B Corporations

B the Change! The Green Engineer Celebrates B Corp month.

By Ryan Montoni, LEED AP, O&M, BREEAM Assessor

At The Green Engineer, our mission is to serve our clients and the planet in alignment. To support this objective, we embarked on a mission to research methods for measuring and benchmarking our own Corporate Social Responsibility. We discovered B Corporation (B Corp), a proven framework and certification program run by the non-profit B Lab.

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B Corps are for profit companies that elect to use their business as a force for good - to improve not only their bottom line, but to establish a positive impact on the environment and on society.  Specifically, a company must meet stringent requirements in terms of accountability, transparency, and social & environmental performance in order to be certified as an official B Corp by the nonprofit B Lab.

Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps across 50 countries and 130 industries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. An organization’s B Corp impact is measured using a point scale - in similar fashion to the LEED Certification system for buildings. An B Corp’s final, verified, point score becomes the company’s official ‘B Impact Score’.

 

The Green Engineer became a B Corp in May 2011. In our work, we advocate for the third-party certification of the environmental performance of buildings. So it made sense that we'd seek a third-party to confirm our own sustainable performance as a company. Furthermore, we achieve success as a business when we help our clients move in a positive direction for the environment, regardless of how much revenue we earn. Our goal is to help clients create a built environment that is healthy for occupants, reduces our impact on the natural environment, and is cost efficient to operate.

Our current environmental, social, and governance performance earns us a B Corp ‘B Impact Score’ of 142. To put this into perspective, global apparel brand, Patagonia, is a B Corp with a B Impact score of 152. Since 2016, TGE has ranked in the top 10% of all B Corps in the  ‘Environmental Impact’ category (with 44 points here), obtaining the B Corp Best for the World Honoree recognition in both 2016 and 2017. Since our founding in 2005, The Green Engineer has provided sustainable consulting on over 42 million SF of construction. In 2017 alone, The Green Engineer completed 20 LEED certified projects with over 2,844,748 SF of LEED certified construction. These 20 projects yield a combined, reduced site energy use of 170,776 MMBtu/yr (enough to power 2500 homes) and reduced potable water use of 17,437,000 gallons/year. Our efforts have created a healthier environment for building occupants and cities.

The Green Engineer prides itself on using our business model as a force for good.  In addition to being a certified B Corp, The Green Engineer is also a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation (or Benefit Corp), a public benefit entity under the Massachusetts Benefit Corporation Act. Our most recent, 2017 Massachusetts Benefit Report can be found here.

To promote social equity within an Architecture/Engineering/Construction project teams, we encourage our clients to take on the challenge of benchmarking their performance to improve the triple bottom line, and to participate in B Corp certification.  In this regard, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released a LEED for Building Design & Construction ‘Pilot Credit’ titled, ‘Social Equity within the Project Team’, which gives credit for promoting corporate social responsibility within the firms involved on a building project - including the owner, financier, architects, engineers, contractors, and manufacturers, etc. One of the acceptable avenues for complying with the credit’s requirements is to have substantial B Corp Certification across the project team.

More information on getting started with the B Corp framework can be found here. Or give us a call, we’d love to share our experiences and help you explore B Corps.

#BCorps #BCorpMonth #BTheChange