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Cohorte B Corp 2021 Sherbrooke Innopole

8 December 2021

Aim For B Corp Certification… as a team!

Auteur : Myriam Bélisle

Some say that if it were easy, everyone would do it! Well, I can guarantee you that the road to obtaining an eco-friendly certification like B Corp is not easy. Nevertheless, when you put a team of dedicated and motivated businesses together and surround them with professionals to support their process, the road to becoming a corporate actor of change seems much less arduous.

It is precisely for this reason that Sherbrooke Innopole has decided to create a first co-development cohort for Sherbrooke businesses wishing to obtain this international certification. And also, to make the most of the group effect: renewed motivation and the benevolent sharing of good practices.

Best of all, this need emerged from an initial business interested in becoming a B Corp – this is an encouraging sign of the willingness of the community. Five other businesses followed suit, for a total of six SMEs at various stages of growth and operating in different industries: Café William, E2metrix, Entosystem, Précigrafik, SoyXpert, and Tarzan Nutrition.

A small clarification on B Corp before we move on: this is a certification granted to socially and environmentally responsible businesses at the end of a rigorous process, evaluating the impact of the business model and the operations of a business on its employees, its community, the environment, and its customers. It is owned by more than 4,200 businesses in 77 countries around the world. However, in Quebec, this certification is still up-and-coming. Only 42 businesses hold it, including two in Sherbrooke: Classcraft and Axial.

Since spring 2021 – and until a few days ago -, six Sherbrooke businesses joined our cohort for 4 group workshops and 20 hours of personalized support by the excellent Marie-Josée Roy from MJR Développement durable, to move forward in filing their certification and joining the B Corp family.

After an initial self-assessment of the social and environmental performance of their business, the participants developed, with our expert and their team, an action plan to meet B Corp requirements, which vary according to the size and structure of the business. They have put in place the processes and documentation necessary to obtain the minimum score required to submit their application. With each business moving at its own pace, this step of filing, reviewing, and obtaining certification will likely vary a lot, but we are confident there will be several great announcements in 2022 from these dedicated businesses.

For Sherbrooke, mobilizing more and more businesses on this eco-friendly path is also one more step towards the vision of economic development that the City of Sherbrooke has set out in 2020. Namely, that by 2025, Sherbrooke will be a model of economic, entrepreneurial, and eco-friendly development – by leveraging its knowledge pole, creativity, and principles of collaboration ​​- for the benefit of its community.

At the end of this counselling partially subsidized by ERACE – Espace régional d’accélération et de croissance de l’Estrie and Sherbrooke Innopole, our six businesses are therefore persevering on their journey towards B Corp certification with a clear path in view and unwavering motivation for this last stretch.

Truth be told, even with the certification in hand, our businesses will have to keep on improving their commitment to holding it in place. “Work in progress”, as they say, for the benefit of the planet and its people.

However, to celebrate this first stepping-stone, we gave partaking businesses a pineapple plant – oh, yes! – which grew in #sherbylove – oh, yes! thanks to Hakuna Ananas’ green thumb, a business based at the Centre de valorisation de l’aliment (CVA) of the Eastern Townships.

Similarities between this usually exotic plant and the business world kept coming to us. To flourish, an entrepreneurial project also needs winning conditions, right? And sometimes/often, you ought to be patient to reap the benefits 🍍

Well done to all the businesses for your commitment, your vision and your efforts; it’s truly inspiring!

Interested in joining the next B Corp cohort? Contact me:
Myriam Bélisle
Director, Business Services – Cleantech
mbelisle@sherbrooke-innopole.com

On the photo, from left to right, 1st row: Marie-Josée Roy (MJR Développement durable), Dany Deshaie (SoyXpert), Marie-Hélène Laprise (Tarzan Nutrition), Myriam Bélisle (Sherbrooke Innopole). 2nd row: Martin Cournoyer (SoyXpert), Francis Mayville (Entosystem), Laurie Letendre (Précigraphik), Ihsen Ben Salah (E2metrix). Absent: Café William.

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