Georgia’s Newest B Corp: SK Collaborative
SK Collaborative recently completed their B Corp certification and was ready to share the news once it became official! (Photo credit: MavenTree Consulting)
When it comes to constructing healthier buildings, SK Collaborative means business. Through cost-effective and responsive building certifications, inspections, and consulting services, SK is on a mission to create a more resilient and sustainable world.
So when the B Corp certification crossed the radars of their co-founders Carl Seville and Abe Kruger, they knew it was something they wanted to pursue. Experts in the green building certification ecosystem, they not only understood the value of the certification, they understood the value of the process.
Looking at more than just their environmental impact, B Lab’s B Impact Assessment, which requires a minimum verified score of 80, would pull back the curtains and evaluate SK Collaborative on their transparency, their workers (pay, benefits, & satisfaction), and their community impact.
After over eighteen months of work, SK Collaborative achieved a remarkable final score of 105.8 on the assessment, making them the 27th B Corp in Georgia’s growing community.
We recently sat down with Abe Kruger to discuss the certification, why SK Collaborative pursued it, and what’s next for the company now that it’s B Lab official.
PPC: Abe, SK is officially a Certified B Corporation! Why did you pursue it and what value has this process brought to your business?
Abe: B Corp certification has been on our radar for years, so it was just a matter of time before we took the leap! Our core business is providing inspections and consulting in support of third-party green building and healthy housing certifications. We strongly believe in the company we’re growing but are also committed to continual improvement. The B Corp certification process allowed us to celebrate some of current procedures while also identifying opportunities for improvement. Staff have commented that the process has led to some interesting conversations around how the company operates. We see certification as an important tool in employee recruitment and retention.
Our team felt that B Corp certification would help us communicate the work we were already doing to build a sustainable, socially conscious, and ethical workplace. The more I learned about B Corp Certification, the more I felt that it aligned with our existing company values. The idea of being part of a broader network of companies that also value high environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards also appealed to me, since collaboration has always been an important part of how we do business.
SK Collaborative worked with MavenTree Consulting to update their mission and vision statement, which supported their B Corp application
PPC: During this process, you worked with a local B Corp consultant, Profitable Purpose Consulting. What was the process like and how did they help you get this across the finish line?
Abe: The knowledgeable PPC staff shepherded us through the entire process – from application to reviews, and more reviews, and finally to certification. One of the biggest challenges with B Corp certification is simply organizing data and keeping track of individual point items. The process is not easy to follow or manage, but luckily PPC was there to help us along the way.
Early on, we spoke to other B Corps we knew to get an idea of the process. Pretty much all of them warned us about the long review process, which also involved compiling a lot of documentation. We felt that hiring an outside consultant familiar with the process would ultimately save us time and get a better sense of what was needed to become a B Corp.
A large portion of our work at SK Collaborative involves guiding clients through various green building and healthy housing certification programs, so we knew there was a value to having a third-party consultant assisting with the process. Having guidance from Nathan, owner of Profitable Purpose Consulting, helped us understand where to put our attention, and it also gave us access to resources, templates, etc. that prevented us having to reinvent the wheel.
Talk about walking the [trash] walk–SK Collaborative spends every Earth Day giving back. In 2023, it was a river clean up with Chattahoochee River Keeper
PPC: One really important thing you did early in the process was to assign a dedicated employee to champion this effort–and even more importantly, you assigned your marketing manager. How vital was Sarah to achieving this goal and how do you see her role evolving now that you are a certified B Corp?
Abe: Let’s just say that this was “on our radar” for many years and would still be if not for Sarah! As a relatively small company, it was key to have someone other than the owners driving the process. In addition to marketing, Sarah heads up our team engagement efforts so this fits perfectly in her wheelhouse.
PPC: With this behind you (well, until you recertify in three years), what’s next for SK Collaborative and how do you plan to engage with the Georgia B Corp community, B Local Georgia? (And don’t forget, Atlanta is playing host to the southeast B Corp community this September at BLD Southeast.)
Abe: We’re excited to be involved with B Local Georgia and looking forward to spreading the B Corp gospel!
PROFITABLE PURPOSE CONSULTING
Profitable Purpose Consulting is a full service culture and impact agency that specializes in B Corp certification. While we’re headquartered in Georgia and our heart is in the southeast, we work with clients around the world and have a network just as global. At PPC, it’s not just the certification, it’s successfully implementing every part of the process and telling the story of the good you do.
SK Collaborative applies proven green building techniques to real-life situations. We work with developers, builders, remodelers, contractors, and architects to identify cost-effective techniques that can help earn financial incentives through tax credits, utility rebates and financing discount programs. Our services range from consulting, design reviews and charrettes to building enclosure consulting, testing, training, and building certification under LEED, EarthCraft, National Green Building Standard, ENERGY STAR, Enterprise Green Communities, Fitwel, and Green Globes. SK Collaborative is your one-stop resource in Making Buildings Better.