When we heard that Shared Value Solutions made the B Lab’s list of 2019 Best For The World: Changemakers, for the THIRD year in a row we were more than pleased. According to B Corp, "The 2019 Best For The World: Changemakers don’t rest on their laurels. After achieving B Corp status, they used the B Impact Assessment as a springboard to seek out more ways to improve their impact on the world. Their improvement scores rank in the top 20% of global B Corps and inspire us all to keep raising the bar."
Each of the 200 companies on this list is being celebrated for work to make “measurable, positive impact improvement.” The folks at B Corp call us "rock stars" for having made tangible progress on our commitment to continuous improvement – and who doesn’t want to be a rock star? Really. But once we stopped cheering, we got down to the business of considering what our progress towards achieving greater impact really means.
When we became a Certified B Corporation back in 2014, we were required to bake our commitment to balancing purpose and profit into our shareholder agreement. Now, we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our employees, clients, suppliers, community, and the environment. We’re required to recertify every two years, so this year’s achievement marks the improvement of our scores in categories such as Community, Environment, Workers, Governance, and Customers. You can look at our scores here.
In the spirit of transparency, we aren’t entirely clear about the way B Corp can measure all of what we have declared in SVS’s mission:
“We have an unshakable commitment to a land where all peoples can reach their full potential, share prosperity, and uphold their rights. All of this begins and ends with healthy lands and waters. In the spirit of collaboration, respect and friendship, we work alongside visionary leaders and their communities to fulfill these commitments.”
So we thought this the best opportunity to unpack our mission in a way that highlights some of our progress towards fulfilling these commitments. Here are a few project examples from the past year:
Commitment 1: That all peoples can reach their full potential, share prosperity, and uphold their rights
- Shawanaga First Nation Land Use Plan and Environmental Plans and video project: SVS's planning work for Shawanaga First Nation culminated in two short videos that share their vision and achievements to the world. Watch them here: Land Use Plan and EMP.
Peguis First Nation GIS project: SVS is working to support Peguis staff create a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) system to disseminate information to the community, to create maps of the reserve lands, and for increased community safety and future planning purposes.
- IBAs: We supported our clients in negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) with substantial revenue sharing, equity, employment and training, contracting, long-term environmental management oversight, cultural and archaeological protection, stronger environmental protections beyond provincial/federal laws, and other socioeconomic benefits.
Gwayakotam - Reconciliation podcast: SVS's first foray into the world of podcasts is a collaboration with Damien Bouchard and Rene Meshake of the Crow Creative Collective. Listen here.
Commitment 2: Healthy Lands and Waters
- Taykwa Tagamou Nation Caribou Habitat Restoration and Guardianship: working with community members, the team negotiated the integration of community participation and traditional knowledge into plans for mitigating loss of woodland caribou habitat.
- Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Guardians program development: SVS worked with the MMF to gather input from Métis citizens about a Métis-led Indigenous Guardians program. Indigenous Guardians as a concept arises from traditional models of communal territorial protection and traditional laws and roles for “keeping the land”. SVS provided MMF with a development model and implementation plan for a Métis Boreal Forest Stewardship Guardians Program.
- Shawanaga First Nation Land and Environmental Laws Framework: SVS hosted a day-long workshop with Shawanaga staff and developed a decision-making tool – a land and environmental laws framework – to make decisions to ensure both that development can happen and environment and culturally important places on their lands are protected.
Commitment 3: Work alongside visionary leaders and their communities
This one’s easy: that third commitment really describes everyone we work with. From chiefs and councilors, band managers and executive directors to lands departments, consultation coordinators and economic development officers, you are some of the key people making things happen for your communities, and we are honoured to be working alongside your efforts.
B Corp describes itself as a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. We absolutely align with this movement, and are committed to holding our place in the Best for the World category, year over year. But we are human, and fallible. So we call on you, our community, to hold us accountable for what we say we stand for, for who we are in the world. If you see us chasing shiny objects or losing our way, please call us out. After all, you are why we exist.
About Us: Shared Value Solutions
We are an Canadian B Corp, and we assist Indigenous communities with support throughout regulatory processes surrounding major development projects like mines, hydroelectric facilities, transmission lines, highway expansions, oil and gas pipelines, natural resource transport applications and nuclear power.
We have deep context and experience behind the recommendations we provide, having worked for our clients on almost every major project in Canada over the last 10 years. For us, it’s all about building long-term relationships with our clients. We want to get to know you and what you want to do so we can help you move your plans forward.
- Reviews of Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements
Indigenous Land Use Studies, Indigenous Knowledge Studies, Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Studies, Community Cultural Values Mapping
Strategic Regulatory and Environmental Assessment Process Support
- First Nation Land Code communities
- Indigenous Guardian programs
- Impact Benefit Agreements: technical and regulatory support for negotiations
- Indigenous Jurisdiction initiatives: joint management agreements and co-management agreements
- Community-based Indigenous environmental monitoring
- Indigenous Land Use Planning
- Participant funding negotiation and application support
- Multimedia Storytelling