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Walking the Talk
Why B Corp Certification Was Non-Negotiable for Our Brand

Our company’s story is still a young one, and it is ever changing as we continue to grow, but one thing we knew early on with absolute certainty, was that our startup would need to become a Certified B Corp along the way.

Napkin story

When my wife and I bought our first home together, we had the goal of renovating our fixer-upper just in time for our first daughter, Audrey, to be born. While I still cringe at the fact that Mallory was up on ladders painting at eight months pregnant, we got enough of the home completed to move in and be ready for our baby’s arrival.

It was an important time for me, because it triggered in me a desire to think more seriously about our future and give my daughter the best world we could — and it also made me realize just how tough it was to have a home that reflected our true values.

See, in my eyes, despite it being beautiful, I still felt like we failed at renovating our home. I mostly came to this conclusion after I picked up our new power bill and noticed that it hadn’t changed. Despite investing over six figures into the home, we weren’t saving on the cost of running it, in any way. We had built a home that reflected our aesthetic values and style, but not our core values as a family

It’s overwhelming to know where to start if you want a sustainable home; one that benefits your health, wealth and the planet; this is why I founded Rise. Today, it is the leading trusted online authority in sustainable home improvement, having welcomed and helped over a million homeowners in the last year alone. 

Where you work = where you thrive 

The Rise team in their office in Fredricton, New Brunswick, Canada | Image courtesy of Rise

When the time came for Rise’s first office, it was a no-brainer that it would be designed and based on the company’s values and what it promotes to homeowners. It would also be the canvas for everyday life at a company where people matter most — they are our greatest asset — and so fostering an environment where they can all thrive was paramount. 

Every design, material and product choice was made with these values in mind. We followed both LEED and WELL standards in our approach to renovating our space, even though we were constrained with being in a commercial space inside a larger building. 

The renovation included: refinishing the concrete slab floor (instead of bringing in new flooring materials); installing LED panels, low-flow faucets and toilets throughout; using no-VOC paint, formaldehyde-free cabinetry and millwork; Cradle to Cradle certified office furniture, lowest-energy-consuming TVs, vintage/used mid-century furniture for decor, and the pièce de resistance: a ten-foot, automated living wall.     

Taking the yawn out of policies 

We live in a time where many of us almost literally live at work (or live to work). We spend more time working than nearly anything else in life, so shouldn’t that time be spent doing something you love in an environment that nourishes and promotes the things you care about, and that drive impact? 

At Rise, we take our policies pretty seriously, but not for the reasons you might think — we do it because they’re key to working (and living) in a company that values its employees and its impact on its community and beyond. 

Some of my favorites from the list: 

  • Single-use plastic ban on premises;

  • Drive-less program with incentives to reduce employee driving mileage;

  • A week’s worth of community hours for all employees every year.   

B Corp certification

From the beginning of the certification process in early 2018 to the signing about a month ago, it took a full year to get us to become a Certified B Corp. It was truly a team effort.

B Corp certification is about making companies walk the talk — we can talk all day long about the impact we’re having as great companies, but we’d much rather have clear guidelines and a plan in place to keep ourselves accountable and help measure our impact. This is why B Corp exists, and why it just made good sense for us to go through the certification process. 

I genuinely believe that making business decisions that benefit people, the planet and profits makes good sense — for everyone. I’m a firm believer that it is the future of business, not only because it makes sense, but because our world needs it. From an idea on a napkin to today, I’m incredibly proud of our team for making this vision a reality.