
Rise is the eighth company in New Brunswick to become a certified B Corp.
Daigle believes sustainability has different meanings. Comfort, health, and saving money mean a lot to him.
“I have two kids now, and I want to make sure they can live and thrive in a home that is safe and healthy for them,” he said.
It’s also about following values that are important to him.
“You are killing two birds with one stone,” he said. “You’re able to reduce your requirements for energy and for your home, and at the same time you’re helping the environment by reducing your footprint.”
To become a B Corp, Rise had to pass a 200-question assessment scoring a minimum of 80 points. The assessment covered five areas: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.
“It’s an intense process, but it’s meant to be,” said Ashley Abernethy, Rise’s marketing Lead.
The process included formalizing policies that were already in place in the office. For example, Rise banned single-use plastics from their offices before becoming a B Corp.
“We haven’t necessarily had to change or adapt internally to meet B Corp credentials,” said Daigle. “We essentially were already living and breathing [the values].”
Becoming a B Corp has opened the door to networking opportunities. Rise is now part of B Hive, an online network that connects like-minded companies across the globe.
“We are now part of a community and there are lots of neat options,” Daigle said. “I think B Corp does that very well, creating events and strong leaders that are part of the B Corp community.”
Since Rise was launched, Daigle knew he wanted it to eventually become a B Corp. In the end, it all comes down to giving back to people and the planet.
“I have a firm belief that if you’re starting a company today, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t – aside from making large sums of money, which is fantastic – also make sure people on the planet are respected along the way,” he said.
“Humanity has done a bit of a disservice to itself by just focusing on money and making large sums of it.”
Banner photo: Some of the members of the Rise team: Michelin Joyce, Dylan Paul, Jordan McEachern, Matthew VanTassel, Matt Daigle, Andrew Keezer, Jenny Keleher. Image: Diana Chavez/Huddle.