The best businesses are those that give back.
Like that friend you know will always help you move without anything in return, a high degree of social corporate responsibility speaks volumes about the character of a company.
It makes it even more notable if the charitable company is a small business.
We’ve partnered with TELUS to bring you four small Canadian businesses that are exhibiting a high level of social responsibility and actively engaging their employees to join the cause.
If you don’t know of these businesses and what they’re doing, start paying attention, Not only is it really great stuff, but recent studies prove that consumers around the world are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Reunion Island Coffee
By now we hope you’ve heard of Reunion Island Coffee – and likely sampled it at a recent event in Toronto. The brainchild of a group of passionate coffee people, the company is armed with a goal to produce great coffee in a sustainable way and making it as accessible and approachable as possible. In other words, just because they’re passionate coffee people doesn’t mean they’re coffee snobs. The company gives back to the community in countless ways, including contributions to charities like Grounds for Health, Coffee Kids, Cup for Education, Second Harvest, and The Stop (just to name a few), to planting thousands of trees per year, and relying 100 per cent on renewable energy. On top of all this, their coffee is definitely better than what you’re sipping right now (unless it’s Reunion Island, of course).
The Green Kiss
The Green Kiss is an online cosmetic company that specializes in all-natural products that have become a quick go-to for health conscious young professionals on the west coast. The company sells natural makeup, mineral cosmetics, vegan and gluten-free beauty products (it’s not just about what you eat anymore), and supports the local community of small business owners by featuring environmentally friendly brands in Victoria and Vancouver. The company remains passionate in helping women in every way possible to ‘make the switch’ to products that are better for both the environment and the human body at their Beauty Bar in Victoria, where they offer full consultations. In 2014, the company was one of five finalists in the “Best Community Impact” category by Small Business B.C.
Though the head office for Obilerte footwear may be in Oakville, Ontario, daily operations happen far from there. The sustainable brand has an MO of supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Their stylish, quality footwear comes with a lifetime warranty, but perhaps the best part about the shoes and boots is their backstory. The company started off as a small footwear company partnering with factories and suppliers in Africa, before gaining enough momentum to launch their own factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2012. In 2013, the company became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear manufacturing factory. When it comes to the environment, the company sources everything locally, and tries to use sustainable, eco-friendly material wherever possible.
Beau’s is an environmental steward and leader when it comes to craft brewing – and it’s got multiple awards to prove it. The reason the beer goes down so easy is because it’s certified organic and made with local spring water and 100 per cent certified organic malt and hops. But the most notable feature of the company is that its purchasing policy favours only quality local suppliers; those with good environmental track records, and who treat their employees fairly and with respect. In 2014, the company became the first craft brewery in Canada to choose 100 per cent green natural gas in addition to 100 per cent green electricity with Bullfrog Power. Furthermore, since 2011, the company has been operating The Greener Futures Project, a limited beer club with the goal of helping Beau’s become a totally sustainable brewery. You can also feel better about drinking your beer knowing it’s one of the small number of breweries in North America to use beer labels made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper. Finally, the company donates to more than 100 independent arts and music, community-building, and charitable organizations every year.