The Beacon Design Collective: Graphic Design With Sustainability and Social Justice In Mind

The Beacon Design Collective: Graphic Design With
Sustainability and Social Justice In Mind
A sustainable graphic design business with a higher purpose

The Beacon Design Collective Inc. is saving the world with graphic design one project at a time. This boutique sustainable design studio creates graphic design and motion graphics for the social justice and sustainability sectors. Or, in more marketing terms, the business develops visual solutions to create buy-in, build trust and increase engagement for their clients.

The Beacon Design Collective’s entire business model revolves around sustainability, from the brand’s offering to operations, communications, and employee engagement. As such, The Beacon Design Collective has achieved platinum-level certification status at the Green Business Bureau, and we are proud to showcase this business’s sustainability journey.

Achieving carbon neutrality and effective stakeholder communication

The Beacon Design Collective has focused their sustainability efforts on achieving carbon neutrality, and effective stakeholder communication and engagement, as we discuss.

Implementing sustainability initiatives to achieve carbon neutrality

The Beacon Design Collective Inc. is zealously planting trees. The brand has had two planting partners since implementing the program. Currently, the company works with For Trees which provides drone footage and NFTs of the trees that are planted. So far, The Beacon Design collective has planted nearly 300,000 trees since starting the program at the beginning of 2021. Tree planting helps restore natural habitats and creates vital carbon sinks that remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the atmosphere.

The Beacon Design Collective is a remote business, which means the brand also saves emissions from commuting. Yet, Beacon doesn’t disregard the environmental impact of the home office. Rather, employees are encouraged to take proactive steps in their home to reduce emissions. Doing so extends the practice of business sustainability beyond the confines of the business and into the home, to solidify a strong green culture. For instance, Founder and Operator at Beacon Design Collective, Dani Vachon, has replaced her home gas furnace with an electric heat pump. In addition, Dani and her husband share a smart car.

Developing an effective stakeholder communication program

The Beacon Design Collective is working with Carbon Neutral Club to educate their staff on how to lower their carbon footprints. To set an example and back these communications, the business also pays to offset their team’s personal emissions every month. In addition, Beacon rebates over $1,000 for each employee to help them transition to electric solutions (e.g. switching to an electric car).

Stakeholder education is integrated into the core of the Beacon Design Collective brand. The core business offering creates a visual language to elevate a brand or event that has a strong social or/and environmental cause. For example, the creative team at Beacon are using design and editing to improve the usability of an Air Quality and Climate Action Plan for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Beacon are also, with their client Oxfam Canada, developing activism campaigns that fight for fashion brands to pay their garment workers in developing countries fair living wages.

The Beacon Design Collective is a platinum-level certified green business

The Beacon Design Collective decided to work with the Green Business Bureau to accurately and transparently share – and gain recognition for – their green achievements. GBB certification brings validation for sustainability efforts made and demonstrates to stakeholders the brand is truly impassioned.

Through GBB’s clickable Green Seal of approval, stakeholders can easily head to a given brand’s EcoProfile and view what sustainability initiatives have been implemented, and what a brand’s green goals are. Companies are also assessed to give a bronze, silver, gold, and platinum result – each level communicates where a business is at along its unique sustainability journey.

Today, the Beacon Design Collective has gained platinum-level certification with the Green Business Bureau, a measure that demonstrates this brand’s commitment to redefining the rules of business to promote sustainability.

Sustainable graphic design and a member of the Carbon Neutral Club

The Beacon Design Collective is a provider of sustainable graphic design, and reports that they’re carbon negative making the brand unique in the industry.

To validate their carbon-neutral claim, the business signed up for the Carbon Neutral Club. By offsetting the entire team’s emissions, both personal and professional, and then zealously planting trees, this business strives to remove more greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from our atmosphere than are exuded from business operations. This focused attention to carbon neutrality makes the Beacon Design Collective one of a kind in their industry and also a model sustainable business.

Meaningful, sustainable change is often imperfect

For the Beacon Design Collective, the most challenging part of their journey was coming to terms with the imperfections of the team and the business. Overcoming this challenge required a shift in mindset, that is, rather than seeking perfection, individuals and businesses must simply do what they can.

Founder and Operator, Dani Vachon, has practiced what she preaches and applied this approach to her personal life. As a lover of travel, Vachon felt guilty about her impact on our natural world, yet was conflicted as travel helps keep her spirits high, gives her greater insight into the world, and keeps her striving to make a positive change. Vachon does everything in her power to cut emissions, from eating organic, composting, growing her own food, and planting trees. Her aim is to create more of a balance that aligns with her business and personal values.

Businesses have a real opportunity to save the world

“Do your best, then offset the rest! Nobody is perfect. Each living human will have some sort of footprint if they want to participate in society. All we can do is our best. If Beacon, a small company like mine, can plant almost 200,000 trees per year, think about the impact your business can make. In the future, I envision every company to be carbon negative by doing their best and offsetting the rest. Companies can act a lot faster than governments and have more power than individuals. There’s a real opportunity here for companies to save the world.” – Dani Vachon, Founder, and Operator at the Beacon Design Collective

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