Our members continue to amaze us with their commitment to sustainability and their innovative green and social responsibility initiatives. They lead by example and demonstrate how business can be used as a platform for good. Now that 2021 is over, we’d like to take this time to recognize some of our member companies via our 3rd Annual “Best of GBB” Awards. All of our members are regular companies with businesses to run, and they all do their part in becoming greener, more socially responsible and thoughtful. We’ve selected six members who stood out, created great greener businesses and demonstrated their commitment to sustainability with tangible actions and results!
With humble beginnings as a small business selling to Vancouver’s dock workers in 1918, Watson Gloves is now Canada’s largest manufacturer and distributor of gloves to the industrial and retail market. The large volume of gloves used in the industrial market means that often gloves are thrown into the garbage after they are soiled or worn out. With the vast amount of waste that comes from single-use PPE and regular long-term wear, Watson Gloves is focusing on beginning of life and end of life manufacturing initiatives to help divert much of this textile waste by developing gloves using innovative sustainable materials. From automotive and waste management to food handling and gardening, Watson Gloves provides sustainable hand protection for everyone at work, at home and at play.
Operating in most major U.S. cities, Replate is a tech-driven nonprofit that combats food waste by connecting food donors and food rescuers together. Replate works with restaurants, caterers, food distributors, offices and other organizations to directly deliver their surplus food to those in need in local communities. Some of their big name donors include Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, Walmart, Aramark, Miyoko’s Creamery and Beyond Meat.
Food waste is both a social and environmental issue and by finding a way to fully utilize perfectly good food, insecure communities find relief and the environmental repercussions of food waste are avoided. To date, Replate has been able to save 819 million gallons of water, avoid 6 million pounds of harmful carbon dioxide and rescue nearly 3 million pounds of food.
Replate’s circular model not only makes it easy for any business to reduce their carbon footprint and give back, but it has created new jobs by inviting those in the community to apply to become food rescuers. Replate is working with government entities, businesses and other organizations like DoorDash and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to expand their network of food rescue drivers and bring food donation opportunities all across America.
Swedish outdoor clothing and gear company, Fjällräven is known for its functional, durable, and timeless designs. With a mission to inspire the world to walk with nature Fjällräven, centers its brand and products around sustainability with the goal to leave basecamp in better shape than they found it and motivate others to do the same.
At Fjällräven material choice is essential for making products that achieve both durability on the trail and low environmental impact. Materials are evaluated for their environmental impacts, functional qualities, chemical composition and the amount needed to make each product. A Preferred Materials and Fibers List is continually updated with new research to help Fjällräven choose the highest quality and most sustainable materials. The brand prioritizes using organic, renewable, and recycled materials whenever possible.
Long term supplier partnerships are just as important as the design and materials that go into Fjällräven’s products. To ensure partnerships built on trust and respect, Fjällräven implemented a non-negotiable Code of Conduct that encompasses human rights, animal welfare, environmental protections, sustainable development and anti-corruption. Fjällräven believes it takes teamwork and a shared vision to improve working conditions and reduce environmental impacts in the value chain.
As a member of both the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Fjällräven collaborates with NGOs and other purpose-driven apparel companies to share best practices and support ethical sourcing. Through their parent company, Fjällräven is a member of the UN Global Compact, a partnership between businesses and the UN to uphold human rights and sustainable practices.
With the aim to become carbon neutral by 2025, Fjällräven supports emission reduction, renewable energy, and Gold Standard certified compensation projects, as part of their strategy for reducing and compensating for their carbon footprint.
Ginkgo Sustainability is bringing sustainability into the built environment through living roofs and living walls, structures that use plant power to lower building energy use, reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality and encourage biodiversity. Ginkgo offers consulting, design, installation and maintenance services for green walls and green roofs to help clients realize their green building goals.
Living roofs and walls help lower a building’s energy use and surrounding urban temperatures by reducing heat island effects, the absorption and re-emission of the sun’s heat. These green structures also attenuate stormwater runoff, saving nearby water bodies from erosion and leaching fertilizer, chemicals, waste and other components. It is also through this reconnection with nature that mental and physical health is improved. Living walls and roofs act as a noise buffer, cut down on air pollutants and create tranquil spaces for increased productivity and wellness.
Premium haircare company, MASAMI, sets the bar when it comes to clean haircare products. Rejecting the harsh and damaging ingredients of conventional haircare – sulfates, parabens and phthalates – MASAMI has created a line of products that nourishes and protects hair health. Natural, vegan and cruelty-free, MASAMI’s salon-quality products are infused with Mekabu powder, a Japanese ocean botanical that gives hair weightless hydration and a healthy shine.
For MASAMI, conscious beauty means actively seeking new and better ways to be more environmentally and socially responsible. From their formulations and packaging to their go-to-market strategy, MASAMI is making efforts to instill sustainability throughout their operations.
MASAMI’s formulations are created to EU standards which are much stricter than those in the US (over 1,300 cosmetic ingredients are banned in the EU versus just 11 in the US). However, conscious beauty doesn’t just mean choosing safe, good-for-you-and-the-planet ingredients. It also means being aware of where these ingredients are sourced and the impact this has on other communities. MASAMI’s hero ingredient, Mekabu powder, is sourced fresh from a family-owned seaweed farm in Japan, supporting these hardworking individuals and giving back to their local economy.
Concentric Advisors is a risk management firm that delivers strategic intelligence and security services to their clients. For over a decade, Concentric has supported individuals, corporations and nonprofits to solve challenges across the full spectrum of security risk. Their global mission to protect others’ safety and wellbeing extends into their sustainability efforts via green security projects and lowering their environmental impact.
Concentric is the only US security risk management consultancy that has been certified as a green business, achieved carbon neutrality and committed to decarbonizing their services. Well before 2040, Concentric aims to become a net-zero business. To fulfill their commitment to both The Climate Pledge and Green Business Bureau programs, Concentric has formed a green team dedicated to managing sustainability initiatives, marketing their efforts, promoting transparency via emissions reporting, and facilitating discussions around sustainability through quarterly newsletters, employee training and company-wide engagement opportunities. The group of nine volunteer staff also oversee the development of environmental security projects such as providing satellite monitoring, drones and AI to conservationists working to combat habitat destruction and deforestation.
Garden Montessori School
Garden Montessori School offers a healthy and stimulating learning environment for students 18-months of age through Kindergarten. Classrooms are adorned with air-purifying plants and large windows to allow in natural light. doTERRA essential oils release calm-inducing aromas and classrooms are cleaned and stocked with safe, third-party certified products from brands like Seventh Generation, Sustainable Earth and Gojo.
Outside, the playground includes toxin-free rubber mulch made from reclaimed tires and plenty of spaces for students to sit with nature. A rain barrel collects water while a compost bin turns food scraps into nutrient-rich soil for their organic garden. School staff have even put together a hydroponic garden as well as a peace garden to encourage environmental stewardship among students.
In 2009, Garden Montessori School became the nation’s first Gold Seal Level II Certified green preschool by a national environmental audit program and achieved Level III certification by 2013. In addition, Garden Montessori has become a Platinum Member of Green Business Bureau. Garden Montessori continues routine testing for radon and water quality, upgrading appliances to more energy efficient models and using eco-friendly products to maintain their certification status and sustainability mission.