Using B Corp Certification to Navigate Social and Environmental Purpose

Written by Nicole Monaco, Director, Marketing and Communications, Chandos Construction

Chandos Construction is the largest Certified B Corporation commercial builder in North America, and the only one in Canada.

That’s a big statement and we are proud to have obtained this important validation for our efforts, but we know there’s more to do. How can we use B Corp to help influence not only our industry, but the way all business is done?

Achieving B Corp certification takes dedication and commitment but most importantly it means taking action on your goals. 

The certification holds its members accountable and ensures that they are committed to, and continually meet, rigorous standards of social and environmental accountability, public transparency, and legal responsibility. It’s also the only certification that measures a company’s entire performance and evaluates how its operations, business model, and profits affect all touchpoints – employees, the environment, customers, and the community.

So how does B Corp work?

The B Impact assessment provides a score of up to 200 points—for comparison purposes, one of the most well-known and advanced B Corps, Patagonia, moved from a score of 107 in 2011 to 151.5 in 2019. 

To achieve certification, organizations must meet a minimum score of 80.  The wide point range (80-200) helps account for organizations that are just beginning their journey and others, like Patagonia, which are further along.  It also encourages B Corps to continue to pursue excellence by increasing their score with every recertification.  

It’s this framework of continuous improvement that makes B Corp a useful tool for organizations and it’s what Chandos values most in our certification—a set of ‘best in class’ standards to measure meaningful social and environmental impact that we use to move the needle on our social impact goals.   

How is B Corp used around the world?

There are over 3,000 B Corp certified companies worldwide and 23 in the contractor and builder category. Of those 23 contractor and builders, 13 of them are located in North America, of which three are Canadian. 

In March, to celebrate B Corp month, Chandos will be featuring stories of some pretty incredible Canadian B Corps who are using their business to make the world a better place. Some of these companies are building schools in underprivileged communities, helping remote villages access clean water, and championing inclusion and diversity in the tech sector.

Turning commitments into actions that matter

Last summer, members of the US Business Roundtable signed a ‘Statement of Purpose endorsing stakeholder benefits as the primary purpose of corporations and moving away from the shareholder-benefit mentality that has dominated corporations for decades.

It’s encouraging to see a handful of construction companies make this commitment including Kiewit, Turner, Aecom and Bechtel. But what are these 181 corporations doing to turn their commitment into results?

A quick look online and I discover that Turner has a sustainability commitment on their website with a goal to reduce their on-site construction greenhouse gas and water consumption by 50 per cent in the next 10 years, and Kiewit has a Corporate Responsibility microsite showcasing their commitment to people, community, and the environment. 

But how can we truly measure the impact of these efforts without a consistent set of criteria and some third-party accountability?

That’s how B Corp serves an integral role in the purpose conversation.  A credible third party, the B Corp assessment provides validation to citizens, clients, and stakeholders that companies are making progress against social and environmental commitments. 

Having the B Corp certification as our backbone has helped Chandos operationalize our approach to purpose.  And while B Corp might not be right for every construction company, it can serve as a powerful tool to help any organization navigate the emerging and important world of purpose-driven work. 

We’d love to hear your story of social or environmental impact. Send us a note and let us know what you’re working on – impact@chandos.com.  And we’re always happy to chat about B Corp so if you’re curious and want to learn more, let us know.

I hope you join us in March as we celebrate #BCorpMonth on our social media channels – LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We’ll be highlighting some of Canada’s most influential B Corporations and sharing our own examples of how we #choosetoB a B Corp. Make sure to follow and share!

Chandos Logo

About Chandos Construction

Chandos is one of North America’s most innovative and collaborative builders. We are 100 per cent employee-owned and are proud to be the first and largest B Corp certified commercial builder on the continent; and the only one in Canada.

We continuously innovate by championing collaborative construction – leading to more efficiency, cost savings, and a much better working experience for everyone. We specialize in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD); Lean and sustainable construction; construction management; Building Information Modeling (BIM), and are LEED, Net Zero, and WELL certified. We are also committed to improving our enterprise-wide environmental footprint, support social enterprises and encourage community benefit agreements.

We have 500 employees in seven offices across Canada and are committed to inclusive hiring – a practise that nurtures diverse talent and attracts women, Indigenous peoples, new Canadians, LGBTQ2S+, and youth to the construction industry.