Why I adopted an IMPACT business model


“Having a greater purpose and embedding it into the DNA of your business is critical to developing deeper relationships with customers in an age when creating meaningful connections is getting harder and harder.”


Trisa Thompson, chief responsibility officer at Dell

In 2007, I first became fascinated with the triple bottom line approach to business. At the time, I was working in healthcare as a consultant and could see the waste in that field everyday. I began the process to learn more. One thing was sure, I was passionate in finding ways to integrate this triple bottom line approach into my business.

The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial. Some organizations have adopted the TBL framework to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective to create greater business value. 

In 2010, I made a conscious decision to link my business activities directly with social and environmental initiatives. At the time, there was a strong movement to get business to adopt changes and be better environmental stewards. I branded my program “MoreThanGreen TM” to reflect my focus all parts of the triple bottom line — people, planet and profit.

“What gets Measured gets Managed”

Traditional business growth and success have metrics attached to programs and more, and these metrics measured. When a business adopts an impact model they also must identify the metrics for social and environmental initiatives to measure the impact of these initiatives.

Starting in 2015, I began the process of introducing metrics I could measure. They were small, easy to implement and measure. I began by measuring the changes I was making (rather than the impact these changes make). T

For example, I recorded the changes in the lightbulbs to LED, low flow toilets and faucets, use of transit and volunteer hours, donations to charities (as a percentage of gross revenues) and more. I used my website and blog to share the efforts and goals. Although this was a good first step is was not exactly results focused.

My efforts took a downward swing when I stepped away from business for almost 2 years. Since that time, I have take a proactive approach to evolve and advance my impact efforts and the systems and metrics to track these efforts.

I look forward to sharing more about the metrics and results in future posts. What I have learned along the way, is that combining impact initiatives with sound business strategies in a small business is good for business. In fact, it has been much easier and less time consuming than I once thought.

Prosperity Abounds!

So, why did I undergo this transformation? I strongly believe that when a business adopts practices that deliver a positive social &/or environmental impact they create a ripple effect that benefits the planet, the people in their organization and their community and their bottomline.

In fact, 60% of consumers say brands should make it easier to see its values and its position on important issues at the point of sale (engageforgood.com). We have shared our values and our sustainability and community engagement efforts on this website.

Becoming a certified B-Corporation is next on our horizon. This is a big step but one I am embracing with open arms. I believe that when businesses align their current practices with impact initiatives, activate and measure their efforts they will achieve significant results that create prosperity for the organization, key stakeholders, the community and the planet. Plus, these efforts attract new clients and employees who align with your values and efforts.

In future posts I will share more on our efforts to this goal. Going forward I am also committed to being more transparent in communicating our impact. Watch for our IMPACT Communique.

Are you a social entrepreneur or a small to medium business interested in taking a stand and becoming a better social &/or environmental impact organization?

Our online courses, coaching, masterminds, training and consulting services may offer the right solution for you. Book an Ignition Session to explore how we can assist in your transformation and evolution.

Green Your Horizons – 3 Steps to a Better Business

Greening your horizons doesn’t mean becoming a ‘tree-hugger’ or anti-establishment.  In fact, I believe that incorporating a MoreThanGreen™ approach to your business gives your business heart and will “do-good”.  You will have a better business and better customers and more profits to do more good!

What is business with heart? 

In today’s business world, a self-centred focus on your own profitability is not enough to be truly successful and to have longevity. Businesses must remove their blinders to create and maintain a positive impact on their own employees, the community they live and work in, and on the environment.

A for-profit-businesses is traditionally, and continues to be focused on wealth building.  In addition, today’s Comtemplation Reap Action ILIprogressive and most successful businesses also now recognize that wealth sharing is a critical facet that cannot be ignored. Giving back to the community and reducing their impact on the environment are a necessity if they want to engage and retain top talent, attract loyal customers and build strong relationships with community members.

A business with heart considers all facets on the triple bottom line – people (employees, the community, clients), planet (environmental impact) and profits. They strive to create economic value while also creating social or environmental value at the same time. Each factor is important in all decisions and actions are transparent and well documented. Corporate philanthropy is as important as profit-making components of any business.

What Steps Can You Take?

1. Integrate your Values

Are you clear on your own personal values?  Do your values and those of your organization align with those of your employees / team members? Are employees clear on what the business’ values? If not, this is the place to start! If values are not clear and in alignment, there will be challenges – a true misfit!

One of my top values is education. This has become an integral focus of my business endeavours, my own professional development and is part of my charitable focus. This alignment creates a strong link between the three and allows me to maintain a strong focus. It also sends a clear message to my team, colleagues and clients of what is important.

2. Set SMART goals.

Setting goals should be a routine activity for every business, department and leader.  As you know, goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific).  One area where new goals for business can be set are philanthropic goals.  Many organizations claim to “do good” but they fail to have clear and measurable goals in this area.. In my business, I have set a goal to donate a minimum of 1% of gross sales to charities that align with my values.  Learn more on my efforts on my website

Can you measure the impact of your social and environmental efforts? Are your efforts transparent so others can clearly recognize that you do what you say? If not, it is important to establish a method to both measure and report on actions taken and results achieved. Be specific. Rather than state “a portion of profits,” state a specific amount of total revenue ie: 1% of gross sales, or $2.00 of each book. These numbers cannot be manipulated or branded as a “green-wash.”

3. Engage Others

Getting employees at all levels engaged with your business goals and endeavours is a critical component.  Are your philanthropic goals resonating with members of your team and with your customers? Are your efforts more than lip service to a cause? How do you demonstrate this commitment? Employees are more motivated to help you to achieve your goals if they are part of the process. Do you support their desire to volunteer for causes important to them?

Many large corporations are now encouraging their employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work. They support these efforts by allowing time off from work and/or providing financial, marketing or physical resources such as equipment. Millennials and Generation Y’s now expect this involvement from employers. Failing to integrate and involve them in social enterprise efforts means they will look elsewhere for employment. If you want to attract and retain top talent, engagement is critical.

Isn’t it time for you to seriously add heart to your business and green your horizons? Your community, the environment and your bottom line will thank you!

How We’re Making a Difference

It’s our year-end and as part of our “MoreThanGreen“™ program, we are proud to share how our 2016 donations are making a difference this year.

We contribute at least 1% of gross revenues to charities.  Learn more about our efforts by visiting our sustainability page

Our donation to Canadian Athletes Now Fund will benefit two athletes in their bid for the 2016 Olympics.  As a self-proclaimed Olympaholic, I am thrilled to share this information on these two talented people.  I know I’ll be cheering8944 CanFund COL Logo FR FA.ai them on in Rio this summer!

Adam Froese – Field Hockey

From Abbotsford British Columbia, Adam made his National team debut in 2009 and has quickly developed into one of Canada’s top defenders.  He has appeared in over 120 international games including representing Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and most recently the 2015 Pan Am Games where Adam and his teammates won silver.  At the 2015 Pan Am Games Adam scored the 5th goal for Canada in the semi-final shootout which also clinched an Olympic berth for Canada to the Rio 2016 Games.  Rio would mark Adam’s first Olympic Games where the squad is looking for a top performance in 2016.

Magali Harvey – Rugby 7s

From Quebec City, Magali has exploded onto the international scene becoming one of Canada’s top offensive players since making her 7s debut in 2011.  She has also represented Canada in the 15s at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup where she most notably was named the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby Player of the Year after leading her team to a silver medal and finishing the tournament tied for second with 61 points.  At the most recent 2015 Pan Am Games Magali and her teammates won gold in the 7’s and Magali finished tied for first in tournament scoring.  The Canadian Women’s Rugby 7s team has qualified for Rio 2016 where rugby is making its Olympic debut.  They are currently ranked second in the world so are training hard with their sights set on the podium in Rio.

 

Our donation to SoldierOn will help assist them in their aim of supporting ill and injurBanner-1_E-aug-13ed military personnel with a permanent or chronic disability, both still serving and retired, and their families to attain an active and healthy lifestyle. Our donation helps support these personnel in increasing their independence, in developing new skills, in achieving goals and opening the door to other life opportunities. It furnishes an opportunity for them to socialize and explore common interests, and share learning experiences.

 

kidsport logo

Our donation to KidSportbc will help children to become involved in sports when they otherwise wouldn’t be able.  When kids are involved with sport, they learn leadership, teamworkhave , fun grow great friendships and stay healthy.  “So ALL Kids can Play!”  What could be better than that?

 

 

And our donation to the Alzheimer’s Society will help find a cure for this devastating disease that affects adults of all ages.   In fact, I was surprised to learn that more than 70,000 British Columbians have Alzheimer’s disease or alzheimers_bcanother form of dementia. And the numbers are increasing as younger people are being impacted and baby boomers are aging. Every year 15,000 British Columbians are developing dementia.   We are happy to help find a cure and offer education and treatment options to these adults through the Alzheimer’s Society efforts.

 

We want to thank our clients who have supported us in the past fiscal year, so that we could support these worthy causes.

 

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