Sustainability Report: 2020
As a corporation, and a B Corporation (B Corp) we take pride in continuously reporting on our sustainability activities so that we remain transparent and hold ourselves accountable. 2020 was a challenging year for us all. Although there were challenges, we are happy to share our wins and identified areas of improvement with you in our newest sustainability report.
The Global Reporting Initiative
The 2020 sustainability report looks a little different than previous years. We decided to take on the challenge of using the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. GRI’s mission is to enable organizations to become more transparent and accountable for their impacts. This framework does this by using common language and a set of standards that organizations must abide by when completing their sustainability report. The topics within the GRI Standards range from anti-corruption to waste, health and safety to employment and the rights of indigenous peoples to emissions.
The History of GRI
GRI was founded in Boston, USA in 1997 following the public outcry over the environmental damage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. GRI’s roots lie in non-profit organizations CERES, the Tellus Institute and with involvement from the UN Environment Programme. The overarching goals was to create the first accountability mechanism that held companies responsible for their impacts on the environment, people and governance.
As time went on GRI became more globally utilized and became what it is today, the most widely used reporting framework for organizations.
Key Highlights from Our Sustainability Report
To say we are proud of taking the next step to continue improving our reporting practices is an understatement. We look forward to the following years to come so we may continue to improve our transparency, accountability and sustainability initiatives.
Without further ado, we’d love to share some key highlights from our 2020 Sustainability Report.
We created a CleanTech product, DeCarbon to aid businesses and individuals in doing their part by providing an advanced carbon calculator to measure, assess and offset their emissions. DeCarbon has created exciting new opportunities for us and furthers our commitment to environmental sustainability.
We celebrated our 1-year anniversary as a B Corp in September of 2020! We have been able to accomplish a lot with our certification including joining amazing initiatives such as the Race to Zero Campaign. We, alongside over 1300 other B Corps and businesses, have stated our commitment to becoming net-zero by 2030.
We entered into a sponsorship relationship with The Fringe for the summer of 2020. Although things looked a lot different, The Fringe kept the spirit alive online. This partnership resulted in a now-three-year sponsorship relationship, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Review of 2020 Goals
Improve Reporting Practice
We improved our reporting practices for 2020 by using the GRI framework and will continue to use this framework moving forward.
Offset Scope 1 & 2 Emissions
We have offset 15 tones of the Seneca Meadows Project for 2020. We can confidently say we are Scope 1 net-zero and offset part of our Scope 2 emissions.
Research Scope 3 Emissions for Measuring, Tracking and Offsetting
Research is continuing into 2021 to implement into DeCarbon. This goal will be ongoing due to its complexity. However, with joining the Corporate Climate Leaders Program we will be able to reach this goal much faster.
B Corp: Use Environmentally Friendly Office Supplies
Due to the inability to work in the office for most of 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions, we will need to investigate this for 2021 onwards.
Investigate Purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
We have investigated purchasing RECs and have not reached a conclusion of whether we will utilize RECs as part of our sustainability strategy.
Make a Commitment to Donation as a Percentage of Revenue (ex. 1% For the Planet)
We are working with the Leduc Chamber of Commerce to set up a 1% for the community donation project. This project would provide funds to local charities that can have a big impact on our community. We are continuing to explore what this will look like.
Increase Communication About Employee Donation Matching
No employee donations were made during 2020 and we will continue to spread awareness of this program to our employees.
We can't wait to see where the next year takes us!
To download our full sustainability report, please visit the B Corp section of our website: https://switch-engineering.ca/pages/b-corp