Our mission at the Imery Group is to develop land and living spaces in a way that creates economic, ecological and social value. It’s what is called a “triple bottom line” approach to business, because we care about more than just making money. We also want to do right by our community and the environment.
For 10 years we’ve been building and certifying high performance homes for energy and water efficiency, air quality and environmental impact. So when we learned about a similar process for improving and certifying our approach to business, it was a no-brainer.
Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders, but also on their stakeholders. Stakeholders are defined as customers, workers, suppliers, the community, and even the environment. It’s like EarthCraft or LEED certifications for buildings, but it’s for the entire business. B Corps are required to meet comprehensive performance standards that are transparent and verified by audit.
There are over 2,900 Certified B Corporations in more than 150 industries and 60 countries. B Corporations include leading brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Tom’s of Maine. I’m incredibly proud to say that Imery Group is the first Certified B Corporation in Athens. We’re also the first homebuilder in Georgia to achieve the rigorous certification.
We’re grateful for the assistance we received from Dr. David Sutherland and a team of MBA students at my alma mater—UGA’s Terry College of Business. Over the course of the spring semester, they helped us analyze our business practices against the B Corporation standards and submit our application for review.
As a result of the process, we now have measurable policies and improvement plans for things like:
- recycling on job sites
- energy and water efficiency in our offices
- green product purchasing
- paid employee volunteering hours
- hybrid and electric vehicles, and
- local banking
Following a detailed review by the certifying body, B Lab, we received notification of our successful certification earlier this month, and our performance on improvement plans will be audited every three years for recertification.
So what does this all mean? I hope it means that our clients and partners in the community can trust that we’re doing our absolute best to be a force for good in the world. If you’re interested in learning more about the B Corporation certification process, or our work at Imery Group, we’d be happy to with you.