Our Demonstration of Sustainability
We demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable prosperity of Nova Scotia through the way we do business each and every day; ensuring that people and the planet are emphasized above and beyond profit. Our entire business is built on driving a movement toward a way of doing business that emphasizes stewardship of the environment and fair treatment of stakeholders (from clients to employees).
We do this by:
Operating as a Community Interest Company
In April 2017, CGS became Nova Scotia’s first Community Interest Company (CIC) under the Community Interest Company Act. Operating as a CIC requires annual reporting on community impact, and a commitment to invest a minimum of 60% of surplus profit into a cause that will further a social mission in the region. 60% of CGS net income is reinvested into growing the social enterprise ecosystem in Nova Scotia via our work as the Secretariat of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, a non-profit member-led society that works tirelessly to support businesses operating with a social, cultural or environmental mission in the province.
Being the Region’s first B-Corp
CGS was the first B-Corp certified company in Atlantic Canada. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. A recent Harvard Business Review article described B Corporations as follows:
“Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment. Once a firm crosses a certain performance threshold on these dimensions, it makes amendments to its corporate charter to incorporate the interests of all stakeholders into the fiduciary duties of directors and officers. These steps demonstrate that a firm is following a fundamentally different governance philosophy than a traditional shareholder-centered corporation.”
Committing to the Enhancement of Rural Nova Scotia
CGS has offices in Sydney, NS and Halifax, NS. 30% of our team is from outside of the Metro Halifax region. We are committed to the sustainability of rural Nova Scotia, working with clients and hosting pro-bono capacity building events across the province. Over the past year alone, we have hosted six Conversations for the Common Good in five locations outside of Halifax, attended by over two-hundred people, offering them education and network building around social enterprise.
Building Leadership Capacity in Youth
CGS has taken the recommendations of the One Nova Scotia Commission to heart, particularly when it comes to investment in young Nova Scotians. We go above and beyond to hire and build leadership and entrepreneurial capacity in youth across the region. 16 of our 20 employees are under the age of 35 and we have consistently worked closely with the province’s post secondary sector to find paid work placements for current students and recent graduates. This past July, we partnered with Bay it Forward to bring a bus full of 50 youth from across the province (Yarmouth, Annapolis Valley, Halifax, Paq’tnkek, Antigonish and more) to the annual Community Innovation and Social Enterprise Conference.
Paying a Living Wage
CGS takes care of its people and is proud to commit to paying all of our employees (including Co-Op students and interns) a Living Wage, as defined by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (currently $20.10/ hour). To do our part to address growing income inequality, also CGS has a policy that our executive team will never make more than 3x our lowest paid employee. Additionally, all full-time employees have access to a comprehensive benefits package, resulting in less strain on the public health system.
CGS is a client of Bullfrog Power and is enrolled in Bullfrog’s Green Energy Program which ensure that our energy comes from clean, green sources while simultaneously investing in green energy projects across Canada.