Election time: can brands nurture political engagement?
Republik’s B Corp certification has always been an important part of its identity. For this reason, we wanted to further immerse our team within the corporate social responsibility movement. Republik’s talents set out to discover B Corp pioneers in Burlington and Stowe, Vermont, for its fifth Annual Offsite. This activity was all the more timely as the agency awaits its B Corp score.
Each year, our team is invited to put their projects on hold to take part in the Annual Offsite. This event is designed to promote collaboration, discovery and learning through a multitude of activities which reflect our agency’s values. It’s also where we present our quarterly awards. What better way to celebrate the colleagues who best embody Republik’s mottos than within the B Corp community!
7:00 a.m., reusable cup of coffee in hand, our team set off for the U.S. state known for its numerous responsible businesses: Vermont. A few hours later, we were already meeting our first inspiring company.
We met Maroni Minter, U.S. Activism Manager for Ben & Jerry’s, under a warm autumn sun, right in front of Ben & Jerry’s first factory. Founded in 1978, the famous ice cream company is a leader in corporate social responsibility. Having earned its certification in 2012, Ben & Jerry’s was recognized as Best for the world in the community category in 2022 for its social militancy.
Our team was eager to learn and came prepared with a long list of questions. We were especially interested in the acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s by Unilever, which led the ice cream producer to negotiate the independence of its board of directors. In doing so, Ben and Jerry’s was able to stay on track with its social mission and its activism.
After an ever-inspiring discussion, our team was offered a guided tour of Ben & Jerry’s facilities … and a delicious sample! Our team headed toward our second B Corp of the day, hearts filled with progressive values and strawberry shortcake ice cream.
The agency met the co-founders of The Alchemist microbrewery, John and Jen Kimmich. B Corp certified since 2017, the brewery’s mission is to minimize its impact on the environment by reaching Net Zero in the production of its famous IPA. The factory has even equipped itself with a water treatment chamber and solar panels: innovative solutions for an industry that is known to gulp up a lot of resources.
To end our first day in Vermont on a festive note, our talents headed to Farmhouse Tap & Grill to celebrate with great talks, great food and great drinks before our second quarterly awards ceremony.
In the “Be committed” category, we elected Content Writer Elisabeth for her inspiring journey as a candidate for Québec Solidaire. Defending social issues such as the climate emergency, the housing crisis and women’s rights, she uses the power of her social networks to create content that is both relevant and engaging.
After a lively evening and a slow morning, our team enjoyed a stroll through Shelburne Farms, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. Their nationally and internationally recognized educational programs are attended by educators from over 49 U.S. states and 35 countries.
Our final stop on the road to Vermont’s renown B Corps was at Rhino Foods, the company responsible for producing the dough used in the majority of cookie dough ice creams. While that’s quite a sweet fun fact, what makes Rhino so special is the positive impact it has had on its community, namely thanks to its hiring policies and its working conditions. Their income advance program, an initiative that guarantees employees immediate access to an emergency loan that can then be paid back gradually through payroll deductions, helps reduce stress, improve credit and encourage savings among employees.
After so many inspiring discussions with world-renowned B Corp companies, our team headed back to Montreal with a deep sense of pride. After seven years of being B Corp certified, Republik is happy to be part of such a committed business community and our talents are more motivated than ever to create social capital in our industry.