Each year, we strive to get a little better at what we do. We made progress in 2022. On the climate side, we once again achieved Net Zero for Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions. We took an important step toward full Net Zero by joining the SME Climate Hub this year so that we can better measure and manage our environmental impacts. Through volunteer work or donations, we supported a number of local nonprofits who are deeply committed, as we are, to environmental justice. We laid the groundwork for some important initiatives in 2023 in beyond. Looking forward to what's next!
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,
2022 flew by for our team at Rivanna! We started and ended the year with our same extraordinary team of ten people, and our annual revenue increased by almost 10%. While we fell short of our goal to contribute 2% of revenue to charity because of some unanticipated equipment repairs, we still well exceeded our 1% for the Planet charitable contribution, supporting groups such as: City Kids Wilderness Fund, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and American Forests.
To better account for our progress on the road to Net Zero, we joined the SME Climate Hub. Since we are already publicly committed to Net Zero by 2025, we are making full and immediate use of the Climate Hub’s free tools and resources.
All in all, it was a good year. We’re feeling on more solid ground, post-pandemic, and we’ve begun work on some very exciting initiatives that will come to fruition in 2023. We appreciate all the support from our community, our customers, our friends and families. We could not do it without you!
Impact on Community
In July, Rivanna was honored by Henrico County, Virginia and Keep Henrico Beautiful as Clean Business of the Year.
The Keep Henrico Beautiful Awards presented annually since 1995, recognize residential and business properties that are attractively landscaped, well-maintained and litter-free.
Nominees for a Clean Business award must participate in an ongoing recycling program, such as composting, curbside pickup or drop-off service. As the Clean Business honoree, Rivanna was recognized for our sustainable production model, carbon-neutral shipping processes, recycling and composting programs. Our commitment to renewable energy and our participation in the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program were listed as key strengths contributing to our win.
Once again this year we had the opportunity to volunteer with Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call their home. We believe affordable housing plays a role that is critical in building strong and stable communities.
In the spring, we completed our B Corporation recertification. Based on the B Impact assessment, Rivanna earned an overall score of 147.3 points. The median score for ordinary businesses who complete the assessment is currently 50.9 points. The score required to be certified as a B Corp is currently 80 points While recognizing that we still have a great deal of work to do with respect to our social and environmental impacts, we are pleased with the increase from our 2017 score of 123.3 points.
Impact on Environment
Every year, the nonprofit B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating great impact through their businesses. These B Corps are named Best for the World™, as their verified scores in the five impact areas evaluated on the B Impact Assessment – community, customers, environment, governance, and workers – are amongst the global top 5% in their corresponding size group. In 2022, Rivanna was recognized a Best for the World™ company in two categories: workers and environment.
We were thrilled to be recognized in the environment category as one of the top 5% of companies leading the way towards a more sustainable and regenerative planet. We remain deeply committed to putting our impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity first in our business practices.
In January, we installed an Electric Vehicle Charging station at our headquarters in Henrico, VA. Use of the charging station is free for all coworkers. Since we are a 100% participant in the Dominion Energy Green Power program, we are enabling our team to charge up with green power and encouraging those without electric vehicles to consider making the switch in the future.
We continued our Compost at Work program with one of our favorite fellow B Corps, NOPE (Natural Organic Process Enterprises), diverting 320 pounds of food scraps and organic materials from landfills. NOPE makes composting easy for us and we’re proud to partner with them.
Impact on People
We’re a small company, but we do our best to offer benefits that meet the needs of our diverse workforce and encourage each person to learn and grow. Our worker-friendly practices, such as strong benefits, job flexibility, and fair-change hiring, enabled us to achieve a B Impact Score in the top 5% and designated us as a Best For The World company in the Workers category.
Admir Hasanovic thought when he started at Rivanna in 2002 that he would try to stay with the company for 4 or 5 years. Twenty years later, Admir is still doing amazing work for Rivanna and we are grateful every day for his wisdom, his commitment to quality, his kindness, and his generosity.
Gretchen Wirth and Crystal Mario (company owners) also celebrated 20 (and 21) years with Rivanna in 2022. We have yet to all be in the same place to celebrate, but we’re looking forward to doing so in 2023.
2022 was our first full year of offering a retirement plan, which includes a mandatory company contribution of 2% of earnings for every coworker, regardless of whether they contribute to their own plan. We believe that the mandatory company contribution provides an important, low-risk opportunity for new hires to learn about personal financial management by taking responsibility for their own retirement plans. We worked with Common Interests, a fellow B Corp, to set up our socially responsible retirement program. Investments are filtered through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screens to ensure we’re having the most impact.
In 2022, we continued our Rivanna contract with UPS to provide carbon-neutral shipping. UPS’s carbon neutral option supports projects that offset the emissions of the shipment’s transport. UPS has supported projects that include reforestation, landfill gas destruction, wastewater treatment, and methane destruction. UPS is working first to reduce emissions through supply chain optimization and then to offset emissions via recognized standards.
Through the UPS Carbon Neutral Program, we mitigated 7.2 metric tons of CO2 from January – December 2022.
We have been participating in the Dominion Energy Green Power program since its inception over a decade ago. Through the program, we match our entire monthly electricity usage with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
Since we began our work with refugees over twenty years ago, we have continued our partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC is our employment services partner of record. When we need more staff, we start with the IRC, and we encourage other employers to do the same. At home and abroad, refugee families are fighting every day to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Through refugee resettlement and field work, the IRC delivers help to people affected by devastating humanitarian crises.
We achieved Net Zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2022. Our next goal is to get a handle on our Scope 3 emissions, and get everything to Net Zero by 2025. We are on our way. By joining the SME Climate Hub, we’ve made the process of measuring and evaluating our impacts much easier than it has been in years past. There is still much to do, and our work is in some sense complicated by the company’s growth and our plans to bring new products to market — good problems to have, to be sure. Our priority is to stay squarely focused on our climate objectives over the next year, while continuing to grow our business, uphold our commitments to our community and customers, and maintain our welcoming and thriving workplace.
Public Benefits and Disclosures
Virginia law requires that VA Benefit Corporations provide an annual narrative description of the ways in which they pursued the generable public benefit during the previous fiscal year, the extent to which the general public benefit was created, and any circumstances that hindered the creation of the general public or any specific public benefit. This report is intended as our public disclosure for our fiscal year ending December 31, 2022. Information about our FSC® certified products is available upon request (FSC C019049).