In this series, we're taking a closer look at Fors Marsh Group's (FMG) B Corporation recertification. We'll talk with FMG experts to discuss the specific areas where we achieved our most notable improvements since our first B Impact Assessment, what it means for FMG to be a B Corp, and how our vision aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We hope the effort and progress FMG has made over the past four years will inspire other organizations to pursue B Corp Certification.
Since Fors Marsh Group's (FMG) initial B Corp certification, we've recognized the planet as a vital stakeholder. We understand the consequences of climate change, as well as the urgency of the situation. As a company founded on the principle of making a difference, we're stepping up to be better and lead the way toward a more sustainable and resilient future on this planet. Hear from our expert and Administrative Services Manager, Hillary Hackett, about changes we've implemented since 2017 and goals we plan to meet in the coming years.
The Environment Impact Area of the B Corp Certification Impact Assessment evaluates a company's overall environmental stewardship, including how it manages its impact on climate, water use and sustainability, and land and life. Factors such as energy use and reduction are also considered. Companies that excel in this impact area are leading the way towards a more sustainable planet by prioritizing it in their business practices. Many offer products or services designed to solve environmental issues.
Q: What is your role at FMG, and how does it contribute to FMG's overall environmental stewardship?
HH: As the Administrative Services Manager at FMG, my team and I are responsible for the day-to-day operations of our FMG offices. From the buildings we work in, office supplies we purchase, to our employees' daily commutes, our everyday actions as a company and as individual employees affect our carbon footprint and its impact on our environment. My role positions me to seek out and implement ways that FMG can better contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment.
In my position, I've been able to learn more about office planning and have been introduced to many of the various green building certifications available to organizations. Through research, I learned about the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process and decided to take the next step and become a LEED Green Associate. As a LEED Green Associate, I have an improved understanding of green building design, construction, and operations.
In 2020, FMG took its first steps in our environmental stewardship journey by partnering with a B Corp, Cultivating Capital, to develop and grow our sustainability program. Together, we conducted a Sustainability Assessment to evaluate FMG's existing practices against documented best practices for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Based on these findings, we developed and are implementing a customized three-year Sustainability Action Plan across the organization's key impact areas.
The Sustainability Action Plan and our B Corp Recertification have positioned FMG to act both immediately and in the long term. These actions include:
- Measuring FMG's carbon footprint
- Shifting our purchasing practices and exploring working with vendors that also value environmental stewardship and believe in evaluating their social and environmental performance
- Declaring a climate emergency and committing to:
- Accelerating our carbon reduction: We are committed to science-based reduction targets to meet the global goal to limit warming to a 1.5°C average temperature increase. To achieve this, we will reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by at least 50% by 2030. (Learn about the three groups or "Scopes" that categorize greenhouse gas emissions.)
- Operating at net-zero by 2030: We are committed to achieving net-zero emissions of Scope 1, Scope 2, and the most relevant Scope 3 emissions by 2030. FMG will reduce emissions wherever possible and use verified offsets and emphasize carbon removal projects to balance emissions that cannot be eliminated.
- Receiving approval and certification for our Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) reduction target, aligned with our commitment to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C
Q: When evaluating the social and environmental performance of FMG's suppliers, partners, etc., what practices and policies does FMG have in place to ensure we're practicing sustainability? Does FMG have an environmental management system (EMS)?
HH: FMG is International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001 certified. This certification sets out the criteria for an environmental management system. It maps out a framework that FMG can follow to set up an effective EMS.
Q: How is FMG's carbon footprint being measured?
HH: FMG measures and reports its Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard. FMG has submitted these calculations to the SBTi and has received approval and certification of our SBTi reduction target, aligned with our commitment to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C.
We also just received our Climate Neutral Certification by estimating greenhouse gas emissions using the certifying organization's Brand Emissions Estimator (BEE). Climate Neutral Certification gives businesses a way to choose a net-zero future. The certification process provides guidance on investing our resources to avoid, remove, and reduce carbon emissions. BEE follows the conventions of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and uses trusted greenhouse gas emission data.
Q: What are some recent changes FMG has made to shrink our carbon footprint?
HH: Since 2017, we've implemented a ton of changes. We have made environmental stewardship a top priority by:
- Shifting our purchasing processes and vendors. We now purchase our office supplies from B Corp, Rawoffice.
- Providing additional recycling options in our offices to include more than just mixed recycling
- Assessing our commuter benefits and policies
- Declaring a Climate Emergency as a company
- Committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030, as applied to Scope 1, Scope 2, and the most relevant Scope 3 emissions
- Committing to science-based reduction targets to meet the global goal to limit warming to a 1.5°C average temperature increase. To achieve this, we will reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
- Becoming Climate Neutral Certified
Q: What inspired these changes?
HH: There is a climate emergency threatening our planet and we have no choice but to take action to save our future. Without these changes, our planet will see increased global temperatures, more wildfires, drought, an increasing lack of biodiversity—there isn’t an area of our lives that climate change doesn’t impact.
Q: Anything else coming up for FMG to help along further this progress?
HH: We have a lot in store coming in the next few months. With the help of our FMG Planeteers, we will be:
- Educating our employees on environmental stewardship;
- Growing a library of information and tools to help FMG and its employees to better understand and take sustainable actions;
- Coordinating philanthropic events to support our local area to support the environment;
- Continuing to calculate our carbon footprint on an annual basis;
- And much, much more!
Q: What piece of advice can you share with organizations embarking on this journey or thinking of making similar changes?
HH: Environmental stewardship and climate action take commitment. It is not a small task and is not just a step for right now. Efforts cannot be "one and done." These commitments must become the new normal in our everyday actions.