Since 2015, CoPower has been a certified B Corporation. We’re proud to be part of a global community -- now over 2,400 strong -- using business as a force for good.
Today, we’re thrilled to be named to the B Corporation Best For the World Overall list. In other words, we’ve scored in the top 10% of B Corporations across all categories on the B Impact Assessment. This rigorous assessment measures a company's positive impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment, and answers are verified by B Labs before a company is certified. CoPower was also honoured in two other categories: Best for Workers and Best for Governance.
We’re especially proud of this achievement because this wasn’t always the case. CoPower has now certified twice. Through the process, we’ve learned that becoming a B Corporation isn’t just about demonstrating to prospective clients and investors that you're already doing amazing stuff (although that’s nice too), it’s about becoming a better company.
“Becoming a B Corporation isn’t about just about demonstrating to prospective clients and investors that you’re already doing amazing stuff, it’s about becoming a better company.”
Profit and purpose have been baked into our business model from the beginning. CoPower’s mission is to unlock private capital for climate solutions and we’re doing that by connecting small-to-midsize clean energy projects in need of financing with investors seeking positive impact in addition to financial returns. To date, we’ve raised nearly $20 million for clean energy projects that together are expected to reduce 4,500 tonnes of CO2 annually.
However, in 2015, when we first certified, we just made it in with a score of 88 out of 200 (the minimum score to certify is 80). Our mission was solid, but as a small team, we hadn’t yet considered many of operational measures deemed important by B Labs. The assessment itself provided both a perfect moment and framework to reflect on our business practices and learn how we’re doing in comparison to others.
Over the next two years, guided by the questions from the assessment, we worked to do better. When we re-certified in 2017, we had bumped up our B Score to 116, an improvement of over 30%.
In particular, we’re proud of everything we’ve done to make CoPower a great place to work. Life is complicated, and we recognize that with the creation of a remote work policy and a “work-from-anywhere week” we can better accommodate employee needs. A comprehensive health and benefits plan, unrestricted sick leave and pet-friendly offices mean employees can put their health and well-being first. Well-used professional development budgets are supporting staff in taking their careers to the next level. A newly created company retirement savings plan helps employees build wealth for the future, and our employee stock option plan means that we all benefit from CoPower’s success.
Transparency, accountability and team ownership are more than just buzzwords at CoPower. In the past year, we’ve worked as a team to refine CoPower’s values, mission and vision statements, to ensure that everyone is fully on board. We regularly consult with stakeholders including investors and clean energy project developers about what they want to see from us in terms of future products, impact, partnerships and education. As an impact investment company, we report to investors not only on the financial performance of their investments but also the positive climate impacts that can be attributed to them personally.
And finally, while we’re helping investors tread more lightly on the earth, we’re working towards the same in our own operations. We now track energy usage in our offices and purchase an equivalent amount of renewable energy from Bullfrog Power. With offices in Montreal and Toronto, staff end up video conferencing a lot, but some travel is unavoidable. We now offset all greenhouse gas emissions from our business flights. We encourage eco-friendly commuting by covering part of the cost for monthly public transit and Bixi passes. We’ve worked to reduce in-office waste and have implemented a screening process for our major suppliers to ensure their business practices align with our social and environmental values.
These are just some of the policies and programs we have implemented over the past three years. There’s so much more to do, but we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken, in large part thanks to B Corporation's challenge to do good & then do better.
More about BCorp Best for the World: The 226 Best For The World Overall honoree companies come from 92 different industries and 30 countries. B Lab simultaneously released separate lists recognizing top-performing B Corporations as Best For Environment, Best For Customers, Best For Governance, Best For Community and Best For Workers, which can be found at bthechange.com/bestfortheworld. In the fall, B Lab will release the Best For The World: Changemakers and the Best For The World Funds lists.