Sustainable Living and Consultancy in Your Hands

B Green

3. Good Health and Well-Being 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

The Institute for Green Business Certification and Green Leaf Consulting were both synergized and rebranded as B Green.

B Green is a social enterprise offering consultations to individuals, small and large educational group workshops in schools, health fairs and wellness centres as well as corporate Lunch & Learn presentations, all on various aspects of green living and environmental sustainability, and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition, B Green continues to rank and certify companies of all sizes with the Green Business Certification, and optimizing spending and lowering carbon emissions through daily business operations.

The founder of B Green, Philippa Settels, is certified for Advocacy and Local Implementation under the United Nations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Global Goals), and dedicates operations at B Green to fulfilling 8 out of the 17 SDGs: #3, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17.

Author

Odalia Zubarev

Odalia Zubarev

School

York University- Schulich School of Business

York University- Schulich School of Business

Professor

Charles Cho

Charles Cho

Innovation

With B Green, Settels also certifies businesses across Canada and the United States. Formerly known as The Institute for Green Business Certification (IGBC) which began its operations in 2006 in Indianapolis, Indiana, its aim was to help businesses across the United States to lessen their environmental footprint and become green certified. IGBC had a multitude of branches across the United States and Canada. Settels joined the Canadian branch in 2012, and quickly became the National Director in 2014. IGBC had upper head representatives, including one in Calgary as a representative for Western Canada, and a representative for Eastern Canada based in Halifax. The role for National Director of the Canadian division of IGBC was passed onto Settels for Eastern rep (Quebec) who then took over the Canadian division. In 2016, the Institute for Green Business Certification was discontinued in the United States after its founder Mr. Garry H. Peterson retired, however the certifications and legacy continue in North America with B Green. Prior to the takeover for the Canadian branches for the Institute for Green Business Certification in 2016, Settels founded Green Leaf Consulting in 2010.

As of 2020, B Green has a lucrative plan to launch a sustainable living mobile device application which incentivizes users to make sustainable choices with their consumptions and lifestyles. The application will be available to the general public in summer 2020, anticipating a brighter future for the planet. Explorative research and conflicting information online and through media about self-claimed “green” and sustainable products contribute to an inertia of misrepresentation; consumers don’t have the motivation, time, or knowledge of where to find credible sources of responsible practices and consumption. The purpose of B Green is to remove educational and institutional barriers to accessing such vital information for our well-being and longevity. The application is essentially the distilled version of consultancy and allows citizens to take initiative in supporting localized businesses and affordable lifestyle alternatives. The vision of B Green is to create a major shift in consumerism, and to transform people to live healthier lives, and create positive environmental impact and growth in smaller, local economies; a method of redefining globalization as we know it.

Sustainable Living and Consultancy in Your Hands

Inspiration

Pivotal moments in Settels’ life have signalled to continue her career in the sustainability sector, and uphold relationships with past clients which fostered over several years of experience at the former Institute for Green Business Certification. It is evident that Settels is fervently passionate about environmental and social impact on a global and localized scale. Settels stated Gandhi’s infamous quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Helping others live a better-quality life was Settels’ vision. In 2008, Settels suffered from mercury poisoning, which was originally attributed to eating mercury contaminated food without proper labels or warnings as well as working in a dental environment. While suffering symptoms from mercury poisoning, the health system failed to properly diagnose and treat her condition, claiming that it was an alternate diagnosis and there were no signs of food or heavy metal poisoning. She sought the help of alternative and integrative doctors who were adamant to share informative details about contaminated industrialized and preserved products, and Settels wished to share her story, and advocate for wellness and recovery for people who were ill from similar circumstances. In the following months of recovery and correspondence, Settels found personal relief and purpose in discussing recommendations and teachings to others about what to consume, and what not to consume, to prevent further illnesses and potential hospitalizations of her community. “After my mercury poisoning, I realized that it was contaminating the environment and therefore passed onto us as humans. The process of cleaning up your body and immediate environment- it inspired me to clean up my surroundings by sharing my story with others”, she recalls. Settels gave her first informative session in 2009 to a group in a corporate setting after being invited by someone she had helped, which became the foundation of what formalized into Green Leaf Consulting in 2010. Settels’ expertise has materialized from decades of experience, and research into eliminating one’s exposures to toxic chemicals found in everyday products used in our homes for cleaning and personal-care, as well as in our food.

Overall impact

B green is essential in bridging the knowledge gaps for the general public and disadvantaged communities which are unknowingly suffering from detrimental environmental factors. The services which the social enterprise delivers, enables people to make educated decisions about their personal consumptions, and reducing their carbon footprint at the same time. This also allows people to feel empowerment and incentive for making responsible and greener consumer choices.

Settels originally worked in dentistry after her post-secondary education, and had zero environmental background or expertise. After overcoming heavy metal poisoning from environmental factors and Crohn’s Disease as a teenager (healing from both holistically), Settels dove deep into extensive research dedicated to credible resources and journals in efforts to educate the public. Settels stated, “The message is greater than me. I’ve only been doing this for a little over a decade but I’m not stopping. […] If what I do helps a handful of people, it is already a measurable impact and I still feel that I’ve left a legacy for my children.” The application is the distilled version of everything learned from a decade of consultancy and presentations and education, to allow people to live a greener lifestyle and consistently access affordable and credible information at their fingertips.

Business benefit

B green as an entity was created as a social enterprise, aimed at qualifying for green business certification and restructuring operations and core business competencies to allow the business to make greater social and environmental impact. B green aims at securing contracts and partnerships with local businesses to produce regenerative business operations and contribute to a circular economy. The proceeds from the B green app subscribers, to the local green business directory, contributes to tree planting in local and impoverished areas, and to various environmental conservation organizations operating in the grassroots space.

Social and environmental benefit

The purpose of B Green is to remove educational and institutional barriers to accessing such vital information for our wellbeing and longevity. The application is essentially the distilled version of consultancy and allows citizens to take initiative in supporting localized businesses and affordable lifestyle alternatives. The vision of B Green is to create a major shift in consumerism, and to transform people to live healthier lives, and create positive environmental impact and growth in smaller, local economies; a method of redefining globalization as we know it. Homes become safer, regenerative, and healthier for one’s majority of surroundings is spent in their home. Individuals can monitor their impact with the application where it shows how many trees were planted with each purchase. The planted trees naturally help mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and accountability for rising global temperatures.

Interview

Philippa Settels, Green Business Analyst, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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B Green

B Green

Montreal, Quebec, CA

Business Website: https://www.bgreen.plus/

Year Founded: 2006

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

B green is a social enterprise and consulting business based in Montreal, Quebec and operates across Canada and the United States. B green’s mission is to empower people, communities and businesses on a local and global scale toward a more healthy, sustainable and regenerative future.