2021 ANNUAL B CORP REPORT
Deeply rooted in B Corp values, 3Degrees pursues climate action with a positive impact for all
2021 brought more upheaval and more awakening to the urgent need to take action on climate change. 3Degrees followed our deep roots as a B Corp to accelerate our action with intention.
3Degrees is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, a globally-recognized designation for companies that sets and verifies businesses’ performance against high standards for social and environmental impact. As a provider of renewable energy and decarbonization solutions for other organizations, we work to create urgency and action in the global fight against climate change, and we look to our B Corp certification to guide our business decisions toward the creation of a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.
In 2021, organizations around the world accelerated global climate action, and our business grew substantially. At the same time, the human toll of climate change accelerated, and we were challenged to stay resilient amid a continuing pandemic. All told, we look back on 2021 and the impact we had on our people, our clients, our communities, and our environment, and we see a company growing from a strongly rooted foundation, strengthened by B Corp standards.
Impact on employees
As a growing company in a rapidly evolving industry, we focused on employee care and resilience-building in 2021.
Our company, our work, and our business’s impact on climate change are all powered by our people. As more organizations pursued climate action in 2021, 3Degrees’ business grew substantially and we hired many new employees to keep pace with our clients’ needs. At the same time, the continuing pandemic, increased climate anxiety, and a broad shift in individuals’ approaches to work (call it the Great Resignation or the Great Reimagination) all challenged our team and influenced our approach to employee care.
As a small business evolving into a mid-sized company, 3Degrees focused in 2021 on practices that would have a real impact on employees’ day-to-day lives, while building resilience to sustain our work over the long term. A key piece of this was about building around the “new normal” of work, building a hybrid workplace model that offers flexibility to work remotely as well as in an office, and continuing to create connections and support employees as everyone’s work evolves.
ENHANCED AND ADDED NEW BENEFITS BASED ON
We expanded the options for health insurance benefits.
As some offices reopened, we continued to support remote and hybrid approaches to work while also extending pandemic support for remote workers.
We introduced no- and low-meeting days company-wide to help employees focus and advance important work, and added recurring paid half day Fridays to encourage rest and balance.
In addition to paid time off and sick time, we introduced wellness days and continued a wellness benefit fund to make it easier for employees to take time for preventive care, mental healthcare, and other activities that promote personal wellness.
FOCUSED ON BELONGING AND ADVANCING DIVERSITY, EQUITY,
After setting a specific goal to improve racial diversity in our workforce in 2020 – to match racial demographics of the U.S. working population by 2030 — we improved our recruitment and interview processes in 2021.
We improved the way we address bias in hiring, rolling out a standardized interview process and required bias training for all staff involved in the hiring process.
We also established and strengthened relationships with external partners working to engage professionals with marginalized identities, as well as those working to diversify the clean energy industry in particular.
These efforts contributed to an increase in racial diversity among our hiring pools, new hires, and overall workforce, growing from 22% Black, Indigenous, and other people of color on our staff in 2020 to 30% in 2021.
Meanwhile, we addressed challenges internally around staff belonging and inclusion, and focused on increasing engagement among employees with marginalized identities. We sought to gain more insight from the employees themselves, partnering with a consultant to host one-on-one interviews with employees. We presented the results to leaders, surfaced opportunities to better support employee experience and career growth, among others, and we are now pursuing those opportunities.
INVESTED IN EMPLOYEE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT:
In 2021 we launched several new training programs to support employee development at 3Degrees, and also launched a learning management system to make training more accessible to our distributed workforce. New programs included manager and director-development training, an international cultural norms training to support our globally-focused teams, and a company-wide training on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We also relaunched the Staff Growth Business Resource Group, an employee-run group that focuses on education and career development. Last year, the BRG focused on helping employees use their annual learning & development stipend. This stipend is offered to all employees on an annual basis to help pay for classes, get certified in their areas of expertise, and more. In 2021 we increased employee usage of this L&D stipend by 36% year-over-year.
A GREAT PLACE TO WORK
For the eighth year, 3Degrees was recognized as a San Francisco Bay Area “Best and Brightest” employer, which is based on both an employee survey and a review of best practices. In addition, we were honored to be recognized as one of the Top Workplaces in Oregon and southwest Washington based on employee survey feedback in The Oregonian/OregonLive’s annual rankings. Learn more about working at 3Degrees on our careers website.
IMPACT ON OUR CLIENTS
Faced with growing awareness that we are simply running out of time to take urgent climate action, many organizations accelerated their decarbonization initiatives in 2021. We helped our clients navigate their range of options and implement plans that achieve both their business goals and a better outcome for the planet.
In 2021, we continued to develop tailored climate solutions to serve a wide range of global clients seeking to make the biggest impact possible, from industry leaders who were searching for innovative ways to address hard to abate emissions, to companies who are new to their climate journey and need accessible, cost-effective paths to take action. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for each of these organizations, and 3Degrees remains committed to delivering a customized approach to meet each client’s unique decarbonization needs.
This year also brought weighty, important climate conversations to the global stage, such as the COP26 discussion around carbon credits and alignment with a broader emissions reduction strategy, and the world’s first net-zero standard issued by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This avalanche of new information can feel overwhelming to companies who are setting climate targets and we moved swiftly to help our clients navigate this evolving discussion and identify the impact on their own climate initiatives, through individualized conversations and thought leadership content.
Our Utility Partnerships business spent much of 2021 advancing key channels to help electric and natural gas utilities educate their customers about green energy choices, as well as working directly with clients to understand future needs and inform an evolving set of utility solutions.
IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT
Environmental stewardship is central to our mission and values as a climate solutions provider. We’re committed to walking the same path we recommend to our customers.
In 2021 3Degrees made good progress on our path to achieving net zero emissions by 2030, following the standard set by B Corp’s Climate Collective that more than 1,100 B Corp companies now follow. Our expert internal team has been working diligently to baseline and map out options to achieve this goal, with specific decarbonization tactics and interim milestones to come in 2022.
Meanwhile, our employees worked hard to embody environmental conservation and improve company practices, led by our Sustainability Business Resource Group.
ADVANCING COMPANY SUSTAINABILITY
- Improved our greenhouse gas accounting methodology, coordinating with Accounting and other teams within 3Degrees to account for all methodologies.
- Continued collecting information about all of the company’s suppliers to measure and evaluate ways to improve mission alignment and social impact within our value chain. Our Sustainability group continues to work in conjunction with HR, Legal, and other stakeholders to review and make policy and institutional improvements.
- Purchased water restoration credits to account for all water usage in offices and remote offices.
- Calculated and matched all office and remote work energy consumption and matched it with renewable energy credits.
- Calculated Scope 1, 2, & 3 carbon emissions and matched with carbon credits from a high-impact project selected by an all-staff vote: BioLite’s Improved Stove Programme in Uganda.
EMPOWERING INDIVIDUAL CLIMATE ACTION
- We advanced employee education about climate solutions and sustainability, incorporating a focus on environmental justice and a Just Transition.
- Staff discussions on various topics, including: tools for coping with climate anxiety, intersectional environmentalism, youth and the climate conversation, and building better bee gardens.
- Employee education and engagement around our corporate carbon footprint and net zero plans, working to facilitate a holistic view of sustainability and increased transparency through thoughtful communication.
- After becoming a small business partner with National Forest Foundation, we began offering employees the choice to opt to plant trees in place of receiving “swag” or gifts. We also matched a portion of what was spent in paper printing with a donation. To date, we’ve planted nearly 5,000 trees through these programs.
IMPACT ON COMMUNITY
The lines between climate change and community impact are fading. We’re committed to investing in the communities where we live and work, around the world.
In 2021, we began working through B Lab’s SDG Action Manager as part of our company goal to reach net zero by 2030, because we want to make sure our decarbonization efforts align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We also found creative ways to give back to our communities while we mostly remained physically apart due to the pandemic. Our 3DGives Business Resource Group worked to encourage charitable giving through our employee-directed donation matching programs, and enabled volunteerism through paid volunteer hours.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 45 employees spent a total of 435 hours volunteering
- 82 organizations received donations through both employee-directed donations from 3Degrees and donation matching programs
- Nearly half of the total donations were gifted to organizations that align with a Just Transition
IMPACT ON GOVERNANCE
Drawing inspiration from a global movement of people using business as a force for good
We’re strengthening our commitment to the principles of the B Corp movement. Some notable moments from this past year:
- After launching Business Resource Groups in 2020, 2021 found the B Corp Business Resource Group serving as a key partner to leadership on aligning with B Corp values and news, making recommendations for general company improvements and steps that would also improve our score on the B Impact Assessment.
- The B Corp BRG increased our community involvement with B Local groups, including in Portland, Oregon, and brought employees to the largest B Corp conference in the country.
- 11 employees attended B Local PDX’s B Corp Leadership & Development Conference in 2021
PUBLIC BENEFITS AND DISCLOSURES
- 3Degrees is both a B Corp and a benefit corporation under Delaware law. We provide public benefits to our clients, our employees, and the community.
- 3Degrees measures our public benefit through the B Lab Impact Assessment which measures a company’s positive social impact on its stakeholders. We have been using this assessment since 2012, the year we registered with B Lab. This audit takes place once every three years and will happen again in 2023.
- There is no organizational connection between 3Degrees and B Lab, although a 3Degrees shareholder (and board member) donated a significant amount of money to B Lab when it was founded.
- The 3Degrees shareholders with an ownership stake of more than 5% are Daniel Kalafatas, M. Hadley Mullin, Stephen McDougal, Jan McDougal, The McDougal Family Foundation, Mark Mondik, Erin Craig, and ARB, a family investment office.