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How Rise Became a Sustainable Leader in Home Improvement

(Photo credit: Rise)

Our company’s story is still a young one and is ever-changing as we continue to grow, but one thing we knew early on with absolute certainty was that our startup would need to become a Certified B Corporation along the way.

By Matt Daigle

When my wife and I bought our first home together, we had the goal of renovating our fixer-upper just in time for our first daughter, Audrey, to be born. While I still cringe at the fact that Mallory was up on ladders painting at eight months pregnant, we completed enough of the home to move in and be ready for our baby’s arrival.

It was an important time for me because it triggered a desire to think more seriously about our future and give my daughter the best world we could — and it made me realize just how tough it was to have a home that reflected our true values.

Although our home was beautiful, I still felt like we failed at renovating it. I mostly came to this conclusion after I picked up our new power bill and noticed that it hadn’t changed. Despite investing more than six figures into the home, we weren’t saving on the cost of running it in any way. We had built a home that reflected our aesthetic values and style but not our core values as a family.

It’s overwhelming to decide where to start if you want a sustainable home that benefits your health, wealth and the planet; this is why I founded Rise. Today, it is the leading trusted online authority in sustainable home improvement, having welcomed and helped more than a million homeowners in the last year alone.

The Rise team in its Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, office. (Photo courtesy Rise)

Where You Work = Where You Thrive

When the time came for Rise’s first office, it was a no-brainer that it would be designed and based on the company’s values and what it promotes to homeowners. It also would be the canvas for everyday life at a company where people matter most — they are our greatest asset — so fostering an environment where they can all thrive was paramount.

We made every design, material and product choice with these values in mind following both LEED and WELL standards in our approach to renovations, even though we were constrained with being in a commercial space inside a larger building.

The renovation included refinishing the concrete slab floor (instead of bringing in new flooring materials); installing LED panels, low-flow faucets and toilets throughout; using no-VOC paint, formaldehyde-free cabinetry and millwork, Cradle to Cradle certified office furniture, lowest-energy-consuming TVs, vintage/used mid-century furniture for decor, and the pièce de resistance: a 10-foot, automated living wall.

Rise is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.

Taking the Yawn Out of Policies

We are in a time where many of us almost literally live at work (or live to work). We spend more time working than nearly anything else in life, so shouldn’t that time be spent doing something you enjoy in an environment that nourishes and promotes the things you care about and drive impact?

At Rise, we take our policies pretty seriously, but not for the reasons you might think. We do it because they’re key to working (and living) in a company that values its employees and its impact on its community and beyond.

Some of my favorites from the list:

  • Single-use plastic ban on premises.
  • Drive-less program with incentives to reduce employee driving mileage.
  • A week’s worth of community hours for all employees every year.

B Corp Certification

From the beginning of the certification process in early 2018 to the signing about a month ago, it took a full year for Rise to become a Certified B Corporation. It was truly a team effort.

B Corp certification is about making companies walk the talk. We can talk all day long about the impact we’re having as great companies, but we’d much rather have clear guidelines and a plan in place to keep ourselves accountable and help measure our impact. This is why B Corps exists and why it just made sense for us to go through the certification process.

I genuinely believe that making business decisions that benefit people, the planet and profits makes good sense — for everyone. I’m a firm believer that it is the future of business not only because it makes sense, but because our world needs it. From an idea on a napkin to today, I’m incredibly proud of our team for making this vision a reality.

This article by Rise Founder and CEO Matt Daigle was originally published by Sustainable Brands. B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.


Why B Corp Certification Was Non-Negotiable for Our Brand was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally posted on B the Change - Medium by Sustainable Brands.


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