Sustainable Practices in Bridge City: Balancing Profit and Purpose

Sustainable Practices in Bridge City: Balancing Profit and Purpose

A Bridge to a More Sustainable Future

Since our founding in 2005, our mission at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce has been simple: to operate within the nexus of sustainability and profitability for the long term. Our aim is to deliver competitive financial returns for our investors and critical social impact to the communities in which we develop, build, and maintain our projects. This premise will always be at the core of what we do and has been the driving force behind our organization’s growth to over $18 billion in assets under management.

As a mission-driven organization, we know that our investments have the power to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges – building resilient communities, tackling climate change, and protecting the environment. For that reason, we are immensely proud to announce that the Bridge City Chamber has become one of the very few business associations to receive the prestigious B-Corp certification.

The B-Corp certification crystalizes our identity and aligns us with other mission-driven entities across the globe in a variety of sectors who are focused on long-term resiliency. Our journey to this moment can be traced back to our inception – an organization founded on the premise of long-term impact investing.

Blending Profits and Purpose

In the years since, we have and continue to act upon this commitment. We were early adopters of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and our proprietary Sustainability Impact Measurement System, Simpl, helps us assess how our projects are meeting these targets. We co-founded the Long-Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) with like-minded investment entities across the globe, with the objective of creating a framework for the asset class back in 2014. And in 2019, we were among some of the first to receive designation as a mission-driven company under local law.

Looking ahead to next year, we also reflect on the intention we set back in 2005, which has resulted in the global deployment of over $75 billion worth of assets across more than 100 projects. Our presence has touched communities on three continents – Europe, the Americas, and Africa – delivering much-needed new or upgraded infrastructure investments and creating over 185,000 jobs along the way.

These diverse projects include the Port of Miami Tunnel in Florida, where we reduced unnecessary traffic to one of the biggest cruise ports in the world, laying the foundation to aid in future development in the local area. And at LaGuardia’s Terminal B in New York, along with our partners, we upgraded an outdated and overcrowded airport terminal to better serve its current 14 million passengers annually – almost double of what the terminal was intended to serve when built in 1964.

A Global Impact

Our Port of Calais project in France was made possible by an innovative contractual framework which prepared the pathway for sustainable long-term growth. Our Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Dakar, unprecedented in Africa, includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of a new clean transport network entirely dedicated to 100% electric buses. And our waste-to-renewable energy projects across the globe support innovation and new technology for both small and medium-sized businesses and their local communities, as well as large national and cross-border projects, such as the Biokala Mass project in the Ivory Coast and France’s Evergaz biogas project, comprising nine strategic regional plants.

It’s important to mention our recent NeuConnect project, the first-ever UK-Germany energy link transmission line, as well. This groundbreaking initiative is a testament to our commitment to sustainable infrastructure that transcends borders and tackles the global challenge of climate change.

At a time where the efficacy of sustainability investing is being questioned, our experience shows that we don’t have to choose between community impact and returns for investors – they are intertwined. We encourage others to join us on this mission-driven journey, with commitments to both competitive returns and social impact. And there’s no better place to showcase these values, shared with our partners and investors, than pursuing a B-Corp certification to memorialize that commitment.

Bridge City Chamber of Commerce is leading the way in demonstrating how businesses can balance profit and purpose, creating a more sustainable future for all.

The B-Corp Difference

The B-Corp certification is more than just a badge of honor – it’s a rigorous framework that evaluates a company’s overall mission, legal accountability, ethics, and decision-making processes to ensure they consider all stakeholders. It assesses a company’s compensation packages, work environment, training, and efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and worker well-being. The certification also focuses on a company’s impact on its customers, its overall value proposition, and its efforts to provide transparency and accurate information.

Importantly, the B-Corp evaluation examines a company’s environmental practices, commitment to sustainability, and efforts to minimize its carbon footprint and mitigate climate change. This aligns perfectly with our own values and the work we do at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce.

Sustainable Investing: Beyond Greenwashing

As a B-Corp, we’re proud to be part of a global movement of businesses using their operations as a force for good. But we also recognize the need to address the growing skepticism around sustainable investing and the dangers of greenwashing.

Tariq Fancy, the former Chief Investment Officer for Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, has been outspoken about the industry’s shortcomings. In his powerful essay, he argues that much of sustainable investing “only makes matters worse by lulling us into a false sense of security.”

Fancy’s critique rings true – too often, sustainable investing has been reduced to little more than box-ticking and surface-level compliance activities. While new green funds and ESG-focused products represent greater near-term profit potential for financial institutions, the deeper integration of sustainability considerations into traditional investment models is where the real work needs to be done.

Putting Purpose into Practice

At the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, we’ve taken a different approach. Our commitment to social responsibility is the heart of the relationships we build with our members and the community. We prioritize empathy, transparency, and clear communication to ensure that our clients feel supported and informed throughout their journey with us.

We carefully select, assess, and intentionally collaborate with vendors and suppliers who align with our values, ensuring our contribution to ethically and socially responsible businesses. Our certification as a B-Corp is driving us to reduce our environmental footprint, with sustainable practices within our office, such as reducing waste, conserving energy, and promoting eco-friendly initiatives.

We also actively engage with our local community, supporting organizations and initiatives that promote access to justice, advocate for vulnerable populations, and contribute to the well-being of the Bridge City area. As a B-Corp, we measure and report our social and environmental impact, providing metrics and a process to set goals and milestones for continuous improvement.

Balancing Profit and Purpose

The road to a more sustainable future is not an easy one, but the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce is committed to leading the way. By blending profits and purpose, we’re demonstrating that businesses can thrive while also making a positive impact on the world around them.

Bridge City Law Firm, the first certified B-Corp personal injury law firm in the world, is just one example of how our members are putting these principles into practice. Their commitment to caring for their clients, supporting their team, and serving the community aligns perfectly with our own values as a B-Corp organization.

As we continue on this journey, we invite other businesses in Bridge City and beyond to join us in redefining the role of business in society. Together, we can create a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all.

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