2021 Impact Report
In 2021, we made progress with respect to both our social and environmental impacts. We made a formal commitment to increasing our charitable giving to a minimum of 2% of revenue and centered our giving on local non-profits committed to social and environmental justice. We had great fun volunteering for Habitat for Humanity Metro Richmond. We were named Best for the World: Community by the non-profit B Lab. We added a SIMPLE IRA program for all coworkers (full-time and part-time) with a mandatory 2% company contribution and selected a plan that includes a socially-responsible investing option. In addition to our 15 days/yr of Personal Time Off and 10 company holidays, we added six days of sick leave and made Juneteenth a paid company holiday.
We made good progress on our measuring and tracking our environmental impacts. We celebrated our 10th year as a Dominion Energy Green Power partner. We monitored and recorded emissions and met our specific reduction targets during this reporting period. We calculated our Carbon Intensity for Scopes 1 and 2 emissions (less than 150 metric tonnes of CO2/$million of revenue). Through our recycling program, we diverted 3.45 metric tonnes of non-hazardous waste.
Our mission is to design and build beautiful products that celebrate excellence, in an inclusive, supportive workplace that values diversity, fosters resilience, respects our planet, and brings value to all our stakeholders.
Rivanna Natural Designs, Inc. offers elegant, planet-friendly alternatives to traditional trophies and plaques.
We started in 2001 with a simple objective: to create green jobs for refugees and others in our community who needed safe, meaningful, and rewarding employment. Today, we are an award-winning B Corp, an award-winning leader in responsible forestry, and one of the most respected award companies in America.
Our Social Impact
We believe products that express gratitude, reward performance, and celebrate excellence should harm neither the planet nor the people who create, purchase, or receive them. Over the past twenty years, we've done our best to introduce fresh thinking about recognition products and awards, all the while upholding our commitment to our planet and community. As we look ahead, we plan to create more elegant, innovative products and to deliver the best service imaginable. With the help of our extraordinary and inspiring customers, suppliers, fellow B Corps, friends and fans, we will do our utmost to create more green jobs, address our climate impacts, and find better ways to give back to our community.
To our valued stakeholders,
2021 was a year of transition and rebuilding for Rivanna Natural Designs. For the most part, our team recovered well from the disruptions of 2020. Despite supply chain delays and health-related challenges, we rallied to achieve record annual revenue and meet previously set environmental targets. We also established a “company best” record for annual charitable giving.
As our business grows and our production output increases, the challenges of reducing environmental impacts also increases. We are pleased to report that we were able to measure and offset our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for 2021, and began work on managing our Scope 3 emissions. We acknowledge that we have much work ahead to get to Net Zero and few resources to accomplish the task. Our goal in 2022 is to create greater efficiencies in our day-to-day operations to reduce costs and free up the energy and resources we required to meet our Net Zero goal by 2025.
For the better part of 2021, concerns about COVID-19 kept us from in-person volunteer and community events. We look forward in 2022 to more community outreach, more pizza parties with our entire team, and finding better ways to give back.
Impact on Community
In October 2021, we were pleased to be a sponsor for Project Playhouse, a 2-day volunteer program hosted by Habitat for Humanity Metropolitan Richmond. In addition to making a cash contribution, our team spent the weekend designing, building, and painting a playhouse for children to explore, play, and grow with a space of their own. Our playhouse was donated to a local family.
Our team votes for the disbursement of our charitable contributions. In 2021, the Blue Sky Fund in Richmond was a two-time winner of the team vote. Thanks to our support, Blue Sky Fund was able to relaunch its in-person experiential outdoor programming for City of Richmond students in the 2021 school year, and reconnect youth with the restorative power of nature to heal from the pandemic.
Rivanna Natural Designs was recognized as one of the Best For The World™ B Corps of 2021. The Best For The World are B Corps whose scores in one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification reach the top 5% of all B Corps worldwide. At Rivanna, we were recognized for our efforts in the area of Community.
Many of our customers seek us out because of our eco friendly award products and our commitment to the environment. Our customers are not always aware that Rivanna is equally committed to reducing inequality, lowering levels of poverty, creating healthier communities, and providing high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
As all B Corps are already businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose, this is a recognition that makes us incredibly proud!
Impact on Environment
We regularly monitor and record emissions and have set specific reduction targets relative to previous performance:
Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) – 27.6.
Scope 2 GHGs – 24.75
In 2021, our Carbon Intensity for Scopes 1 and 2, not including the use of carbon credits and offsets, was in the lowest range for a manufacturing company (0-150 metric tonnes of CO2/$million of revenue).
We used carbon credits and offsets to bring our Scope 1 and Scope 2 Emissions to Zero!
We acknowledge that we have much to do measure and reign in our Scope 3 emissions (estimated at 2444 in 2001), but we are pleased with the progress that we made in 2021.
We have a company-wide recovery and recycling program that includes paper, cardboard, plastic, glass & metal, and composting. In 2021, we diverted 3.45 metric tonnes from the waste stream through recycling.
We also reduced our overall solid waste generation by 16% over the previous two years.
Impact on People
We are members of the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of businesses united by our commitment to a thriving democracy. We stand together in support of fair and transparent elections, in which voting is safe and accessible. and we use the combined influence of our platforms to empower every American to use their voice.
We pay living wages and advocate for a fair minimum wage. As a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, we are one of more than 1,000 businesses and business organizations that has signed the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
We have kept our commitment to 100% green power every year since 2005. 10 years ago, when Dominion Energy set up a program to buy Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from renewable energy facilities on our behalf, we jumped right in. This year, we celebrated our tenth anniversary as a Dominion Energy Green Power Partner. We match our entire annual electricity usage with RECs and Dominion guarantees that renewable energy is generated and delivered to the power pool in the amount specified.
In 2021, we continued our partnership with UPS to provide 100% carbon neutral shipping for all our customer shipments worldwide (package and freight). This was especially important to us in terms of mitigating our climate impacts in 2021. Because of pandemic precautions, many of our awards were drop shipped to individual recipients rather than offices or events as people continued to work from home or in-person events were cancelled
Carbon Neutral shipping from UPS is verified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), an inspection, testing and verification company. Additionally, the UPS carbon neutral process is certified by Natural Capital Partners. This certification is given to organizations whose CO2 emissions have been measured and reduced to net zero in accordance with The Carbon Neutral Protocol.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives.
Rivanna was founded in 2001 with the goal of creating green jobs for recently-arrived refugees. The Charlottesville, VA office of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) helped our founder, Crystal Mario, understand the workplace needs of IRC’s refugee clients and determine the structure and direction. With input from the IRC, we started a small manufacturing company, accessible by public transportation, with flexible hours, training for non-English speakers, decent benefits, and living wages. We hired our first IRC client, Admir Hasanovic, in 2002. Admir is now our Woodshop Manager. We continue to hire IRC clients and included the IRC Richmond office in our 2021 annual charitable giving.
Minimizing our greenhouse gas emissions has been a priority for our Rivanna since we opened our doors over twenty years ago. In many respects we have been ahead of the curve when it comes to trimming climate impacts, but achieving and maintaining climate neutrality in as we grow is, frankly, not that simple. We’re on our way, with established baselines for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and targets set for the future. However, we still have a great deal of work to do. Our entire team will be involved in this effort in 2022 and beyond.