2018 IMPACT ASSESSMENT
We launched RVL® with a vision to practice law in a way that positively impacts the world around us. We believe that the challenging work of Building Today's Company for Tomorrow's EconomyTM goes hand-in-hand with positively impacting the environmental and social fabric of our community. Highlights from our 2018 impact assessment are included here, and we encourage review of our independent audit by B Lab.
Tennessee’s Only 1% for the Planet Law Firm Member
RVL® is Tennessee’s only 1% for the Planet® member law firm, joining companies like Patagonia® in donating at least 1% of all revenue to environmental nonprofits. Our 2018 nonprofits partners include Access Fund, American Alpine Club, and Living Lands and Waters.
Our support of the Access Fund dates back to 2010, when attorney Kevin Christopher volunteered in developing a raptor management plan to prevent the closure of a popular California climbing area. In 2018, RVL® joined companies like ARC-TERYX®, Mammut®, and Rock & Ice Magazine® as a silver level corporate partner. The Access Fund is a national nonprofit promoting: climbing policy and advocacy; environmental stewardship and conservation; land acquisition and protection; and, education and safety. In addition to fiscal sponsorship, we provided pro bono support throughout the year to local affiliate Southeastern Climbers Coalition towards the introduction and environmental management of new crags.
Living Lands and Waters
We try to get our own hands dirty when it comes to cleaning up our public lands and waters; Sometimes that’s not enough. And living Lands & Waters is the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to river cleaning and tree planting. LL&W has removed over 10 million pounds of trash from rivers and has planted well over 1 million plants worldwide. If that isn’t enough, LL&W leads an invasive species removal project to remove non-native invasive species and replace them with native flora, all while leading a free student education program that educates our youth on the impact of the consumer goods lifecycle on our environment.
American Alpine Club
Federal and state funding for ecological and environmental research is dwindling, and we believe it is important for the private sector to step in to fill in the gaps. That’s why we are excited to join the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), FOURPOINTS®, and KAVU® in support of the American Alpine Club’s Research Grant Program. The American Alpine Club is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the endurance of America’s wild spaces. Their Research Grant Program funds scientific endeavors in mountain environments around the world, and has led to better understanding of sensitive ecosystems and improved recreation policies on public lands.
In 2018, we supported a number of social impact organizations through our financial giving and pro bono representation, earning our firm recognition as Attorneys for Justice. Our focus on positive social impact ranges from empowerment of minority populations to support of student inventors and entrepreneurs. We are able to do this in concert with social impact organizations including IMPACT Cookeville, Mustard Seed Ranch, Habitat for Humanity, and the Biz Foundry, among others.
Examples of our pro bono work include corporate and intellectual property support of innovators developing high heel support cushions, grip strengthening gloves for the elderly, women’s specific hunting gear, infant support pillows, and fuel-efficient shipping containers. Whether working with first generation students, moms, retirees or veterans, we find fortune and reward in harnessing our knowledge and experience to enrich our communities and enable new ideas by non-traditional entrepreneurs.
Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking
Mustard Seed Ranch Sponsorship
ATS Innovation Pro Bono
Sisterhood of the Outdoors Pro Bono
IMPACT Board Meeting
Calfkiller River Cleanup
Mayhem for MustardSeed Sponsorship
Biz Foundry Mentorship
What is a B Corp?
The traditional corporate structure is obligated to shareholder primacy; that is, the legal pressure to elevate shareholder wealth as the primary and, in many cases, the only objective of a business, often in turn sacrificing important social and environmental responsibilities. We’ve chosen to operate differently by defining success within a business model that recognizes social, environmental, and financial accounting metrics, i.e., a triple bottom line approach. We’re proud to have entered a global movement along the likes of Patagonia, Warby Parker, New Belgium Brewing, and Ben & Jerry’s to be the change we want to see.
A Certified B Corp® is a legally structured benefit company that has been rigorously vetted for endorsement by the nonprofit B Lab®. B Lab sets and enforces standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency for companies around the world. It’s like Fair Trade certification but for the whole business, not just a bag of coffee (or USDA Organic certification, but not just for a carton of milk; or LEED certification, but not just for a building).