Insights

12 Days of B Corp

As a proud B Corp, we’re showcasing 12 days’ worth of B Corps-sourced gifts to help you with thoughtful holiday giving

Does the holiday scramble have you wondering about your environmental impact? While you may be aware of the toll consumer holidays can take on the planet, did you know there are many high-quality and uniquely responsible options you can choose when doing your holiday shopping? B Corporations, in particular, offer ethically produced options that firmly root gift purchasing decisions in positive impact.

This goes doubly for our sustainable and impact portfolios. In addition to all the regular financial modelling and risk analysis, these funds also adhere to strict criteria around divesting of “harmful” investments in fossil fuels, gambling, and GMO products for example, or adding “impact” oriented companies that have established measurable social and environmental outcomes.

So how is it, then, that some of our sustainable and impact portfolios include “conventional” companies you might not expect to see? 

The truth about your sustainable investments and impact portfolio mix is a bit complicated. Let’s take a closer look. 

Why B Corp Companies Matter

We’re a Certified B Corporation, which means we care about people and the planet. Our impact investing portfolios are created with a purpose, and so are all of the business decisions we make. Read more about why we’re a B Corp here.

Behind each #BCorp’s products or services, there’s a bigger and broader impact. By giving a gift from a certified B Corp, you have the opportunity to give more than a simple product or service.

B Corps Have a Story to Tell

From their supply chain to their employees, a lot of partners and people work together behind the scenes to make a positive impact. And there’s more to B Corp products and services than meets the eye.

Some B Corps use a giving model. Some focus their work on improving environmental practices. Some B Corps provide impact by putting their stakeholders first.

This holiday season, give a gift that gives back. Give B Corps! #BehindTheGift

To make your shopping easier, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite #BCorps to consider this holiday season, breaking down what they have to offer and the impact behind their work.

Summerhill Pyramid is a family run business, offering wine made organically and biodynamically with love, aged in a four-storey pyramid that is built with sacred geometry and aligned to the stars. Its portfolio of organic wines has garnered international acclaim, including the ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ award by the IWSC in England. Also home of the Summerhill Pyramid Bistro, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including an onsite biodynamic veggie garden.

Looking for a perfect gift for that environmentally inclined wine-lover on your holiday list? Look no further than Summerhill Pyramid, achieving not only your environmental goals but also helping you to support local businesses.

Athleta creates versatile premium performance apparel designed by women athletes to inspire a community of active, confident women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Founded in 1998, Athleta integrates performance and technical features across its collection to carry a woman through her life in motion – from yoga and training to commute and travel. In 2016 the company launched Athleta Girl mirroring its signature performance in styles for the next generation.

Athleta’s Power of She campaign and brand experience celebrate inclusivity and the power of women and girls uplifting one another. Through the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program and Fair Trade U.S.A., the brand supports programs directly impacting the lives of the majority-female workers creating its apparel. Additionally, 40% of Athleta apparel is made of recycled and sustainable materials, tracking to its goal of 80% by 2020. Athleta also offers thousands of free fitness and wellness events each year and in 2017 supported nearly 10,000 hours of employee volunteering in the community.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the always-on-the-go socially inclined individual, look no further than Athleta.

Pela is re-inventing everyday products, without everyday waste. Using their revolutionary technology, they have made a global impact with a customer base that spans  the world. Pela’s primary products for change include disposable phone cases and Lomi, a new and innovative rapid-composting device that converts everyday household compostable materials into mulch for houseplants.

Pela’s goal is to remove 1 billion pounds of plastic from the waste stream by 2028. It’s ambitious but Pela believes with the support they have received, this goal is a real possibility. Pela dreams of a waste-free future and part of that requires us turning off the tap on plastics entirely.

Find new ways to compost your most un-compostable everyday goods, with Pela.

In October of 2013, Cotopaxi’s founders set out with the goal of building an outdoor gear company that could make meaningful strides toward reducing global poverty. Today, drawing on best practices from the outdoor industry and global development sector, they create innovative outdoor products and experiences that help alleviate poverty, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.

Founded as a Benefit Corporation with social purpose built into its DNA, Cotopaxi is committed to inspiring social and environmental change as a means to improve the human condition, increase social consciousness, and alleviate poverty through its core values and giving initiatives. Becoming a B Corp directly aligns with this business model, ensuring that Cotopaxi is able to closely monitor its performance against its goals as the company grows and evolves.

In pursuit of these goals, Cotopaxi’s values are infused into all aspects of its operations. On a local level, employees enjoy “in-the-wild” time, where they spend 10% of their work time adventuring outdoors or doing service. Cotopaxi has launched a skills-based volunteering initiative that leverages the time and talent of employees and responds to a clear need in the community.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the outdoorsy environmentalist in your life, consider getting them something from Cotopaxi.

Based in Vancouver, Eminence Organic Skin Care is an award-winning provider of natural and organic skin care  products and is  sold in leading salons and spas in more than 40 countries around the world.

Eminence melds herbal craftsmanship and innovation, skin rejuvenation techniques  and hand-picked fresh ingredients to craft premium natural, organic and biodynamic skin care that is good for the earth as well as the skin. Eminence Organics displays its commitment to the environment by harnessing wind and solar power energy to produce products and by using recyclable packaging with eco-friendly inks and committing to planting a tree for every product sold.

Eminence harvests its ingredients from a certified organic farm in Hungary  growing certified organic ingredients while providing education, healing the earth and honoring its Hungarian roots.

Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) offers all the amenities of a traditional grocery store with the added convenience of online shopping. All of SPUDs products are either certified organic, natural, or locally and sustainably made. SPUD believes that getting local, organic food delivered to your door is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to improve health, protect the environment, and support the local community.

Since its start in 1997, SPUD has been committed to providing simple access to real, healthy, local food. SPUD brings positive change to people’s lives by supporting sustainable food systems that grow communities, care for the earth’s natural harvest, and reduces impact on the environment. The idea of changing the world, one bite at a time, guides every SPUD decision.

SPUD partners with vendors who care deeply about producing food and natural products that keep both consumer health and the planet’s well-being in mind. Every product SPUD chooses to offer must align with its core values: Practice or actively support organic and sustainable growing methods that respect crop diversity and soil health, avoiding the use of pesticides.

Looking for the perfect gift for that person on your list who loves to cook with the freshest ingredients? Look no further than a SPUD subscription.

Founded by organic farmers in 1996 on Salt Spring, an island off Canada’s West Coast, this coffee pioneer has put social responsibility and sustainability at the cornerstone of its business.

Salt Spring Coffee’s high-quality organic beans are now sold, served and enjoyed in cafes, restaurants and food stores throughout Canada. The growing company has stayed true to its roots in organic farming with a Fair to Farmer program that creates direct partnerships with the coffee communities where its beans are grown. It funds innovative projects at home and around the world through its 1% for the Planet donations, including co-founding an initiative to help fellow Canadian companies follow its lead in drastically reducing waste sent to landfills, helping isolated Nicaraguan farmers install solar panels to power essentials, and working with a farming co-op run by women in Uganda to connect its members to the great-tasting coffee they produce.

Salt Spring Coffee was recognized in B Lab’s first Best for the World list for the effectiveness of its sustainability programs and its commitment to social responsibility and the environment.

Looking for the perfect gift for the lovable coffee snob on your list? Consider getting them a bag of fresh Salt Spring Coffee beans.

tentree is an environmentally progressive, lifestyle apparel brand that plants ten trees for every item purchased.

tentree was founded on the premise that every consumer wants to know that they are contributing to the wellbeing of our planet. They believe that they can inspire a new group of consumers to tackle the environmental issues we are now faced with head on, positively impacting our future. They work with a variety of not-for-profits, educational groups, and organizations across the globe to ensure that their planting efforts are having a real, marked impact in  local communities. To date, they have already planted over 25 million trees and have a goal to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.

With millions of trees planted to date, the impact is easy to see. These trees have provided hundreds of thousands of days of employment in underprivileged communities across the globe which equates to several hundred full-time jobs. Not to mention the countless hours of education that have gone into making these projects a success. The environmental impact is truly astounding as these trees help rejuvenate damaged eco-systems and remove pollution from the atmosphere. With every purchase this impact grows.

Grab any piece of Ten Tree gear for yourself or a loved one this holiday and live comfortably knowing your newest fashion statement also planted ten trees, a simple and impactful contribution to the environment.

Fatso was founded with the goal of bringing better nutrition to more people. Nutritious food is a human right. Everyone should have access to nutrient dense and ingredient diverse foods. Good fats and low sugar should be the standard and not the exception. Fatso uses the cost-effective peanut and a blend of almonds and seeds as a base to bring together good fats and fibre-focused ingredients without palm oil or sugar. We aim to provide more nutrition, benefits, and flavour, spoon-for-spoon, at a cost that is lower or competitive with high-priced specialty nut butters.

Fatso also ensures that a portion of their product goes to underserved communities in both Canada and the US. During the  COVID 19 pandemic, Fatso donated over $200k worth of product to food banks, communities, and organizations that either had difficulty staying food secure or required funds to push their mission forward.

Fatso also maintains a strong commitment to social justice matters. They are committed to using their power, public profile, and product to help ensure the unheard, unserved, and unrepresented are acknowledged and lifted up. Their company aims to be inclusive, active, and supportive.

Who knew a simple change to your grocery list could make such a difference?

In 2012, Ethique started making unique formulas from their kitchen in Christchurch, New Zealand. With their knowledge of chemistry and biology, Ethique wanted to create better cosmetics and they weren’t afraid to do things differently.

Ethique has now outgrown the kitchen and set up in their lab. But their core guiding principle remains the same: healthy products, made with sustainable, naturally derived ingredients. Ethique was started because hair and skin care needed a shake up: simple, concentrated and sustainable products that deliver on results, without the packaging.

Bars are the answer – no bottles, no harsh chemicals, just good things in high concentration. They’re all about taking beauty products and making them super dense. Each bar is packed full of only good things that will work to bring out the best in your skin and hair.

Solid cosmetics have loads of benefits. They last for ages because they’re so concentrated – one bar of Ethique can last as long as five bottles of its liquid relative. And because there’s no water, Ethique doesn’t contain preservatives. ‘First do no harm’ is Ethique’s priority, and they do that by making solid formulas. For Ethique, sustainability runs deep. They started making beauty products because they know they can be made better.

Combining style, design and technology since it was founded in 2012, Frank & Oak offers collections of clothing and accessories for men and women that are thoughtfully designed and well suited to the lifestyles of its customers. Available on the web and in 22 boutiques across Canada, the brand provides a personalized online experience to hundreds of thousands of members, surpassing its role as a retailer to reinvent the customer experience. Inspired by ethical thinking and with an eye to the future, Frank & Oak upholds the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and works to promote them in its communities.

Frank & Oak believes clothes can only make a real statement when they are made from mindfully-sourced fabrics and materials. They have set the standards high for their products to ensure durability, functionality and style without compromising the planet.

Their Circular denim™ is made of post-consumer waste. Worn-out jeans that were destined for the landfill are collected and redirected to a fabric recycler where they are shredded and broken down over several steps until they’re reduced to fibres. Those salvaged fibres are then re-spun into new materials, reducing their footprint and giving  old jeans a new life.

Sustainable clothes need sustainable foundations. Their stores and offices are built in partnership with Canadian artisans, using recycled materials and creating minimal waste. Furniture is locally sourced or upcycled as much as possible.

Say no to fast fashion, without sacrificing style by buying Frank and Oak for the vogue ones on your shopping list.

Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England by Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand offering high-quality, naturally inspired skincare, body care, hair care and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. The Body Shop has a global presence, operating in 69 countries, with approximately 3,000 stores (about two thirds of them are franchisees) and 8000 direct employees.

The Body Shop has a long-standing commitment to supporting social and environmental movements and using its presence across the world to raise awareness and advocate for long term change on many issues including human trafficking, domestic violence, climate change, deforestation, whaling, and animal testing in the cosmetic industry. The company helped to pioneer the fair-trade movement in the beauty industry and continues to work in partnership with suppliers across the world sourcing high quality natural ingredients, accessories and packaging through its Community Trade program.

Along with Aesop and Natura, The Body Shop is part of Natura &Co, a global, multi-channel and multi-brand cosmetics group that is committed to generating positive economic, social and environmental impact.

Make a Positive Impact this Holiday Season

When shopping for your loved ones this holiday season, remember you can make a positive impact through the great B Corp companies in our community. For the impact-oriented individual in all of us, we hope to bring you peace of mind knowing you can now consider the environment and social responsibility when crossing names off of your list, helping to have a happy and sustainable holiday season for all.

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Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
Marc B.
“I love the service I get at Genus.”
Chris H.
“Leslie and I were fellow board members when we met twenty years ago. For the last ten she has been thoughtful in the construction of an investment strategy for my family and is executing the strategy as planned. The team at Genus has met my expectations and are a pleasure to deal with.”
Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
“Genus is a very innovative firm. I am pleased to invest in their Fossil Free and Impact strategies that help me invest in line with my values.”
Marnie C.
“Great team of professionals. Excellent website and reporting. Responds to inquiries promptly. Very pleased with the process of changing from another company to Genus as well. Kudos.”
David L.
“Genus consistently provides a good, clearly explained, comprehensive picture of the general economic and financial situation, along with an excellent account of the investment decisions made in relation to this. Genus’ equally strong concern with clients’ questions and requests for further information is also a very important part of the service it provides.”
Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

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