Innovative REfficient first in Hamilton to be certified B Corp

Through its company policy of recycling telecom and audiovisual equipment, Hamilton’s REfficient is the first in the city to be labeled as B Corporation certified.

Stephanie McLarty, CEO of REffiecient.

Stephanie McLarty, CEO of REffiecient.

In its third year of operation, REfficient is one of 50 companies in Canada to become B Corp certified, said CEO Stephanie McLarty.

Along with an assessment of practices towards employees, environmental initiatives and governance, McLarty explained a company has to reach a minimum score to become certified.

“You also have to include a statement in your articles of incorporation that you will not only take the interests of your shareholders into account, but also the interests of the employees, community and environment,” she said.

To become B Corp certified, a company has to earn 80 out of 200 points in four areas, said Joyce Sou of the Toronto Mars Centre for Impact Investing, the Canadian coordinator for B Corps.

“A lot of companies that are certified are already leaders and innovators in their own area,” said Sou. “By signing onto this movement, it shows that businesses are fundamentally shifting the way businesses operate by showing that they are doing what they say they are doing.”

A B Corps certification verifies that a business is completing the standards of social and environmental performance, and is also making a positive impact to the society, Sou added.

McLarty noted her company’s goal is to help organizations be efficient and effective with their resources.

“Our online marketplace allows organizations to go shopping in other companies’ surplus inventory for telecom and AV product, of which over 50 per cent is new never-used surplus,” she explained. “Ultimately this helps companies save money, keep product in use, and increase waste diversion.”

With customers across North American and seven other countries, REfficient aims to provide sustainable solutions for companies from Hamilton, she said.

The number of companies using her platform to source telecom and audiovisual equipment will continue to grow, McLarty added.

“As we’ve seen with large cable companies like Cogeco, REfficient serves both a fiscally responsible role, as well as an environmentally responsible one,” McLarty explained. “This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency, lessening the $20 billion of goods that go to landfill each year, of which anywhere from 25-60 per cent could be reused.”

Sou noted REfficient is one of many companies in Hamilton that are working to make a difference in the city.

“We had a chance to visit Hamilton and we were inspired with all the small and medium enterprises coming out of Hamilton,” said Sou. “The companies we saw and spoke too were not only trying to make a name for themselves but also wanted to make a difference in the city. You can tell there’s a love of the city from the entrepreneurs that are working and living in Hamilton.”

There will be many more companies in Hamilton signing up to become B Corp certified, she added.

B Labs, the non-profit organization behind B Corps certification, began in 2006. It began certifying companies in Canada three years ago.

There are currently 690 companies certified globally.

Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.

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