Sustainable Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Sustainable Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Holiday shopping at big box stores typically begins before the Thanksgiving leftovers get cold. Last year, holiday gift-giving shoppers spent $9.9 billion on Thanksgiving and Black Friday alone, and another $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, according to Shopify.

With holiday spending increasing every year, we are also seeing an increase in conscious consumerism where people are choosing products that are also good for the environment and communities. In an article featured in VOX, the authors referenced a Nielsen study that projects the sustainable product industry being worth over $150 billion by 2021. In fact, sales have risen by 20 percent in just four years.

And when markets grow and consumers follow, companies aren’t far behind. That can lead to some major confusion for shoppers, as everyone seems to be marketing their items with generic, benevolent-sounding claims like “sustainable” or “green” or “earth-friendly.” What do any of these terms mean and how does the average shopper know what’s what?

Help is on the Way

In an attempt to break through the greenwashing, Ad Victoriam is excited to release our 2019 Shopper’s Guide of products and services sold by certified B Corps. B Corps are for-profit businesses that undergo a rigorous assessment. They are graded on their environmental impact, community involvement, supply-chain, worker relations, and governance. Audited and certified by the non-profit B Lab, these companies meet the highest standards of corporate social responsibility.

Ad Victoriam is proud to be a B Corp. We make it a priority to buy products for our business and our personal lives that come from other B Corps. Here are a few of our favorite brands and some of their products on our list this holiday season:

Yummy Sweets

Divine Chocolates: Divine started back in the 90s as one of the first cocoa-producing co-ops in Ghana. Certified as a B Corp since 2016, this female-owned chocolate company contains deliciously rich Fairtrade cocoa, no palm oil, and no GMOs. Our holiday tip is Divine’s Advent Calendar Variety Pack that includes (3) Milk Chocolate and (3) Dark Chocolate Calendars.

French Broad Chocolates: Started by Dan and Jael Rattigan in the mid-2000s, French Broad, based in Asheville, NC, offers everything from bonbons to brownies, with ingredients sourced locally around the fertile Appalachian valley. Take our word and order The Pick Me Up Bundle, featuring six brownies, two dark chocolate bars, and two packages of their delicious chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Lancaster Stroopie Company: One of AdVic’s favorite source for employee treats, this amazing business makes and sells traditional Dutch Stroopwaffeln. And who doesn’t want a caramel-filled cinnamon waffle cookie dipped in chocolate? The best part of this business is that they are female-owned and hire female refugees new to the United States. Trust us and order someone on your list the 12 count Stroopie Gift Tin.

Delicious Coffee

Cafe Campesino: A trailblazer and founding member of Cooperative Coffees, an organization committed to fair trading relationships between farmers and roasters, Cafe Campesino offers wonderful coffee from all over the world, lifting up their trading partners and their local communities. We recommend ordering the Single Origin Sampler, which includes (4) 4 oz. bags of coffees from Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, & Honduras.

Thrive Organic Farmers: Thrive, whose slogan is You Drink, Farmers Thrive, buys their coffee direct from farmers. Through their nonprofit foundation, ThriveWorx, they also give back to these local communities, empowering their farmers to tackle the tough economic, social, and environmental challenges facing them and their communities. Trust us and order Thrive’s delicious Horizon Organic blend. Organically grown in Guatemala, this medium blend is fruity with hints of toasted cereal and chocolate.

Your Amazon Alternatives

DoneGood: All brands on this shopping website pay fair wages and use eco-friendly practices. They also allow you to search for brands that “do good” on other issues you may believe in, like upcycled goods or products from female or minority-owned businesses. Check out this gift-set of three locally produced, all-natural, and non-toxic soap bars made by fellow B Corp, Meliora.

Uncommon Goods: After visiting a craft show in 1999, founder Dave Bolotsky was inspired to connect makers and their unique creations with customers looking for unique products. One item on our shopping list is the Gather and Grow gift set that includes pine-scented soy candle, a wooden pinecone ornament, and everything you need to grow next year’s Christmas tree!

Gather and Grow Gift Set
Gather and Grow Gift Set

 

Clothing & Apparel

Patagonia: Known throughout the world for their jackets and outdoor gear, this leading B Corp made its first Black Friday splash in 2011 when they ran their infamous Don’t Buy this Jacket ad in the New York Times, encouraging consumers to buy only what they need. We’ll stick with this theme and recommend the Patagonia Business Library, a set of books that includes Let my People go Surfing, The Responsible Company, and Tools for Grassroots Activists.

Cotopaxi: With a motto as simple as “Do Good,” Cotopaxi leads by example in everything they do, producing their products in Fair Trade certified facilities and donating one percent of all profits to their charitable foundation that aims to eradicate poverty. For the active traveler on your list, we suggest their ALLPA Travel Pack from their Del Dia collection, made completely from scrap fabric left over from previous production runs!

Bombas Socks: What’s not to love about Bombas, who donates a pair of socks for every pair sold. Like their slogan says, these are the most comfortable socks you’ll ever own. But don’t take it from us, buy some for yourself. Help unleash someone’s inner child this holiday season and send them a pair from their Sesame Street collection.

Athleta: One of Gap’s successful B Corp brands (along with Bath and Body Works), Athleta believes in selling sustainable products that allow women to pursue an active lifestyle and unleash the #powerofshe. Check out their Top 10 gift ideas online or at one of their brick and mortar locations across the country.

Toms Shoes: While we’re wearing and giving away comfortable socks, let’s cover them up with some amazing B Corp shoes. In fact, Toms has already donated 60 million shoes to children around the world. And for the Star Wars enthusiast in your life, look no further than Toms Star Wars collection because let’s be honest, who doesn’t need leather Darth Vader loafers in their life?
Bedding

Leesa: 2019 Best for the World: Community honoree, Leesa donates a mattress to a shelter for every mattress sold, focusing on shelters that serve children and teenagers. If you’re shopping for a new mattress this year, take a look at their Legend series, a hypoallergenic mattress made with organic cotton and merino wool and recycled materials.

Green Avocado: Currently a member of one-percent for the Planet and going through B Corp certification process, Green Avocado started five years ago out of a need to break through the greenwashing to find a mattress that was truly non-toxic, and green, and all-natural. They can sell you everything from comfortable mattresses to the bed frame it sits on and the sheets that go on top of it.

Travel

Honeysuckle Run
Beginners head in this direction. A sign guides skiers towards the Honeysuckle Run at Taos Ski Valley, a certified B Corporation.

Taos Ski Valley: Looking to surprise the family with the gift of a ski trip this winter? Look no further than Ski Taos. The first certified B Corp ski resort, they can handle everything from your accommodations to your lift passes. So grab your board and hit the slopes, sustainably.

Legacy Vacation Resorts: Further up the Rocky Mountains, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, lies another B Corp resort to base your ski trip from. And if the snow isn’t your thing (or you’re trying to escape it for a few days), head to beautiful Florida, where Legacy has four different properties to choose from. Check out their specials here.

Beauty Products

Badger Balm: A family-owned business in its second generation, Badger carefully sources every aspect of their product line, which offers everything from organic lip palms to all-natural bug repellents. Our pick is Badger’s Sore Muscle Soothing Gift Set, a combination of Ginger Deep Tissue Massage Oil, Sore Muscle Rub, and Sore Joint Rub.

BeautyCounter: A company that has a “Never List” of over 1,500 ingredients they will never use in their makeups, BeautyCounter believes that “beauty should be good for you.” Find holiday gifts for her and him on their website.

Ethique: With a goal of reducing the more than 80 million shampoo and conditioner bottles disposed of every year, Ethique makes soap-like bars of shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and you guessed it, soap. New Zealand’s highest-scoring B Corp bars are plastic-free, plant-based, cruelty-free and sustainable. They offer six different holiday gift bundles for under $29.

Potent Potables

New Belgium Brewing: What’s not to love about a company that is 100 percent employee-owned, awards an anniversary bike to every employee after one year, and has been a sustainability leader in the brewing industry for over two decades? Oh, and they brew great beer! With locations in Fort Collins, CO and Asheville, NC, New Belgium are definitely worth supporting. Pick up a winter variety “Folly Pack” on the way to your next soiree and be the hit of the party!

New Belgium Brewing Company 2019 Retreat
New Belgium Brewing Company employees gather for a group shot during the company’s 2019 Retreat.

Fetzer Vineyards: Celebrating 50 years of making great wines in Mendocino County, Fetzer has publicly reported their greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, treats their own process water, and is proud to be the first TRUE Zero Waste winery in the country. While you pick up that 12 pack of New Belgium, grab a bottle of their Valley Oaks Sweet Rosé for the non-beer drinkers on your list.

A to Z Wineworks: If Oregon wines are more your thing, A to Z offers an incredible selection of wines and was founded on the principle of “business should be conducted as if people and places matter.” From this five-time Best for the World honoree, let us recommend a bottle of 2016 The Essence of Oregon Pinot Noir, a blend selected to offer a darker profile perfect for those cold winter months.

If you would like to learn more about how your company can become a Certified B Corp, AdVic’s recent three-part blog series has all the information you need to succeed: Part 1Part 2Part 3. You may also find this recent AdVic B Corp/Corporate Social Responsibility webinar helpful, too.

If you have any questions, we invite you to contact us here.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Ad Victoriam Solutions!

Subscribe in a reader

AdVic’s B Corp Mission Continues

AdVic's B Corp Mission Continues

Ad Victoriam loves being a B Corp. It is an integral part of our DNA and is a part of every decision we make as a business, but our mission continues.

From the customers we do business with to the suppliers we purchase from, and the benefits we offer, our status as a Certified B Corp serves as a mission lock for ensuring our purpose continues to guide us as we grow.

Measuring Our Mission’s Impact

At the end of 2018, we published our first Annual Impact Report (download it here). This was an end of year recap of the internal B Corp-driven KPIs we had set for ourselves. Fun things were included, too. Things like new female and/or underrepresented minority-owned vendors, and our volunteers of the year. The report also included our performance on everything from volunteer and pro bono hours to our diversity efforts in our workforce and hiring initiatives.

Our Inclusive Economy Challenge

As we were preparing to publish that first Impact Report, we were also completing our first year as a B Corp. We were now eligible to participate in B Lab’s (the non-profit that certifies B Corps) Inclusive Economy Challenge.

The IEC, as it is known, is designed to motivate companies to make further improvements in their pursuit of EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion). Participating B Corps must set and accomplish at least three improvement goals in the EDI portion of the assessment. And our focus was clear, improve on our inclusive recruitment and hiring process, specifically by addressing two pressing needs we recognized in the challenge:

  • The company actively recruits through organizations or services that are designed for individuals from underrepresented populations.
  • The company conducts an analysis of job description language and job requirements to confirm or improve diversity, equity, and inclusion

AdVic Debuts the ‘Elevate’ Program

At the beginning of 2019, AdVic launched our new Elevate program. The first class of our new program was designed to teach all things Salesforce and consulting skills. It was comprised of three freshly minted graduates from the University of Georgia. After this experience, however, one thing was obvious, we didn’t attract any females. Of the resumes we collected, 47 of 55 were male. Of our first round interviews, 14 of 16 were male. We knew we could do better than that.

When we performed the post-mortem of our first undergraduate recruitment program, we knew we could do better. The IEC gave us the perfect opportunity to pilot solutions for recruiting a more diverse candidate pool. Using the two goals mentioned above, we honed in. AdVic reached out to Women in Technology’s UGA chapter to speak to them about careers in technology as a female, wife, and mom. We also rewrote our job posting to be more female-friendly. Research shows that “men apply for a job when they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications.” However, “women apply only if they meet 100 percent of them.”

‘Elevate’ Produces Positive Results

So far, the results of our Elevate program have been astounding. Our final round two interviews were made up of seven males and seven females. We extended offers to two females and three males and hired our first female member of Elevate. Since then, we have extended offers to our third and fourth Elevate class, made up of four females and three males.

It makes us proud to announce that we have successfully completed our first Inclusive Economy Challenge. We didn’t just check a box, we walked the walk. 2019 saw two females promoted to AdVic VP’s, and two females promoted to management positions. That represented 40 percent of internal promotions this year.

The Mission Continues

While we’re pleased with our progress, we know we can still have a lot to do – our mission continues. We have an ambitious goal to have a workforce that is 50 percent female and 30 percent URM (Unrepresented Minority) by 2025 and we have work to do. If we have learned one thing since becoming a B Corp, it is that the work is never done. There are always improvements to be made and areas to improve on, but it doesn’t stop us from taking a minute to celebrate our successful 2019 and completion of our first Inclusive Economy Challenge.

 

If you would like to learn more about how your company can become a Certified B Corp, AdVic’s recent three-part blog series has all the information you need to succeed: Part 1Part 2Part 3. You may also find this recent AdVic B Corp/Corporate Social Responsibility webinar helpful, too.

If you have any questions, we invite you to contact us here.

 

Subscribe in a reader

Navigating Your B Corp Impact Assessment

Navigating Your B Corp Assessment Ad Victoriam

In the first installment of this series, we focused on the reasons why you should consider pursuing B Corp certification for your company. From raising capital to attracting new clients and employees, this gold standard of Corporate Social Responsibility accreditations offers a wealth of benefits. But now it’s time for the difficult part, taking the assessment and reaching the needed 80 points. We’re here to alleviate any concerns you have and provide you with a roadmap for success.

In an article written by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, the publishers of Ryan Honeyman’s B Corp Handbook (and the newly released 2nd Edition) discuss the author’s five-step approach. We’ve amended this tried and true process to include one extra (and FREE) step that can make the process much more manageable.

Establish a Baseline by Taking the B Corp Assessment

This first step is a simple one. Go here and take the assessment (BIA). Fill out some basic information about your company to get started and then complete the different sections. The BIA is broken up into five different sections: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Complete each section and it will give you your score. If you have 80 points, skip the rest of these steps and move ahead to the next installment in this series. If you are like the rest of us who scored less than 80, that’s OK. Keep reading and we’ll help get you over the hump.

Engage Your Team

In your first go-around, you may not have had all the answers at your ready disposal. For example, you might have a facility manager or a controller that has all of your energy and water bills. Or you might need your procurement manager to investigate the diversity and locations of your major suppliers. Organize all the information you need in a central place (we recommend a Google Sheet to allow real-time collaboration) and delegate tasks to your team. Once you receive everything back, update your assessment and receive your new score.

Added Step: Recruit Free Help from a Local College or University

Running a business isn’t a part-time job. And we realize there is a multitude of things that can rank higher on your priority totem pole than your B Corp certification. Lucky for you, colleges and universities across the country have created concentrations, certificates, and programs that require a B Corp project to successfully complete. In the southeast alone, NC State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Florida facilitate B Corp projects each semester.

At Ad Victoriam, we worked with MBA students from the University of Georgia to do a lot of the heavy lifting. The students helped write our employee handbook and identify some of the low- and mid-hanging fruit to help get us closer to the needed 80 points. They were then able to identify other potential opportunities and provided us with a cost/benefit analysis for each item so we could make our own decision based on what was best for our business. We highly recommend utilizing a university-run program to help you achieve your B Corp certification.

Read to the bottom and then sign up for our complimentary webinar that will review everything you need to know about becoming a B Corp.

Create a Plan

  1. With your team engaged and your students ready to help, it’s time to create a plan. If you are working with a university, they will have a roadmap and plan they can adapt to your company. If you don’t have the luxury of student help, there is a simple three-step approach we recommend:
  2.  Identify low-hanging fruit: Go through the assessment and identify items that require as little as a tweak to your employee policy handbook. For example, enacting a policy that requires employees to rent hybrid vehicles when traveling for business, or encouraging remote meetings work to reduce your carbon footprint. Start with these and then we can get out the step ladder to reach higher.
  3. Identify mid-hanging fruit: These are the pieces that require a little more thought and effort. This would include things like implementing a volunteer time off policy or writing a supplier screening questionnaire.

Make a go/no-go decision on the most difficult pieces: Quite intuitively, a large chunk of points are available on the more difficult questions. For us, there were some major decisions that had to be made with regard to cost (time, effort, and/or money) and benefit (recruiting and/or retaining employees). Beyond the reasons already mentioned for working with a university program, this part of the process is where they can really help.

Implement Your Plan

Using your plan as an outline, start building out the documentation (e.g. handbook, policies, etc) and enacting the changes (e.g. rolling out your new policies to team members, picking a 401k provider, etc.). Once again, the students can be a big help in this part of the process as they can do a lot of the heavy lifting. But there are also a ton of other resources available to you, like those provided by B Lab or from the B Corps in your region (get connected here).

Fine-tune

You’ll notice as you take the assessment that questions can be marked for later review or as a future goal. Even after you hit the 80 point threshold, continue to use the assessment as a tool to improve your company.

Summary

Following these simple steps will get you well on your way to certification. When you hit snags and roadblocks, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Whether you get assistance from university students or from a local B Corp (or both), you’ll find that this community is generous with their time and eager to help.

In the conclusion of this series, we discuss the “what now, what’s next” after you get certified.

Meanwhile, sign up for our upcoming webinar (Thursday, August 22, 2019, at 2 p.m. EDT) that will share everything you need to know about becoming a B Corp. This is not a sales pitch, just one of the ways we are giving back.

Gold Standard of CSR Webinar

Subscribe in a reader

The Gold Standard of CSR

Gold Standard of CSR Ad VIctoriam

It’s 2019 and times have changed in the business world. More and more every day, becoming the gold standard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is taking on a bigger role in C-Suite conversations.

No longer does the economic philosophy of Milton Friedman, to serve fiscal shareholders above all else, dominate the landscape. Customers and employees are demanding that the corporate world serve all stakeholders, including their employees, communities, and the environment. The number of companies listening is increasing. They have begun incorporating CSR initiatives into their day-to-day business operations. But with everyone doing it, how can you make your company stand out and work towards becoming a “gold standard of CSR?”

The answer is simple, join Ad Victoriam Solutions, a Georgia-based Salesforce Consultant, and have your company certified as a B Corp.

B Corps are for-profit businesses that have a proven (and certified) commitment to serving all stakeholders. They use business as a force for good, ensuring fair pay and benefits to a diverse and inclusive workforce. They also promise to be good stewards of the environment. That means they are actively serving in their communities, and believing purpose and profit can harmoniously coexist.

However, the process isn’t easy, but as the saying goes, if it was then everyone would be doing it. But it is worth going after. In the first of our three-part series, we’re focusing on five reasons your business should consider B Corp certification.

1. The Gold Standard of CSR: A True Differentiator

In a workforce and consumer base increasingly dominated by millennials, people are demanding more than just profit from the companies they buy from and work for. Consumers and potential employees are more likely to sniff out blatant “greenwashing.” Defined by Investopedia, “greenwashing” is “an attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for products that are environmentally sound.” Meaning “they are more natural, healthier, free of chemicals, recyclable, or less wasteful of natural resources.”

But with B Corps, the research and investigation into the legitimacy of a company’s claims have already been performed. After the company completes the B Impact Assessment (BIA), on which a company must score 80 out of a possible 200 points, B Lab, the nonprofit accreditation body that certifies B Corps, performs an audit of a company. The handbook and its policies are reviewed, numbers are verified, and many times, an on-site audit is performed. Succinctly put, B Corp certification is to for-profit business as Fair-Trade is to coffee or certified organic is to milk. The B logo is seen as a stamp of legitimacy on your CSR efforts.

2. Raising Capital

An often overlooked feature of B Corp certification is the ability to seek out investments in your business. According to Forbes, “The Global Impact Investing Network’s most recent estimate for the minimum size of the impact investment market doubled to $228 billion in assets under management, up from $114 billion in 2017.” More and more investors are looking to diversify their portfolios beyond industry. They want to include companies with environmental and social goals, following global standards like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As investors scramble to find investment opportunities that align with their personal values, “B Corps may attract capital better than non-b-businesses,” according to an article in Fast Company. In the article, Abi Barnes, the author of “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Going B,” published by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, alluded to the B Corps’ ability to differentiate themselves to attract these investments. He stated that “in an era of ‘greenwashing’ and misleading labels, certified B Corporations and benefit corporations help consumers identify trustworthy companies.”

Read to the bottom and then sign up for our complimentary webinar that will review everything you need to know about becoming a B Corp.

3. Mission Lock

One of the biggest benefits of B Corp certification for a growing company is the ability to lock in your mission. When Ad Victoriam Solutions went through the assessment, we only had eight employees. We had to implement a lot of new policies and practices. More importantly, we had to envision what we wanted our company to look like as it grew. Fast forward three years and we have almost 70 employees and our vision is our reality. The mission and purpose are now baked into the DNA of our organization.

When we make strategic decisions, our status as a B Corp influences our direction. Whether it is how we recruit employees to ensure a diverse candidate pool or deciding on whether we want to take on a new client based on their mission and values, our certification weighs heavily on everything we do. And knowing that B Lab requires member companies to re-certify every three years ensures we are always thinking of a decision’s impact on everyone.

The truth is, not just focusing on the bottom line has been good for business. Since Ad Victoriam started the process three years ago, we have doubled our revenue every year.

4. Best Practices, Industry Standards, and Benchmarks for Improvement

An unexpected byproduct of B Corp certification is the inspiration from the B Community to always strive for more. There will always be another B Corp doing more than you for their employees, the environment, and their community. Allowing these companies to inspire you to deepen your commitment opens the door to becoming an even better corporate citizen. Being open to measuring your company’s performance to that of others allows you to identify areas for improvement.

In an interview with Forbes, Barnana CEO Nik Ingersöll stated, “Being a B Corp has solidified our commitment to the way we run our business. They also have an amazing framework that has given us more ideas on how to become even more sustainable. It has given me a path to constant and continued improvement.”

And in an article from the Harvard Business Review, “It Pays to Become a B Corporation,” Richard Stammer, VP of B Corp Cabot Creamery, highlights the use of benchmarking to achieve operational cost savings as well as to recruit and retain employees. Stammer also points to Patagonia, who “report[ed] that certification helps promote and validate its employee-centric culture, which attracts great candidates because of the company’s reputation as a great place to work. Since becoming a B Corp, Patagonia expanded the medical, military, and paid maternity and paternity leave for regular full- and part-time U.S. employees.”

5. Walk the Walk

On top of everything, you are signaling to the marketplace that your mission is sincere and genuine. It helps potential customers and employees more easily sift through the noise and find companies that truly believe in CSR.

B Corp Certification isn’t a pledge or a commitment to simply do better. It is the etching of your mission and your beliefs in stone. As such, it requires time and commitment to achieving. But in the end, it is worth it.


In Part 2 of this series, we focus on tackling the BIA and getting your company B Corp certified. We’ll share common hurdles, best practices, and aids to get help get you there!

 

Meanwhile, sign up for our upcoming webinar that will share everything you need to know about becoming a B Corp – not a sales pitch, just one of the ways we are giving back.

Gold Standard of CSR Webinar

 

Subscribe in a reader

YANMAR Empowers Sustainable Future

Yanmar Empowers Sustainable Future

In November 2017, Ad Victoriam partner, YANMAR America, a leader in the design and manufacturing of diesel engines and diesel-powered equipment, opened the doors of their 50,000+ square foot YANMAR EVO//Center. The facility was designed specifically to help empower the YANMAR global mission of creating a sustainable future.

The EVO//Center features a product showroom/museum and a 300-person auditorium. Inside there's also a state-of-the-art training academy, training labs, private meeting/event space, indoor and outdoor common areas, and a product demonstration field. These spaces are designed to provide state-of-the-art training. They also support the local community with an active calendar of events focused on empowering sustainability.

With a Mission Statement that reads: “The EVO//Center strives to evolve the mindset of our customers, dealers, employees, and community by serving as a place of collaboration and education dedicated to sharing solutions for empowering sustainability,” the facility specifically raises customer satisfaction through a training program that:

  • Provides industry-leading training for our dealers, employees, and customers
  • Employs a highly skilled training staff
  • Continually develops curricula to meet the needs of our dealer network
  • Offers various types of training beyond technical training (sales, finance, parts, etc.)

In addition, the EVO//Center interacts with their community by:

  • Hosting community activities focusing on sustainability
  • Providing facilities and tools for businesses and the community to engage and collaborate
  • Offering training to individuals outside the YANMAR Dealer network
  • Educating children on sustainability and food production via school field trips

YANMAR Fosters Sustainable Future

It's one thing to say you “foster sustainability,” but through their EVO//Center, YANMAR has put it into practice by:

  • Signed “Partners in Education” agreements with several local schools. They host students from these schools and teach them about the importance of sustainability through engaging activities and games.
  • Hosting “sustainability-themed” community events such as garden symposiums and farmers markets. They are currently working with a local farm to install and maintain an apiary on the campus. Bees are a critical part of sustainability; keeping bees on campus will allow them to teach kids and adults about the important role they play in our ecosystem.
  • YANMAR//Academy not only teaches their dealers how to better serve their customers, but it also hosts a variety of business management courses designed to help our dealers be successful and self-sustaining.

“Our goal, therefore," says YANMAR EVO//Center Marketing and Events Manager Todd Grondzki, “is to have the best-trained dealer network in the various industries we serve. We also want to generate awareness for YANMAR and our mission of “a sustainable future” within the local community. We hope our efforts will empower the local community to be more sustainable in their homes, businesses, and everyday lives."

As a Certified B Corporation, Ad Victoriam Solutions donates our resources to create a better world for our employees, community, clients, and the environment. That's the reason we are so excited to partner with YANMAR America. Beyond our business relationship as a Salesforce implementation consultant, we're working on future sustainability projects that meet both of our missions.

Subscribe in a reader

13 Free Ways to Give Back

13 Ways to Give Back

Too busy? Not enough time to volunteer? Not enough spare change to make a donation? We understand. Here's 13 easy ways to give back without impacting your schedule or your wallet.

Where to Buy

  1. Raise money for charities when you shop online using platforms like AmazonSmile or ShoppingGives. They enable you to give back to a designated charity. They receive a donation for every purchase you make.
  2. Purchase gifts that make an impact by purchasing gifts that also give back!
  3. Reduce your carbon footprint and give your local economy a boost by shopping local. Research suggests that every $1 spent at a locally owned business creates $3.50 of value in the local economy.
  4. Shop farmers markets to further reduce your carbon and support local farmers. If you can’t find it, check out Whole Foods, which makes it part of their mission to support local farmers by sourcing a variety of items within a limited radius of their stores.

What You Buy

  1. Socks are a necessity. And a good pair of socks is a game changer.  Next time you’re replacing those socks with the hole in the big toe, check out the selection at Bombas Socks. The most requested clothing item at homeless shelters is socks, and Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased!
  2. Support charities while grocery shopping by selectively choosing products. Companies like Newman’s Own believe in donating “100% of Profits to Charity.” Next time you’re debating between bottles of ranch, jars of spaghetti sauce, or frozen pizzas, look for the Newman’s Own label and make an impact.
  3. Buy Toms shoes. Toms has been a leader in the corporate social responsibility movement for a long time, donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased.
  4. Everyone needs dish soap to wash their pots and pans. Look for Procter & Gamble, who has launched the Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle, made from 100% post-consumer recycled and ocean plastic. Their campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue of plastic use and the resulting damage it does to our waterways and oceans.
  5. What do we all need, all buy, and all use every day? Toilet Paper! Who gives a Crap is a quality toilet paper company that reduces the impacts of deforestation by using environmentally friendly materials. They also donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for those in need.
  6. Goodbye plastic, hello bamboo! Put some shine behind your smile by using MABLE toothbrushes, which have a biodegradable handle, plastic-free packaging, and non-toxic ingredients. They donate one toothbrush for every brush bought, and conduct outreach to teach kids about dental health and sustainability.

After You Buy

  1. Soda POP! Ronald McDonald House puts soda can tabs to charitable use with their Pop-Tab Program. After finishing your favorite soda, save the tabs and donate them to the Ronald McDonald House. The program recycles the tabs and uses the proceeds to help cover the costs of local accommodations for families whose kids are being treated at a Ronald McDonald Hospital.
  2. Don’t recycle that empty cereal box just yet. Before you do, be sure to cut off and collect Box Tops coupons to support education at your local schools. Most schools have a collection box where you can deposit the tops, where they are then traded into General Mills in exchange for money towards school needs.
  3. Filter through that closet and throw away that t-shirt you haven’t worn since 2008. Many homeless shelters will pick up your unwanted clothing and donate them to those in need. You can also find local Homeless Shelter donation spots and drop off your used clothing! Help make a difference in someone else’s life with a simple donation of something you’re not using anymore.

Every day presents a number of opportunities to make conscious, caring, and responsible decisions. Making a simple switch with your daily decisions, you can make a big difference without spending extra time or money. When you do good, you feel good!

 

About Ad Victoriam Solutions

Ad Victoriam is a Salesforce Platinum Partner and a MuleSoft partner who provides mission-critical consulting services, from strategy to implementation. Our nimble team of certified professionals across the country who accelerate businesses by solving complex problems through cloud and data expertise. As a certified B Corp, we put purpose over profits, and have made a strong commitment to community. Contact Ad Victoriam for all of your Salesforce needs. 

 

Responsible Sourcing to Support the Earth

Research indicates that workplace design has an impact on your mental health and wellbeing. It also has an impact on the earth. We built a workspace that positively impacted both.

After the initial move in day, we began to do what all companies do. We bought furniture, desks, chairs and a lot more. The office was nice, but didn’t really represent our uniqueness. About two years after our move, we decided to transform our space into something that is true to who we are, and did so in a manner that aligns with what we value.

Blu Interiors, a full-service, female-owned, interior design group founded with a mission to provide well-conceived, functional design plans was hired to improve the Ad Victoriam headquarters. With Blu Interiors, we not only created a productive, open, and inspiring place to work, we were also able to reduce our environmental impact.

Responsible, Inclusive, and Local Sourcing

Female-owned or local companies were chosen:

  • The design firm and furniture brokers were women-owned businesses.
  • The construction company and drapery designer were both local.
  • Our new Ad Victoriam Solutions sign in the lobby was manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Bulldog artwork displayed in our office was commissioned by an artist in Athens, Georgia.

Eco-friendly materials were purchased:

  • Filzfelt, 100% biodegradable and renewable sheeps wool, was used to soundproof our meeting rooms.
  • Our new whiteboards are made from Clarus glass. They are manufactured with Declare, Environmental Product Declaration, and Indoor Air Quality Certifications.
  • Our bathroom counters are ISO 14001 Certified, the carpeting is Cradle to Cradle Certified and the furniture is GreenGuard Gold Certified, making all of these items environmentally friendly.
  • Replaced all light bulbs with LED bulbs and added motion sensors so lights turn on when someone enters the space and turn off after 10 minutes without motion.
  • Added motion detected one-sheet paper towel dispensers to decrease waste.
  • Installed low-flow toilets and motion activated sinks to reduce our water waste.

Finally, a local moving company was hired to help us donate our used office furniture to two non-profit organizations, Lifeline Animal Shelter and Habitat for Humanity.

We’re not changing the world, but we are making an impact. It’s a small B Corp ripple, but a ripple worth making. And, if we can inspire other companies and individuals to consider environmental impact in their purchasing decisions, the scales will start tilting in the right direction.

About Ad Victoriam Solutions

Ad Victoriam is a Salesforce Platinum Partner and a MuleSoft partner who provides mission-critical consulting services, from strategy to implementation. Our nimble team of certified professionals across the country who accelerate businesses by solving complex problems through cloud and data expertise. As a certified B Corp, we put purpose over profits, and have made a strong commitment to community.

Vote Every Day with Each Dollar

Vote Every Day BCorp_Image

Have you heard of the Vote Every Day campaign? It doesn’t mean to actually cast a vote for a politician. B Corp created the campaign to encourage people, like you and me, to treat every dollar we spend on purchases like a vote, and every cash register like a ballot box. As a result, Ad Victoriam Solutions (AdVic) now strives to cast votes when engaging with a new vendor. This year, we spent more dollars with companies that use their business as a force for good.

Companies who have a stated commitment to serve their employees, their communities, and their customers are considered when we need a service or a product. We give preference to diverse and inclusive companies, especially female and minority owned businesses. In 2018, these easy steps transformed our supply chain to include more sustainable and inclusive vendors.

AdVic “Voted” with these Vendors

Atalassian. A founding member of the Pledge 1% movement, Atalassian makes the Jira project management software we use to manage our consulting engagements.

Bottlecloth. Between 4 and 5 times a year, our Atlanta-based team prepares lunches for the Smart Lunch, Smart Kids program. Previously, we used plastic, single-use tablecloths. We now use multi-use tablecloths from Bottlecloth, a female-owned business, which are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Blu Interiors. The genius behind the beauty of our newly remodeled (and environmentally friendly) office are the women at Blu Interiors. They worked with us on both phases of the remodel, which was vital to the success of this project.

Givily. A fellow B Corp out of New York, Givily is a female owned company that provides a technology solution to help companies manage charitable requests for in-kind donations, grants, and sponsorships.

The Lancaster Stroopie Company. In honor or World Kindness Day, we surprised our employees with a sweet treat from this outstanding B Corp. This female owned company out of Pennsylvania employs female refugees so they can establish a new life in America.

AdVic is proud to #VoteEveryDay by working with companies that give back and believe that profit can coexist with purpose. Voting with your dollars is an impactful way you can support the good in this world. Join us by making every purchase count!

 

In addition to doing good for the world, our Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce Consultants work as a dedicated, innovative team of problem solvers, taking on your technology challenges. We are Salesforce cloud and data consultants who customize our approach to suit your processes for increased efficiency, accelerated productivity and scalability. Contact us to learn how we can help your business flourish. 

B Local Georgia goes Viral with Ad Victoriam Support

BLocalBlogHeader_Image

It’s happening. B Local Georgia Chapter hosted its first public event at Sweetwater Brewery. Proudly sponsored by Ad Victoriam Solutions (AdVic), the event brought together 13 Georgia B Corps, seven prospective B Corp companies along with students and faculty from the University of Georgia. B Local Georgia is a grassroots organization that heightens awareness of the B Corp movement and inspires local businesses to use the power of business to support social and environmental causes. 

Why did Ad Victoriam’s CEO, Jeff Jones, support this event?

Nathan Stuck, Director of Corporate Culture shared, “When I asked Jeff, he didn’t hesitate. He knows how important it is to build B Local Georgia. Bringing awareness to the B Corp movement and encouraging other companies to join, is key to our B Corp commitment. We are dedicated to having an impact in the communities we serve. B Local enables us to multiply that impact.”

About B Local Georgia

B Local Georgia was founded in 2018 by Nathan Stuck and Scott Sadler, President of Boardwalk Capital Solutions. What began with a conversation over dinner is growing into a movement in the Peach State. After all the Georgia B Corps joined together for dinner in late 2018, they planned to host quarterly networking events. The events focus on sharing B Corp best practices, establishing alliances to multiply our impact, and helping companies align purpose with their profit. Working alongside the University of Georgia, B Local pledges to help every interested company join the B movement.

If you are interested in joining an upcoming event or have questions about B Corp in general, contact Nathan.Stuck@AdVictoriamSolutions.com. It’s a great time to be the change.

B Corp Social Impact Report

B Corp Social Impact

Since the company’s founding, Jeff Jones, Ad Victoriam Solutions President, and his wife, Alice, have wanted Ad Victoriam to stand for something bigger than just profit. A company rooted in sound ethical practices, a company that treats people with dignity and its community with care – it’s who we are. As we researched B Corporations, we learned that their views, values and pledge to have a impact of society and the environment mirrored our aspirations.

For the following two years, the UGA MBA students worked with the AVS team to formalize our social impact goals. On January 11, 2018 B Lab, the B Corp accrediting body, officially declared us the 10th Certified B Corp in Georgia. As a B Corp, we joined 3,000 companies around the world who have made a commitment to make money responsibly, in a way that prioritizes their employees, their community, and the environment.

Social Impact Report

Our first year as a B Corp got off to a roaring start. We set aggressive goals for volunteering and pro bono consulting work. When the year closed, we evaluated our work, and produced our first Annual Social Impact Report.  We exceeded our social impact targets. Our team donated more than 530 hours of consulting work and spent more than 500 hours volunteering in the communities we serve.

Download our Annual Social Impact report for the details of our first year as a Certified B Corporation.

 

Related: Combining career success with a passion for social impact – one woman’s journey.

In addition to doing good for the world, our Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce Consultants work as a dedicated, innovative team of problem solvers, taking on your technology challenges. We are Salesforce cloud and data consultants who customize our approach to suit your processes for increased efficiency, accelerated productivity and scalability. Contact us to learn how we can help your business flourish.